As the world wakes up to the freshness of nature and natural products, Herbs take on a leading role. Simple everyday foods and herbs have moved out of the kitchen to be an effective, inexpensive and safe part of health care. The time-tested science of Ayurveda uses the goodness of single herbs and different foods to keep your body at its healthiest best. Women Fitness presents a detailed Directory of herbs.
Lavender is a herb. The flower and the oil of lavender are used to make medicine. Lavender is used for restlessness, insomnia, nervousness, and depression. It is also used for a variety of digestive complaints including meteorism (abdominal swelling from gas in the intestinal or peritoneal cavity), loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, intestinal gas (flatulence), and upset stomach.
Some people use lavender for painful conditions including migraine headaches, toothaches, sprains, nerve pain, sores, and joint pain. It is also used for acne and cancer, and to promote menstruation. Lavender is applied to the skin for hair loss (alopecia areata) and pain, and to repel mosquitoes and other insects. Some people add lavender to bathwater to treat circulation disorders and improve mental wellbeing.
By inhalation, lavender is used as aromatherapy for insomnia, pain, and agitation related to dementia. In foods and beverages, lavender is used as a flavour component.
The aromatic lavender flower has natural antiseptic and astringent properties that folk healers recognized centuries ago. Applied topically, lavender can soothe and protect sunburned skin and possibly prevent infection in blisters that often accompany more severe sunburns. Cool compresses soaked in strong lavender tea promote healing for sunburns as well as other minor skin problems. The lavender tea fights germs and tightens the skin, protecting it from further damage and encouraging healing.
For sunburn: Twice a day, apply cool compresses soaked in lavender tea, and then gently rub in a few drops of lavender oil that you have mixed with 1/2 ounce of almond oil (or another neutral oil). Alternatively, add a few drops of the oil to a cool bath.
For cuts, scrapes, and other minor skin wounds: When treating a cut or scrape, dab 1 or 2 drops of lavender oil on the wound two or three times a day, but only after thoroughly cleaning the wound and waiting for the bleeding to stop. You can also apply lavender tea compresses or add a few drops of lavender oil to a cool bath.
To make a tea, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried lavender flowers to 1 cup (8 ounces) of hot (but not boiling) water. Steep for five to 10 minutes, then strain. Drink as needed.
Alternatively, try eating a sugar cube laced with a maximum of four drops of the essential lavender oil.
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