It smells a bit like perfection. Like, if a nose could tell you exactly what its favorite smell was, it would be lavender (and, maybe, a whiff of coffee for good measure). But lavender is much more than an olfactory-pleasing fragrance. Lavender essential oil benefits do the whole body good.
Lavender is a relative of mint, best known for its long stems tipped with tiny and fragrant purple flowers. It’s been used in folk medicine around the world for a wide range of conditions and is a natural fit in personal care products if for no other reason than its most pleasant scent. Here are just a few more common ailments it treats.
- Sleep assistance: In this busy, tech-addicted age, many of us have experienced sleep issues at least once, if not frequently. Lavender may help. Whether you soak in a hot lavender-scented bath, sprinkle a few drops of lavender essential oil on your pillow before bed, or even drink a lavender-infused tea, the benefits of lavender may assist you in relaxing and falling asleep more quickly—and staying asleep.
- Skin relief: Whether it’s sunburn, blemishes, dryness, or other skin irritations (scalp, too), lavender may help heal them all. Its anti-inflammatory properties can quiet stressed skin, soothe irritation, itching, and dryness. Its antibacterial properties can keep breakouts at bay as well.
- Boosts digestion: Because of its antibacterial properties, lavender may help reduce gas and bloating in the digestive tract. It can also reduce the risk of an outbreak of harmful bacteria that can cause cramping and diarrhea. While a whiff may calm your senses, and may even help to settle a queasy stomach, you’ll need to sip on a lavender tea or take a tincture for digestive relief.
- Stress reduction: Like its benefits on your sleep cycle, lavender is a known calming agent. A quick whiff of the fragrant flowery essential oil may bring relief from work, relationship, or even traffic stress. The scents go right to your brain, triggering a sense of calm and relaxation.
- Reduces blood pressure: Lavender may be an underappreciated tool in controlling high blood pressure. While it is no substitute for doctor-prescribed medication (never stop taking your medication without first discussing with your physician), it may help to reduce blood pressure levels and aid in preventing atherosclerosis, which may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. Now, that’s some flower!