Lavender calms and relaxes

Lavender has a soothing smell, reminiscent of the sun and sea. But the purple herb also has more properties: it promotes relaxation, helps you to sleep well and alleviates stomach problems.

26.01.2021

Lara Brunner

Lavender is a hardy perennial subshrub which can grow up to one metre tall. It is native to the Mediterranean region, but it has long since found its place in gardens and parks across the whole of Europe. The eye-catching bluish purple flowers surround the stem in a circular pattern. Its calming healing powers lie in the essential oil, the concentration of which is highest in the flower buds. It is picked just before full bloom in order to extract the greatest amount of oil.

Lavender has many effects, including:

  • Antiseptic (germicidal)
  • Calming
  • Anti-flatulent (effective against bloating)
  • Diuretic
  • Relieves cramps

Which ailments does lavender help with?

Lavender soothes the central nervous system and therefore has a calming effect, which is why it’s used in cases of agitation, stress and sleeping problems. It helps combat fatigue and depressed moods. Furthermore, it promotes circulation and alleviates stress-related stomach pain and digestive problems.

Sleeplessness during the coronavirus crisis

Coronavirus is causing a lot of fear and anxiety for many people. This mental strain can have a negative impact on your sleep. Isolating at home and working from home can also alter your sleeping pattern, which can result in trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep. Lavender can help with this.

Lavender also helps against inflammation of the sciatic nerve and the trigeminal nerve. Furthermore, it relieves the throbbing pain from an ear infection. You can also treat insect bites, burns and scars with lavender, and it can alleviate headaches and migraine symptoms.

Headache or a migraine? Let’s find out.

Type

Ailment

Lavender tea

  • Fear and anxiety
  • Bloating
  • Sleep problems
  • Stress and tension
  • Stomach cramps
  • Psychological distress
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Feeling of fullness

Lavender oil

  • Stress and tension
  • Bloating
  • Stomach cramps
  • Insect bites and stings
  • Scar treatment

Lavender bath

  • Sleep problems
  • Stress and tension

Lavender spray

  • Burns

Lavender massage

  • Digestive problems
  • Aching muscles
  • Back pain
  • Stress

Lavender vinegar

  • Oily skin
  • Acne

This is not an exhaustive list. Please consult a medical professional about exact doses, application and possible side effects.

How to use lavender

Lavender tea

Pour 200 ml of hot water over one to two teaspoons of lavender flowers per cup. Let the tea steep for eight minutes. Drink one cup three times a day after meals.

Lavender massage

Essential lavender oil can be used for a relaxing massage, which can help with back pain or muscle aches, for example. For digestive problems, gently massage the oil in an anticlockwise motion on the upper abdomen area.

Good to know

Generally speaking, lavender oil is used externally – such as in the lavender massage mentioned above. However, you can also ingest it, such as with a sugar cube or some honey. Please consult a medical professional before taking it, however. Essential oils may have an irritating effect on the body. Furthermore, you should only ingest essential oils that are meant for this purpose. Only real lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is suitable to ingest.

Lavender bath

Put your lavender flowers in a gauze sachet and let the bath water run over it. Alternatively, you can also pour water over a handful of dried flowers, let the mixture steep for half an hour and then pour it through a sieve into the bath.

Lavender spray

Fill a sprayer with cool water and add a few drops of essential lavender oil. Spray the burned area of skin several times a day with this mixture.

Lavender vinegar

Add a handful of fresh lavender flowers into a bottle with white wine vinegar or cider vinegar and make sure the container is airtight. Let the mixture steep for a week. Shake the bottle every day for a more intense result. After a week, sieve the lavender out and pour the vinegar into a dark bottle.

Cooking and baking with lavender

Lavender is used as a herb in French, Spanish and Italian cuisine. It gives the dish a spicy, tart and slightly bitter flavour – similar to rosemary. For cooking, you can use either fresh or dried lavender leaves or flowers.

Lavender is a real all-rounder

From sleeping problems to digestive problems through to burns: lavender has a wide range of effects, and has many different applications. The way in which you use lavender depends on your ailment. The most well-known forms of lavender are lavender tea and lavender essential oil.

Those who grow lavender in their garden or on their balcony can also test out the effects for themselves!

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