The Science of Lavender
The lavender flower, native to the Mediterranean region, the Arabian Peninsula and Russia, is now a plant of many species grown all over the world. Its name is derived from the Latin “lavare,”’ which means “to wash.” English lavender is the most familiar species of the lavender plant. However, Grosso lavender is the species known for its intensely perfumed blooms used to make essential oils.
The benefits of lavender go far beyond the flower’s beauty. In fact, history indicates lavender has been used for 2500 years to treat gastrointestinal problems and anxiety, and to promote relaxation. In fact, it was the Romans who discovered the plant’s medicinal properties.
In modern day, lavender is most popularly used for its oil, which is extracted from the flower. It can be used as a disinfectant, to soothe inflammation, and for aromatherapy. The oil distilled from lavender has also been proven to exhibit antifungal properties.
Perhaps the most popular use of lavender is relaxation through aromatherapy. Many people use lavender teas, scented pillow sprays, essential oil diffusers, and lavender baths. Most often lavender is associated with its calming nature that helps induce sleep. In fact, one study by the University of Connecticut demonstrated that lavender increased deep, slow-wave sleep in the participants. One of the biggest reasons for this is that lavender helps reduce stress that keeps us awake at night. If you suffer from troubled sleep caused by nerves or chronic pain, consider lavender essential oil as a natural remedy to sleep.
Want to get your hands on some lavender? It’s fairly easy to grow on your own.
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Lisa Smalls, guest writer