Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Lavender Oil: Lure Of A Lusty Life

Using of essential oils in aromatherapy is inevitable. Various essential oils contribute their significance in aromatherapy. One among such oils is lavender oil.

Lavender oil is extracted from lavender tree that is also known as Lavendula officinalis. During the extraction of this oil, a delicate process is followed, where generally water or steam is used. The oil, distilled from lavender tree contains the pure scent of the tree itself. Lavender oil looks clear with a bit touch of yellow. This oil is not so oily. Hence, in aromatherapy, this oil is considered as one among the thinnest essential oils.

The odor of lavender oil is medium and considered as one of most relaxing smell. Normally, this aroma is neither so strong nor so light; instead the smell is sweet. In aromatherapy, while diluting lavender oil, mainly sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil or grape seed oil is used as carrier oils.

Lavender oil in aromatherapy is used for treating various diseases. Massaging with mingled lavender oil can bring the effect of relaxation and calmness. In aromatherapy, many skin problems, like, acne, allergies, oily skin, scar skin, stretch marks etc can be treated with lavender oil. Hot bath with a few drops of the oil will assure you about relieving anxiety, whereas, a cool bath with this oil will bring a feeling of refresh. Lavender oil can act as facial and skin oil superlatively for healing various skin problems.

Massaging with this oil works effectively in case of headache, on the other hand, in healing of hypertension, sunburn pain, insects’ or mosquitoes’ bite, bruises, minor-burn, blisters, athlete’s foot, reduce labor pain, lavender oil works well indeed.

Lavender oil can be kept in First Aid box. With this oil, minor injuries, like burns, cut etc can be healed. Many a time, lavender oil is used in treatment of various nervous problems, such as, insomnia, migraine, nervous tension, stress, PMS, restlessness etc. In such cases, in aromatherapy, patients are recommended simply to inhale the fragrance that effects on the central nervous system positively. Respiratory problems like, asthma, bronchitis, halitosis, throat infection, whooping cough can be solved with lavender oil as well.

But always keep in your mind to dilute it with some carrier oil before using and also make sure that there is no allergic reaction on the skin. At the same time, it is also recommended to be careful during the purchase of lavender oil.

Do you want to keep yourself healthy and being well? Usage of lavender oil will be the right option for you. With enormous advantages, this oil has become an important component of aromatherapy.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Essential Lavender Oil: What Are Its Benefits?

Many people are now finding the use of essential lavender oil whilst at work, helps them to handle the stress of the workplace as well as helping them to relax under pressure and also making them focus better on the tasks at hand.

In studies undertaken it was found that participants relaxed considerably better when using lavender aromatherapy and were able to focus better on problems which needed solving. However, although they seemed to be slower in carry out a math’s calculation, there were fewer errors in the answers provided.

By placing a sprig of lavender or a bowl of potpourri on even a few drops of essential lavender oil when placed near a heat source will help the person to relax, become focused and thus more productive at their job. So if you should happen to work in a hectic office environment then either a lavender body mist or a small vial of lavender essential oil that you are able to keep close by may just help you.

Although lavender is not a cure or even an effective treatment for depression, it has been discovered that pain, poor sleep, anxiety and often chronic pain which are often associated with depression can be relieved by the use of this plant. As lavender helps to bring on a natural relaxed state it helps people to cope better with the aggravations that life often throws at us. In a study it was shown that in a normal healthy person the aroma of the lavender oil often has the ability to gently elevate their moods.

It does not matter whether you are either currently suffering from depression or just feeling down; remember that the person to discuss about your treatment of your depression is your doctor.

Although by taking herbal tea baths and burning lavender candles is part of the regime of taking care of yourself which does not require a prescription, or even cost a great deal of money, a lavender infused bath or lavender body products are able to provide a natural stress reducer, which can not only lift mild depression and clear the mind, which enable us to work through the problems we are experiencing more effectively.

Another good use for lavender is to help fight against insomnia. Many people find that if they suffer from insomnia or are frequently awake during the night, that they have difficulty coping with the following day to day matters. Lavender scent not only helps to promote relaxation in a person, but it also helps them to sleep better. In studies carried out at hospitals and nursing homes it was that patients who were exposed to the smell of lavender fell asleep, not only quicker but stayed asleep for longer and slept much more deeply.

Certainly, it is know that poor sleep is one of the causes that many people wake up with a headache in the morning and in some cases can even initiate a migraine attack. You will find that the common causes related to a morning headache are the grinding of teeth and the muscles tensing around the face and neck. By keeping a small bowl of lavender in your bedroom and a light misting on your pillow, you find that this will help you to relax easier before you fall asleep each night.

Another suitable use for lavender is to help relieve anxiety which many people are now suffering from. Anxiety is usually found to express itself as racing thoughts and a pounding heartbeat, but one of the first signs of any form of anxiety is for the person not to be able to think clearly. The mental stress that many people are feeling now days inevitably causes the mind to become cloudy and people find it difficult to solve life’s little problems, which in turn only increases the anxiety the person is feeling. A by using essential lavender oil, you are helping yourself to relax and take away the pressures that you are feeling and thus alleviating the feeling of anxiety.

Finally you can use essential lavender oil to help alleviate the causes that trigger such things as headaches or even chronic pain, which usually are caused by poor sleep, muscle tension, depression, dehydration, poor nutrition, imbalance of hormones, immune deficiency or even just poor coping skills with every day life.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Lavender

Lavender is not just a color. It is an herbal plant, an oil or a substance used to fill pillows. The popularity of lavender could be attributed to the fact that not only does it have a fresh and stimulating fragrance, but it also very beneficial in making health products.

Lavender is well known around the globe for its therapeutic properties. The prominence of lavender goes back to the Romans, who used it to scent their baths, and the Tibetans, who use edible lavender as a treatment for nervous disorders. In Europe, the oil is extensively used for treating a number of ills like anxiety and sunburn.

Lavender comes in various forms, such as lavender oil, capsules, tincture and dried herbs or tea, with each variety having its own advantages. Lavender, in the form of a plant, serves many health benefits. One of its extracts, perillyl alcohol, is believed to be effective in preventing and treating various cancers. Other reports suggest that parts of the lavender flower help to reduce blood sugar levels and cholesterol. The fragrant lavender flower is also used as an antiseptic and to soothe and protect sunburned skin, properties that healers discovered centuries ago.

Lavender’s calming effects are very well known. Lavender tea has several benefits, such as keeping away germs and protecting the skin from further damage by encouraging healing. It also helps in reducing restlessness and difficulty in sleeping.

Lavender manages to capture the best of all worlds, as it does not have any side effects or contraindications. In exceptional cases, however, lavender oil might cause an allergic skin reaction. It is also believed to be very safe, as there are no recognized drug connections associated with lavender or its products.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Aromatherapy For Your Pets!

The Uses of aromatherapy for your pets is very similar to how we use essential oils with aromatherapy for ourselves, plus it is environmentally friendly. If your pet has something wrong with it, whether it is your dog, cat, birds or whichever pet you might have the benefits are all the same.

If you are having problems with Flea’s in your house or around where your animal sleeps, this methord will help and is much cheaper than the commercial remedies that you can by in a department store. The best part about using this natural way, you know these environmentally friendly products will work and has no harmful chemicals in it that could harm your animals.

To have environmentally friendly carpets try using this aromatherapy home recipe, add 2.5mls of all of these essential oils citronella, cypress, eucalyptus, lavender and peppermint. Add these oils to 250ml of bicarbonate of soda and mix the ingredients in a bowl, then put in a jar, seal it, and leave it to stand for about 2 days before using.

For a friendly house for everyone try this ANTI-FLEA CONCENTRATE. Use 5mls of all these oils, citronella, cypress, eucalyptus, lavender and peppermint. Add these oils to 60mls of vodka or brandy shake the ingredients in a glass bottle.

To make environmentally friendly solutions for flea spray, add 10 drops of the anti-flea concentrate that you have made to 250mls of water, put in a spray bottle, and mix.

Instead of expensive flea collars try this instead, it works fantastically. Soak your pet’s collar in some anti-flea concentrate that you made, take it out, let it dry, then put it back on your pet. Do this every month.

Aromatherapy is great for making environmental products like flea shampoo too. To make the flea shampoo all you need to do is add 2 drops of the anti flea concentrate mixture to 30 mls of shampoo and mix.

Now you know all the recipes this is the best way to prevent flea problems.
Wash all the blankets and bedding and add 1 teaspoon of anti-flea concentrate to the final rinse.
Spray the air spray around where ever your pets sleep lay.
Sprinkle the carpet powder over the carpet every 2 nights and leave it there overnight and vacuum in the morning. Do this for two weeks straight to eliminate the problem and then maybe once a week for prevention.
Keep shampooing your pets regularly to eliminate the fleas and then just do as usual once a week.
Once the animal is dry after their bath, and the collar is dry put the collar back on.
Then the last thing is just spray the air spray on the animal 2-3 times a week rubbing it into the fur, (this is not suggest for cats).

Here are some more uses for some other conditions that might be of help.

For abscesses Use 1 drop of tea tree oil, put it on the abscess 2 times a day until it has completely healed.
For arthritis use 4 drops of rosemary, 2 drops of chamomile and 2 drops of lavender. Blend all the oils in 20mls of carrier oil and massage into the affected area.

For Coughs & Colds, you can use different methods, you can make up a spray for room, use in a burner, or make up a warm compress if the animal is really in distress, and put it on their chest and back. With all of these methods use 4 drops of eucalyptus and lavender oils.

For Skin Problems like dermatitis, eczema or mange, mix these ingredients into 20mls of carrier oil, 4 drops Chamomile, 4 drops lavender. Mix altogether, then using cotton wool dab onto affected areas regularly.

By: Lynny

Article Directory: http://www.articledashboard.com

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cooking with Culinary Lavender

Have you tried whole grains with culinary lavender? Whole grains are making a comeback, and their advantages in terms of health and environmental conservancy are well known. However, to many palates accustomed to refined flour, whole grains seem tasteless and heavy. By using our Culinary Lavender, you can create healthy, satisfying meals that taste - and smell - delicious. Adding Lavender Lemon Pepper or Italian Seasoning with Lavender to your whole grains is the key to making nutritious meals that your entire family will love.

Why are Whole Grains So Beneficial?

Natural grains consist of three parts - the germ, the bran, and the endosperm. White rice, flour, and other refined grains are made by processing endosperm and discarding the bran and germ. The endosperm consists almost entirely of starch, while minerals, vitamins, proteins, and other healthy substances are found in the bran and germ. Although the endosperm has a milder taste and softer texture, adding culinary lavender to whole grains makes them just as appealing as refined grains - or even more so!

Using Culinary Lavender to interest your family in whole grains is also environmentally friendly. Nearly one third of every bushel of grain is discarded in the refining process. By using whole grains, you are extending the usefulness of every acre of grain that is planted.

What does Culinary Lavender Add to Your Meal?

Culinary Lavender looks and smells wonderful, but it also does more than just make whole grains more appetizing. Culinary Lavender has been known since Roman times for its soothing and healing properties. A pinch of Italian Seasoning with Lavender in your rice can relieve dizziness, or some Lavender Lemon Pepper mixed with whole grain flour for a fish batter can ease the pain of headaches as well as tasting great.

How Can I Use Culinary Lavender with Whole Grains?

Here are some suggestions for using Culinary Lavender while cooking with whole grains:

· Add Italian Seasoning with Lavender to homemade whole grain pastas, or use it to spice up your spaghetti sauce when cooking store bought whole grain pasta.

· Bake whole wheat breads with a touch of Culinary Lavender, to add a hint of alluring flavor to your loaves.

· Sprinkle Lavender Lemon Pepper over your stone-ground whole grain grits in the morning.

· Make a spicy topping for your whole wheat bread using a mixture of garlic, olive oil, and Italian Seasoning with Lavender.

· Use whole grain flour mixed with Lavender Lemon Pepper as a batter dip for fried vegetables, fish, and chicken fingers.

· Crush some Culinary Lavender with raw sugar, and sprinkle it over your whole grain oatmeal for breakfast.

Jenny Bishop teaches many culinary classes with the use of culinary lavender and is one of the judges for the Lavender Gourmet Recipe Contests hosted throughout the year by Lavender-n-Things. Click for free lavender recipes.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jenny_Bishop

Monday, June 15, 2009

Lovely Lavender Wedding Details

Lavender is a lovely and soothing color. It combines well with other colors to create interesting wedding color palettes, and it also stands well on its own. These are some inspiring tips for using lavender details in your wedding.

Lavender is a pale purple with a cool blue undertone, just like the flowering herb of the same name. The fragrance of lavender is known for its soothing quality, and the color is equally relaxing. Who couldn't use something to help them relax at their wedding? Paired with white, lavender is fresh and simple, but you can also create some great effects using it with an accent color. For a spring wedding, add touches of buttercream yellow to your signature hue. Brown gives lavender depth and elegance, and for a crisp wedding palette, navy and lavender look terrific together.

Certainly the first place to use lavender in your wedding is the bouquets and centerpieces. The relaxing aroma of lavender will be heavenly in the bride and bridesmaids' bouquets. Many other flowers work wonderfully with lavender. Romantic sweetpeas and pretty lisyanthus come in wonderful shades of lavender, and there are some unbelievable silvery-lavender roses available. For a rich monochromatic effect, pair lavender with deep velvety purples, or mix in contrasting colors, such as yellow or even red.

The bridesmaid dresses will look beautiful in lavender. It is an easy color to wear, as it is flattering to most skin tones. For a summer afternoon wedding, nothing would be prettier than a lavender organza dress tied with a navy sash. This is a particularly nice look by the water. The bridesmaid jewelry can be handcrafted from pale lavender crystals and classic white pearls. The soft and feminine color combination makes a perfect bridesmaid jewelry gift, as it can easily be paired with everything from a little black dress to denim after the wedding.

A color as pretty as lavender works wonderfully for a wedding cake. If you love an old-fashioned look, choose a lavender buttercream cake with little violets made from sugar. For a more contemporary wedding cake, you can create a bold chocolate brown stripe on a lavender fondant base. A very elegant design would be a bold damask pattern in lavender and navy, perhaps with metallic accents. The fun thing about the wedding cake is that you can really let your creative side take over.

Sprigs and bunches of lavender will cast a dreamy scent over your wedding. Large bunches of lavender can be tied with a wide satin ribbon and hung on the church doors to greet your guests. A small sprig of lavender is a pretty and aromatic accent to tie on the favor boxes or to use as a decoration on the napkins. Unlike some heavier scents, a touch of lavender is fine to use near food, and in fact, is even an ingredient in the classic French seasoning herbs de Provence.

The color lavender will be a lovely addition to your reception décor. If too much purple is a concern, just use touches of your signature hue to add character to your venue. Basic white chair covers can be dressed up with wide lavender sashes. Pretty lavender specialty cocktails make a festive addition to the cocktail hour. And don't forget to have your monogram cast in lavender light onto the dance floor for your first dance!

Lavender is a terrific wedding color. It is not too trendy, it pairs well with more masculine colors, and it looks great at any time of the year. With all of these things to recommend lavender, it is no surprise that it is one of the most versatile wedding colors around.

Laura helps brides with their wedding plans by offering advice on selecting bridesmaids gifts,reception ideas and other aspects of planning a wedding. Treat your bridesmaids to beautiful bridesmaid jewelry that is custom made in your wedding colors.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Laura_Firenze

Friday, June 12, 2009

Using the Lavender Flower as a Culinary Herb?

Sure Lavender is a lovely flower and its “easy to care for” nature is responsible for its pick in Landscaping, but did you know that world-wide it is a popular & versatile Herb used in Food, Spice Blends, Jelly and even Tea?

Hood River, Oregon (PRWEB) January 1, 2007—Joel Orcutt of Hood River Lavender Farms says “Lavender is so much more versatile as an Herb and an accompaniment to food and drinks than what we here in the United States know.” “It is often used in Parisian Bakeries, as a Spice Herb and even ice cream in Europe. When the proper amount of a good culinary variety of lavender is added to sweets or citric drinks, the imbiber is treated to a clean, non-perfume fresh taste that is both pleasing and inviting to the palate” says Joel.

Lavender is an herb, and one of the many members of the Mint family. Extremely versatile in cooking, it also adds nice color and garnish to a dish. One of the more popular ways to use lavender is to create an “infusion” of lavender with the liquid used in a recipe. For example, in a cake recipe one would take the “liquid” called for in the instructions and put it into a pan on the stove with approx. 1 TBS of culinary lavender, bring the 2 ingredients to a simmer, remove from heat, cover and let “steep” for 10-20 minutes. Then merely filter the lavender out of the liquid let it cool to room temperature and use as called for in the recipe.

A word of caution here, less is better when using lavender in food. The goal is to create a background flavor, distinctive and mysterious with a lovely color, not a forefront flavor that can overpower food. You want the dish to have a slight addition of lavender to its aroma, not be like perfume.

Lavender varies in taste just as it varies in appearance and aroma. The English Lavenders (angustifolia) are the preferred lavenders to use as culinary as they are milder, sweeter, and do not over-power the dish. Within these varieties there is still more variation when used as a culinary herb. Provence lavender, a hybrid known as a lavandin, is an exception to the rule. Because of its milder flavor it is often used when English Lavender is not available, and some cooks even prefer it above angustifolia. “In all cases”, according to Joel, “make sure you know where your culinary lavender came from.” While many commercial lavender farms are certified organic, some are not and still use harsh herbicides and chemicals that you do not want to consume in your food. Apparently, lavender is still thought of as a flower for the cut-flower business first, and as a culinary item for ingestion as a secondary by-product.

All culinary lavender blends very well with citrus, mint, rosemary, sage, berries, fruit, meats, chocolates, and even drinks. Lavender is finding its way into syrups used in lattes and steamers, lemon and limeades, Gourmet coarse salts, margaritas and mojitos, scones, meats and seafood, cookies, cakes & cobblers just to name a few. Lavender is known for its calming ability and as a sleep aid, and used in Teas and Tisanes it has a very practical as well as flavorful use.
“Lavender is having a popular and profound affect on the culinary front here in the U.S.”, says Joel. “We, as a lavender farm that offers culinary lavender, recipes, and often samples of lavender goodies, are still surprised at how fast the masses are accepting lavender in food. Most of our favorite recipes are coming from our customers these days. One’s imagination is the only limit when cooking with this versatile herb.”

Joel, and his Wife Diane, own & operate Hood River Lavender Farms in Hood River, Oregon. Their certified organic U-PICK farm is open from April-November 7 days/week, and they offer culinary lavender and recipes on their website at: http://www.lavenderfarms.net They can be reached at (888) LAV-FARM or email: info@lavanderfarms.net For more information on cooking with lavender visit these sites: http://www.whatscookingamerica.net and on yahoo groups at: groups.yahoo.com/group/LAVENDER-RECIPE

Joel Orcutt-owner/distiller Hood River Lavender Farms http://www.lavenderfarms.net certified organic lavender & culinary lavender

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Joel_Orcutt

Sunday, June 7, 2009

How Do Natural Flea Products Work?

Are you thinking about using natural flea products and leaving the chemicals behind? If you are, you are one of many making this environmentally and effective choice. Consumer's are continually deciding more and more to take the non toxic and non chemical approach to treating fleas. With constant news about the sorry state of planet earth, consumers want to make the correct choice and use "green" products. Natural flea products are just that and they are able to help fight and repel fleas.

There are many natural products that repel fleas and lavender is one of them. To many of us lavender is associated with the sweet smelling flower that is so soothing. The smell of lavender is loved by humans but the scent of lavender is detested by fleas! You will find that many natural flea products contain lavender. Rosemary also repels fleas that also improves the health of your dogs coat and is therefore a common ingredient used in natural flea products.

As fleas are highly sensitive to smell eucalyptus is another ingredient used in natural flea products. Eucalyptus when used in the proper quantities is a scent that lasts a long time, is strong and is great at repelling fleas. Not only that eucalyptus also acts as a natural anti-inflammatory agent and is also good for treating skin infections when topically applied.

Neem oil is another ingredient used in natural flea products that fleas can't stand. Neem oil not only repels fleas it is great at killing mange mites. Neem oil is also used in natural flea products as it relieves and soothes dry itchy skin associated with flea bites, fights bacterial infections and has remarkable anti-viral, anti-septic and anti-fungal properties.

Hopefully this overview highlighting some of the ingredients used in natural flea products will encourage you to make the switch from those harsh chemicals to those that occur naturally. The benefits of lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus and neem oil are fantastic and are just a few of the ingredients used in natural flea products. As a responsible citizen of Mother Earth and a true animal lover treat your dog right with a healthy diet, regular grooming and bathing using natural flea products and regular visits to the vet. These steps will ensure a long and healthy life for your dog and our planet!

By: C K H Orzen

Article Directory: http://www.articledashboard.com

Friday, June 5, 2009

Lavender -- Nature's Aid To Stress Relief

The essential oil of lavender (in particular, of Lavandula augustifolia) has been recognised for its healing properties since ancient times, and it has been used traditionally to treat many disorders, including:

  • insomnia
  • skin complaints, such as dermatitis, acne, allergies, insect bites, mild burns, athlete's foot and general wounds
  • gastrointestinal disorders, such as flatulence
  • pain, such as headaches, rheumatism, muscular aches, labour pains and period pains.(1)

Lavender was used extensively during World War I whenever medical supplies became scarce, to both prevent infection and relieve pain. The aroma of lavender has been reported to be calming,(2) and is thought to be particularly useful in stressful situations.(1)

Until recently, evidence supporting the efficacy of lavender essential oil in these conditions has tended to be largely anecdotal, but medical research is now beginning to show that this oil may indeed have medicinal properties. A recent review of the biological activities of lavender essential oil concluded that there is “both scientific and clinical data that support the traditional uses of lavender”.(3)

Lavender essential oil prevents infection

Lavender essential oil has been shown to have antiseptic, antibiotic and antifungal activity,(4–7) and also to have efficacy in the laboratory against bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics (e.g. methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus [MRSA]).(6)

Lavender essential oil aids insomnia and quality of sleep

Lavender aromatherapy was found to improve sleep in older hospitalised patients, and reduced the need for night sedation.(8) Massage with lavender essential oil improved quality of sleep in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.(9)

Lavender essential oil reduces anxiety

Lavender aromatherapy message has been shown to reduce levels of anxiety in intensive care patients,(10) and the aroma of lavender decreased anxiety in patients undergoing haemodialysis.(11)

Lavender essential oil relieves pain

Massage with lavender oil reduced the perception of pain in patients with chronic rheumatoid arthritis,(9) and in women who had given birth, lavender baths reduced perineal pain and discomfort 3–5 days post-natally.(12)

Lavender essential oil controls alopecia (hair loss)

A combination of lavender, rosemary, cedarwood and thyme essential oils has been reported to improve hair growth in patients with alopecia.(13)

Lavender essential oil aids indigestion

Lavender is currently recommended for the treatment of indigestion and nervous intestinal discomfort by the German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices Commission E, a committee made up of scientists, toxicologists, doctors and pharmacists formed by the German government in 1978.(14)


These findings still require further investigation, and research into the medical properties of lavender and other essential oils continues. The use of aromatherapy can not be recommended as a substitute for medical care and, if taken for medical reasons, this should be under the guidance of a qualified aromatherapist.

Nevertheless, it is slowly becoming evident that many of the traditional medicinal properties attributed to lavender could be based in scientific fact.


  1. Lawless J. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils. Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995:56–67.
  2. Buchbauer G et al. Aromatherapy: evidence for sedative effects of the essential oil of lavender after inhalation. Z Naturforsch [C] 1991;46:1067–72.
  3. Cavanagh HMA, Wilkinson JM. Biological activities of lavender essential oil. Phytother Res 1002;16:301–8.
  4. Lis-Balchin M et al. Relationship between bioactivity and chemical composition of commercial essential oils. Flavour Fragr J 1008;13:98–1004.
  5. Hammer K et al. Antimicrobial activity of essential oils and other plant extracts. J Appl Microbiol 1999;86:985–90.
  6. Nelson RR. In-vitro activities of five plant essential oils against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium. J Antimicrob Chemother 1997;40:305–6.
  7. Horne D. Antimicrobial effects of essential oils on Streptococcus pneumoniae. JEOR 2001;13:387–92.
  8. Graham C. Complementary therapies: in the scent of a good night’s sleep. Nurs Stand 1995;9:21.
  9. Brownfield A. Aromatherapy in arthritis: a study. Nurs Stand 1998;13:34–5.
  10. Dunn C et al. Sensing an improvement: an experimental study to evaluate the use of aromatherapy, massage and periods of rest in an intensive care unit. J Adv Nurs 1995;21:34–40.
  11. Itai T et al. Psychological effects of aromatherapy on chronic hemodialysis patients. Psychiatry Clin Neurosci 2000;54:393–7.
  12. Dale A, Cornwell S. The role of lavender oil in relieving perineal discomfort following childbirth: a blind randomized clinical trial. J Adv Nurs 1994;19:89–96.
  13. Hay IC et al. Randomized trial of aromatherapy. Successful treatment for alopecia areata. Arch Dermatol 1998;134:1349–52.
  14. Blumenthal M et al. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Newton, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications, 2000:226–9.

Dr Gillian Hale also writes about using aromatherapy essential oils to help relieve stress. For more information regarding Lavender oil,stress at work, stress busting with essential oils, please visit: Alternative Aromatherapy Stress Busting for natural aromatherapy stress relief.

Dr Gillian Hale is also the co-founder of aromatherapy-stress-relief.com a home based UK business providing hand made Aromatherapy Stress Relief Gifts.

copyright © 2006 Gillian Hale (CUS Busting Ltd)

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Dr_Gillian_Hale

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Lovely Lavender

Who doesn’t adore lavender, that lovely blue eradicator of the blues, anger and insomnia? It is generally accepted that the word lavender stems from the Latin lavare, to wash, as the Romans used in the herb extensively in their baths. But in early Latin lavender was known as livendula, meaning, “to turn blue,” from the same root as our word

has long been used in love potions. The primary market still today for the
essential oil is in perfumes and cosmetics. It is also used to scent love notes
and clothing, where, in your chest of drawers, it makes an effective moth
repellant. Ironically, despite its erotic associations, during the Renaissance
it was believed that lavender worn with rosemary would preserve a woman’s

are about 30 species of lavender, plus countless hybrids and varieties, far too
numerous to list here. But they include both tender and hardy perennials with a
great diversity of colors – including pinks and whites – shapes and heights.

is a mint native to the Mediterranean. Like most herbs it prefers a sunny location
in light, dry, rocky soil. It should be pruned lightly in the fall and fairly
vigorously in the spring, removing any deadwood.

is a wonderful relaxant and antidepressant. In The Eve of Saint Agnes, John Keats wrote “And still she slept an azure sleep, /In blanched linen, smooth, and
Lavender essential oil gently rubbed into the temples or the
essential oil simmering in water in an aromatherapy lamp will ease you off to
sleep and make your headache vanish, especially if it’s stress related. A
lavender eye pillow at the end of a stressful day is far more effectual and
healthful than a double martini.

Lavender is virtually de rigueur in potpourri. Here’s a recipe
for Lavender and Geranium Potpourri to
add relaxation and romance to any ambience:

4 cups of dried lavender

2 cups of dried rose geranium

cups of dried rosemary

1 oz. of orris root

15 – 20 drops of lavender
essential oil.

Mix all
the ingredients thoroughly and place in a sealed jar. Age at least one month.
Shake the jar frequently.

essential oil is antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial with a low level of
toxicity, making it one of the few essential oils that can be applied directly
to the skin undiluted. Added to the bath it will alleviate muscular pain and
tension. As recent as WW1, the oil was used as an antiseptic wound dresser. As
with all essential oils, do not take
lavender oil internally unless it is strongly diluted. The dried flowers
infused as a tea will relieve indigestion, colic, gas and bloating. It is even
helpful is some cases of asthma, especially when nervousness is a factor.

research shows promise that one of lavender’s compounds, perillyl alcohol, may
be useful in combating cancer of the breast, pancreas, colon and prostate.

In the kitchen lavender blooms
are used to flavor vinegars, soups (especially cold fruit soups in the summer),
cookies, ice cream and sorbets. This markedly fragrant herb can be used in many
ways by creative chefs.

Try the following Salmon with Lavender and Fennel:

2 medium sized salmon steaks

1-½ tsp. dried, crushed
lavender flowers

1-½ tsp. crushed fennel seeds

Juice of ½ lemon

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Pinch of salt

Mix all
the ingredients together and cover both sides of the steaks. Then marinate them
in the refrigerator for several hours. Sauté over medium to high heat in a
non-stick pan until done – about six minutes per side.

and lamb make a surprisingly good combination. The following recipe occasions a
pleasant change from the usual rosemary and garlic accompaniment.

Lamb with Basil

1 leg of lamb

1 cup of milk (non-dairy such as nut or coconut milk may
be substituted)

Juice of ½ lemon

8-10 lavender flower heads

8 basil leaves

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Place the lamb in a
tightly-fitting lidded casserole. Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over
the lamb. Marinate for several hours, turning the lamb occasionally. Remove
from the marinade and bake, uncovered, at 325ºF for approximately 30 minutes
per lb. When the meat is done, strain the marinade, and then make it into gravy
by pouring it into a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Reserve about a
quarter cup and thoroughly blend in 1 tsp. of arrowroot powder. When smooth,
stir into hot marinade and simmer until thick.

Bruce Burnett is an award-winning writer, a chartered herbalist and author of HerbWise: growing cooking wellbeing. Bruce and his wife Delaine own Olivia’s Fashion, Furnishings & Gifts (http://www.olivias.ca/) in Ladysmith, BC Canada. Read more published articles by Bruce Burnett on his websites: http://www.bruceburnett.ca/ and http://www.herbalcuisine.com/

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