The amazing benefits of lavender
What is lavender?
Lavender is a much loved ‘cottage garden herb’, with spikes of highly scented purple flowers which are very attractive to wildlife. It is originally from the Mediterranean coast but is now widely grown across the world for use in aromatherapy and perfumery. This violet wonder is high in essential oils that cheer the heart, relieve stress and improve sleep. It has a long history of traditional use, and the ancient Greeks, and Romans made good use of its calming properties as well as its sweet scent. Lavender’s relaxing benefits are considered to be largely due to the essential oils present, whether inhaled, ingested or applied topically. This fragrant flower can be found in our Night Time and Love teas. It's not just great for us as it's great for attracting bees and butterflies if you grow it in your garden or a window box- being able to smell it regularly has real benefits.
So why's lavender so special?
Lavender’s relaxing effects mainly come from its beneficial essential oils, which have the ability to cross the blood-brain-barrier having a rapid effect in calming both physical and psychological tension. They include linalool, which demonstrates effects upon the central nervous system and also digestive nervous system. It is this component that has made lavender essential oil such a renowned relaxant as it can soothe muscle spasms and tension, particularly in the digestive system. We especially like adding lavender flowers and lavender essential oil to bath salts . as its name comes from the Latin ‘lavare’ which means ‘to wash’! In ancient times, lavender was used to perfume clothes and bed linen due to washing and bathing not being common practice. It can also be easily infused with an oil of your choice to make a massage oil or even a DIY dreamy pillow spray.
What are the benefits of lavender?
The soothing and calming health benefits of lavender have been widely researched and include:
Relaxes the nervous system: It's packed with calming essential oils which can act really quickly to calm the mind and lift the spirit, support with day-to-day stress management. Lavender will tonify and strengthen the nervous system whilst also relaxing it, allowing time for restoration and rejuvenation.
Promotes restful and quality sleep: Research suggests that lavender can benefit your sleep, as breathing in its aroma could improve sleep quality as well as prevent frequent waking (1). A systematic review of 15 studies found inhaling essential oils, including lavender, had positive effects in people with mild sleep disturbances (2). Lavender is especially effective for children and the elderly at promoting a more restful sleep, encouraging sleep and preventing frequent waking.
Supports digestion: Lavender helps with stress related digestive complaints and other times when there is bloating and indigestion. Its antiseptic volatile oils are also useful for infections. The pungent essential oils present in lavender will help to shift stuck congestion though stimulating the digestion but also calming the nervous system.
Benefits for skin: When applied externally, lavender oil also displays anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial for skin health. It has long been used as a traditional remedy for burns for this reason.
How we grow lavender
Pukka's lavender is sourced from Provence. This region of France is famous for its high-quality lavender production. Lavender grows wild in amongst the hills surrounding the farmers’ fields. Our organic lavender crop is grown rather than sourced from the wild, and the leftover lavender straw is baled and used to bed sheep over winter.
After hearing about all of lavender’s uses and benefits , why not try it out by making some relaxing herbal baths salts, a lavender infused body oil or a sleepy dream pillow?
What research is there on the benefits of lavender?
Effects of Lavender tea on fatigue, depression, and maternal‐infant attachment in sleep‐disturbed postnatal women. Worldviews on Evidence‐Based Nursing, 12(6), pp.370-379
López, V., Nielsen, B., Solas, M., Ramírez, M.J. and Jäger, A.K., 2017. Exploring pharmacological mechanisms of lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil on central nervous system targets. Frontiers in pharmacology, 8, p.280.