Monday, February 16, 2009

Lavender and Its Healing Answers

Since time immemorial, people have been using lavender. Lavender is actually a shrub and its branches grow up to sixty centimeters. Widely alluded to as a natural cure for various ailments and used in herbal medicines, the lavender's name is derived from the Latin word "lavarre" which means, "to wash". It is also indigenous to the mountain zones of the Mediterranean and thrives in stony environment where there is lots of sunlight. In Europe, this herb may be found aplenty in the wild throughout the southern part. The lavender's narrow, grayish green leaves are covered in a silver blanket-like substance and its leaves are usually oblong and attach directly at the base in spiral-like patterns.

The lavender has a reputation of being a useful wound herb and as an effective expectorant. In European folk medicine, it is known for the former. The most common types of healing lavenders include L. angustifolia and L. spica. While the most commonly used variety is the French lavender, L. stoechas. Even the lavender's flowers have also been found useful and can be used to create an array of herbal medicines.

Known to contain tannins, volative oils, coumarins, triterpernoids and flavonoids, the lavender's flowers are usually described as cooling and mainly dry and are well regarded for its ability to promote good bile flow. Moreover, they are also well known as a relaxant, antispasmodic, circulatory stimulant, and antiseptic, a tonic for the nervous system, an analgesic and a carminative. Because it supposedly causes calmness, soothe and anti-convulsive effects, the lavender herb may also be used to treat insomnia, abdominal complaints, rheumatism, anxiety, depression, loss of appetite, and mood disturbances.

Lavender is also popular for its essential oils. These oils are especially popular aromatic essential oils and a lot of aromatherapy aficionados use these. In fact, the mere act of inhaling lavender induces healing! Recommended by herbalists, lavender essential oil can be used to treat a large array of illnesses and ailments and thus is highly suggested as an integral addition to any household first aid kit.

Lavender essential oil can be used to make healing creams. Simply put a few drops of the said oil to a cream that is chamomile-based. The produced cream can be used to treat skin problems like eczema. A few drops of the lavender essential oil mixed with a few drops of water, when mixed, can be used to remedy scalds, burns, and sunburn. This is a handy must-have for beach lovers or people who want to bask in the sun.

The lavender essential oil can also be used as chest rub. All you have to do is add a millimeter of the said oil to 5 drops of chamomile oil, mix them, and rub onto the chest. Lavender essential oil is known to cure bronchitis spasms and even symptoms of asthma.

The lavender essential oil can also be used for massages. The oil can help ease the pain from the muscles and when rubbing it on to the temples and nape of the neck, tension from headache and migraine can also be avoided.

Yet another use for the lavender is hair rinse. When you dilute 5-10 drops of lavender essential oil in water, one can treat hair lice and nit problems.

Despite these favorable uses for lavender, however, people especially pregnant women should still be cautious as high doses of lavender in any form have been shown to be a strong uterine stimulant.

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