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Lavender doesn’t just smell nice – it’s also an incredibly useful herb with many health benefits! Let’s take a look at the many ways to use lavender to improve health.
I love lavender. It’s easily one of my favorite herbs and I use it all the time. Some of you might remember when I wrote about How to Remove Dried Lavender Buds from the Stems. Or the time I shared my DIY Linen Lavender Eye Pillows.
More recently, Mr. Tidbits and I shared a major homesteading project (and giant leap of faith!) involving lavender. It was The Beginnings of Our Lavender Farm right here on our own homestead. I know – crazy, right?! And really exciting!
We are on our second year of growing lavender to test varieties, and you can see the progress on this video here.
We started our lavender farm for many reasons. You’ll have to read the blogpost for full details, but one of those reasons is because of how wonderfully useful and beautiful lavender is. Today I am going to share some the incredible benefits of lavender with you, my friends. I’ll also share a sneak peek in photos of our lavender farm in its second year.
Table of contents
- A Bit About Lavender and a Peek at Our Lavender Farm
- The Health Benefits of Lavender
- Other Uses for Lavender
- More Herbs and Lavender
Please keep in mind that I am not a medical professional, and my information is not FDA approved. Consult with your doctor if you have concerns about herbal products or possible side effects.
A Bit About Lavender and a Peek at Our Lavender Farm
It seems like everybody loves lavender. Lavender (also known as Lavandula angustifolia) is a perennial plant with beautiful spikes of small purple flowers. It smells amazing (of course!), it’s drought tolerant, it tolerates poor soil, deer tend to avoid it, and it’s full of health benefits. All this is perfect for our area in the Rocky Mountains.
Summertime is harvesting season for lavender. Because of this, we’ve been very busy lately on our small lavender farm.
We’ve been experimenting with several varieties of lavender. As I mentioned earlier, this is our second year growing lavender and the plants are shaping up nicely. We did loose more than we hoped we would, because of a very brutal winter. But onwards and upwards!
After harvesting, lavender plants can be used in many forms. In oils, extracts, teas, in body care products, the list goes on and on. I plan to continue to share many more blog posts to help guide you.
Let’s look first at how lavender can benefit our health, because that’s the best use of all for lovely lavender.
The Health Benefits of Lavender
Lavender has been used in medicine, in food, as perfume, as a cleaning agent and as in insecticide (just to name a few) for thousands of years. North Carolina State University has a really great article that discusses the history of lavender use. It’s fascinating to see how people have used lavender over the centuries and know that we are still using it today.
Now, onto the health benefits of lavender!
Anxiety and Stress Reduction
Lavender has calming properties and can contribute to mood improvement. Many people use lavender containing products or lavender essential oils as aromatherapy to calm nerves, reduce stress and aid in relaxation.
Lavender may help relieve pain because of its analgesic effect. Lavender oil is used by many people to reduce pain from migraines, headaches and sore muscles. I often use it in tea blends when I am fighting headaches.
Improved Sleep Quality
If you’re having trouble sleeping, try using lavender. Lavender has a sedative effect, and many people like to use lavender oil in a diffuser or added to a hot bath before bed to improve their sleep quality. This is a great, all-natural option for people who suffer from insomnia or disturbed sleep patterns.
This is why I love to make our linen lavender eye pillows that we sell on our TIDBITS & Company shop. They always help me drift to sleep when I am struggling.
Lavender has anti-inflammatory properties. Lavender oil can be applied topically to inflamed skin or to a humidifier or diffuser for treatment of respiratory inflammation. You could make an infused oil and salve just like I did for this dandelion salve.
It’s possible to improve digestive comfort through the use of lavender aromatherapy and lavender tea. Lavender may reduce inflammation in the digestive tract, stimulate digestive enzymes and act as an anti-spasmodic to reduce muscle cramping.
Improved Skin Health
Lavender contains antibacterial and antifungal properties. Combine that with lavender’s ability to reduce inflammation, and you’ve got a great combination for promoting healthy skin. Lavender can be used to soothe and promote healing of minor wounds, insect bites, acne, eczema and psoriasis.
Supports Respiratory Health
Lavender used in aromatherapy may be helpful for certain respiratory conditions. Many people find that inhaling lavender scent and vapor helps reduce respiratory inflammation and reduce the symptoms of colds and flus.
Other Uses for Lavender
As you can see, lavender is a fantastic herb with many health benefits. There are also many other uses for lavender beyond promoting health.
Cleaning with Lavender
Because lavender has antibacterial properties, it makes a great addition to homemade cleaning products. You can try infusing lavender itself in vinegar or adding lavender oil to vinegar for a great smelling cleaner.
Lavender in Crafts
Of course, we can’t forget about crafts when we’re talking lavender. Lavender flowers are gorgeous in fresh or dried form. Try it in a vase, as a wreath or in something like my linen lavender eye pillows.
The scent of lavender is one of my favorites. It smells fantastic in a diffuser and makes a great addition to homemade potpourri.
I also love adding some lavender oil to homemade room sprays. If you’ve got water, lavender oil and a spray bottle, you can make a lovely smelling room spray. You can read my Fall Room Spray blogpost for directions on making your own custom room sprays with essential oils.
Culinary Uses for Lavender
Have you ever tried lavender tea or lemonade? Did you know that there are some types of lavender that are food grade? We have planted many culinary varieties and I can’t wait to play around with them! You can use lavender as an ingredient to flavor both food and beverages but be careful, a little goes a long way! You can also use lavender as a beautiful garnish for your desserts and drinks.
Lavender in Body Care Products
No doubt you’ve seen lavender in body care products. It smells amazing so that’s no surprise! Lavender essential oil can be added to lotions or mixed with a carrier oil like jojoba or coconut oil to make a moisturizing balm or massage oil.
More Herbs and Lavender
Lavender is a fantastic herb! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the health benefits and uses for lavender. If you want to learn more about lavender or herbs in general, you might want to check out the Herbal Academy for some wonderful courses about medicinal herbs and their applications. I have learned so much going through several classes myself.
It’s been very rewarding to grow our own lavender here at the homestead. Stay tuned for more things lavender coming up soon! And in the meantime, you can see these related posts for more lavender and herbal content: