It’s midsummer which means we are smack dab in the center of peak season for lavender blooms. This beautiful plant, widely grown in the Mediterranean Mountains and regions of Northern Africa, is something to behold when it reaches maturity. It is aromatic by nature and displays aesthetically pleasing purple flowers that seem too lovely to touch. Just the sight of lavender growing in fields full of straight, colorful rows can do wonders for your mood. But the beauty of lavender is nothing compared to the potential health benefits it boasts.
Naturalists and homeopaths everywhere utilize lavender and its oil derivative to combat several common ailments and afflictions. Try using this fragrant flower to soothe any one of the following conditions!
As an Antiseptic
Fighting off germs is a specialty for the lavender plant. As such, it is advantageous when it comes to wound care. In fact, one study compared closure rates in wounds treated by povidone-iodine, saline solution, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, and lavender oil. Surprisingly, the lavender oil wounds healed faster than those treated by saline solution and povidone-iodine, and just as fast as those treated by transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.
As an Anti-inflammatory
Lavender can be extremely useful in warding off the persistent itching and swelling associated with bug bites. Its anti-inflammatory properties also assist in relieving unpleasant sensations resulting from bee stings and sunburns. As an added bonus, the calming effects of lavender oil can relieve minor pain.
As an Antifungal
Several demonstrations have exhibited the benefits of lavender as an antifungal treatment. Specifically, it excels in combating antifungal-resistant infections. One such study conducted by the Journal of Medical Microbiology suggests that lavender poses a lethal threat to certain strains of fungal cells because it effectively destroys their cell membranes.
If you’ve ever received a professional massage, you know that lavender scent is often placed on pillowcases or in massage oil for soothing purposes. Patients or clients exposed to lavender or lavender oil often report a feeling of relaxation and calmness. The International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice conducted research showing that this versatile plant positively impacted anxiety levels in patients awaiting a dental procedure, and contributed to lower levels of generalized anxiety after 2 weeks of use.
Although these are the most common health benefits of lavender, it has been suggested (though not yet proven in a medical study) that it may also be beneficial in the treatment of PMS, eczema, nausea, and insomnia.
It is important to note that lavender is toxic to humans when ingested in its oil form, so it’s important to adequately research your application method prior to using it as a wellness supplement.
If you’re in the area, be sure to stop by and see Topo Pino’s very first lavender crop this season!