Natural Living: Healing powers of lavender |

Natural Living: Healing powers of lavender

Maureen Lamerdin, O.M.D.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia, or Lavandula officinalis) is an aromatic plant that has glands which exude volatile oils or essential oils. It’s in these oils where we can find the healing powers for so many ailments.

Most people appreciate lavender for its fragrance, used in soaps, shampoos and a myriad of other cosmetics. The name lavender comes from the Latin root lavare, which means “to wash.” It may have earned this name because it was frequently used in baths to help purify the body and spirit. The history of the use of lavender is extensive across the world including Egypt, Greece, Rome, and Arabia where they used it for its many medicinal effects and in cosmetics.

A number of studies have reported lavender essential oil is beneficial for a variety of conditions including insomnia, alopecia, anxiety, stress and postoperative pain. It has also been studied for its antibacterial and antiviral properties. Researchers at Cornell University have found lavender oil can eradicate certain antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including more than one strain of pathogenic Staphylococcus and pathogenic Streptococcus often involved in coughs and colds.

We have found the healing powers of lavender to stimulate and supplement the body’s healing forces is unmatched by most modern pharmaceuticals. Amidst this aromatic plant there seems to be no other plant essence equaling its broad properties. Its properties include being an analgesic, anticoagulant, anticonvulsive, antidepressant, antifungal, antihistamine, antinfectious, antiinflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitoxic, cardiotonic, regenerative and sedative. It can help heal a cut, a cold sore or shingles (herpes zoster). It can kill pathogens in the air and in nasal sinuses and respiratory airways. It stimulates the immune system, yet it’s also analgesic, soothing muscle aches, taking the pain out of an insect sting, and it does this all non-toxically. Lavender is also a nerve tonic and an antidepressant, boosting one’s spirits as well as helping to beat “the blues” that accompany immune stress and illness.

Put 100 percent pure lavender oil to use by trying the following:

Skin-brushing with seven drops of lavender oil prior to showering will stimulate the immune system, blood circulation and lymphatic drainage.

Soak in a therapeutic bath with eight drops of lavender for at least 15 minutes. Use this at first sign of illness and during colds, flus, congestion, insomnia, anxiety, restlessness, muscle aches and to induce stress reduction and deep relaxation.

Inhalation of lavender is useful for chest and sinus congestion, cough, hay fever, nervousness, mild depression and insomnia.

Use as a topical antiseptic applying a few drops of lavender oil directly to the skin for burns, insect bites, cuts, rashes, abrasions and symptoms of shingles.

With all these powerful healing qualities in one plant every person should have lavender oil in their kitchen cupboard, make sure you buy pure lavender essential oil that’s meant for home and medicinal use.