Vitamin supplements guide   Vitamins & health supplements guide

 
Lavender quick review
Botanical description: a genus of about 25-30 species of flowering plants in the mint family, a heavily branched short shrub that grows to a height of roughly 60 centimeters.
Active constituents: linaloyl acetate, perillyl alcohol, linalool, b-ocimene, cineole, camphor, geraniol, borneol, camphor, pinene, limonene, sesquiterpene caryophyllene oxide, tannins, derivatives of rosmarinic acid, courmarin, flavonoids, phytosterols.
Health benefits : carminative, anti-spasmodic, anti-depressant, rubefacient, emmenagoguem, and hypotensive; a highly aromatic oil which refreshes and tones the skin, and soothes the nerves.

Dosage: for applications as aromatherapy, add two to four drops of lavender oil to two to three cups of boiling water, and inhale the steam once per day.
Side effects : excessive intake may cause drowsiness. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using lavender, as it is a uterine stimulant.
 
Lavender Oil by Nature's Alchemy
Lavender Essential Oil is beneficial in treating cuts and scrapes to helping you sleep sound at night. Place one drop of Lavender Essential Oil on your pillow to promote a deep and restful sleep, or rub a drop or two on the bottoms of your feet to promote relaxation and help boost the immune system. If you inhale the oil straight from the bottle when nervous, anxious or under stress, the oil will help to calm. Spray Lavender Essential Oil in the air or on linens to help purify and refreshen. Click here for more information.
 

Lavender


The lavenders Lavandula are a genus of about 25-30 species of flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae, native from the
Mediterranean region south to tropical Africa and east to India. Lavender is the name for any of several aromatic shrubs, including English lavender, Lavandula angustifolia Mill. subsp. angustifolia, and French lavender, Lavandula dentata L. English lavender, formerly classified as Lavandula delphinensis Jord ex Billot, Lavandula officinalis Chaix, Lavandula spica L., and Lavandula vera D.C., is native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean area. The true lavender (L. officinalis) has grayish foliage and small blue or pale purplish flowers (white in one variety). It is popular for herb gardens and is cultivated commercially (chiefly in France and England) or, more commonly, gathered wild (in S Europe) for the fragrant flowers, valued for scenting linens and clothes and as the source of oil of lavender. They are lanceolate, opposite, and sessile, and grow from a branched stem. The bark is gray and flaky. The herb thrives in full sun and poor soil. Lavender is a heavily branched short shrub that grows to a height of roughly 60 centimeters. Its broad rootstock bears woody branches with erect, rod-like, leafy, green shoots. A silvery down covers the gray-green narrow leaves, which are oblong and tapered, attached directly at the base, and curled spirally. The two-inch leaves are opposite and somewhat velvety and silvery gray in color with the exception of L. viridis which has green leaves. Some varieties have flowers of pale pink, dark purple, white, or magenta and are harvested toward the end of flowering season when the petals have begun to fade. Ancient Greeks and Romans used lavender blossoms to scent bath water, a common use that gave the herb its name, derived from the Latin lavare, meaning to wash.
 

Active constituents of lavender


The volatile oil (also called essential oil) of lavender contains many constituents, including linaloyl acetate, perillyl alcohol, linalool, b-ocimene, cineole, camphor, geraniol, borneol, camphor, pinene, limonene, sesquiterpene caryophyllene oxide, tannins, derivatives of rosmarinic acid, courmarin, flavonoids, phytosterols. Linalyl acetate, its acetic ester, has a pleasant, sweet, fruity, aroma which along with its antimicrobial properties makes lavender unique.
 

Medicinal uses and health benefits of lavender


Lavendar is carminative, anti-spasmodic, anti-depressant, rubefacient, emmenagoguem, and hypotensive. Lavender is a highly aromatic oil which refreshes and tones the skin, and soothes the nerves. Lavender can be quite effective in the clearing of depression, especially when they are related to stress. Aromatherapy with lavender slows the activity of the nervous system, improves sleep quality, promotes relaxation, and lifts mood in people suffering from sleep disorders. The aromatic lavender flower has natural antiseptic and astringent properties. An infusion of lavender is claimed to soothe and heal insect bites. Lavender oil can kill many common bacteria such as typhoid, diphtheria, streptococcus, and pneumococcus. The oil may be used as a stimulating liniment to help ease the aches and pains of rheumatism. Lavender can soothe and protect sunburned skin and possibly prevent infection in blisters that often accompany more severe sunburns. Taken internally, Lavender has been found to stimulate the production and flow of bile. It also has a mildly sedating effect, and gets rid of gas. Lavender has been long valued as a headache remedy. It can be taken in a mild infusion, or can be rubbed on the temples, or sniffed like smelling salts to provide relief from headaches caused by stress. Lavender is an adjuvant and may be used in combination with other herbs to make a tonic cordial to strengthen the nervous system.
 

Dosage and administration of lavender


Lavender's volatile oil is best when extracted from flowers picked before they reach maximum bloom and following a long period of hot and dry temperatures. For applications as aromatherapy, add two to four drops of lavender oil to two to three cups of boiling water, and inhale the steam once per day. When used bath additive, six drops of lavender oil or 1/4 to 1/2 cup of dried lavender flowers may be added to bath water. A massage oil is made by adding a little essential oil to a carrier oil and massaging into painful muscles or the temples and nape of the neck for tension headaches or the first hint of a migraine. For nervous tension and mild depression, drink a cup of lavender tea three or four times a day as needed.
 

Side effects, precautions, interactions


There are no known side effects or contraindications to lavender tea or oil. Although side effects are rare, some individuals may develop an allergic reaction to lavender. Excessive intake (several times more than listed above) may cause drowsiness. Nausea, vomiting, headache, and chills have also been reported in some individuals following inhalation or absorption of lavender through the skin. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using lavender, as it is a uterine stimulant. Lavender contains limonene which can cause photosensitivity, especially when perfumes and cosmetics are used containing lavender oil. Direct exposure to undiluted preparations generally should be avoided.