Lavender, scientific name Lavandula officinalis, is a plant belonging to the Labiate family. It is characterized by a blue-violet inflorescence organized in spikes and by an intense aroma that makes lavender a nice ornamental plant for gardens and balconies. But lavender also has an interesting healthy action. In fact, lavender shows a diuretic, antiseptic, fluidifying, digestive but also calming action recognized by tradition but also proven by scientific studies. Lavender can be used to prepare herbal teas, decoctions but also scented sachets, aromatic baths and herbal products such as mother tincture. Let's see better in detail.
You can tie bunches of lavender with ribbons and place them into drawers or cupboards, close to your clothes. Lavender will help keep moths away, as suggested by the well-known French herbalist Maurice Messegue. These bunches can also be hung in the rooms to fight mosquitoes.
Infusion for internal and external use
To prepare the lavender infusion, bring a liter of water to a boil, then remove from the heat and add a handful of dried lavender flowers. Leave to infuse for 10 minutes then filter. The obtained herbal tea can be drunk up to 3 cups a day. In this way it will be beneficial in case of water retention. Lavender in fact shows a diuretic effect proven by scientific research (Elhajili et al, Reprod Nutr Dev, Sep 2001). Moreover, lavender tea helps to calm down, to soothe anger, has a relaxing action and is useful in case of insomnia or depression (Nikfarjam et al, Iran Red Crescent Med J, Aug 2013). This relaxing effect of the lavender infusion was also tested on women who had recently given birth and who showed signs of excessive fatigue and depression. For two weeks they drank a cup a day of lavender tea and reported improvements both by experiencing less fatigue and by reducing the signs of depression, but the effect was limited to the short term (Chen et al, Worldviews Evid Based Nurs, Dec 2015 ). Thanks to the antiseptic action of lavender, you can also use this decoction for gargling in order to counteract canker sores, or you can soak a gauze in the tea and apply on areas of the skin affected by irritation or acne.
Decoction for external use
In a pot, bring to the boil 1 liter of water and a handful of lavender flowers, let it simmer for 10 minutes, then filter and let it cool down. You can apply a gauze soaked in this decoction on sores, wounds or burns.
In case of sleep disorders, nervousness or rheumatism you can prepare a lavender bath. Bring 50 grams of lavender to a boil in 1 liter of water, simmer for 10 minutes. Then filter and add to the warm water, stay in it for about a quarter of an hour. It is proven by scientific studies that a lavender bath also helps to calm the anger and to improve the mood (Morris N, Complement Ther Med, Dec 2002).
In case of nervousness, headache but also nausea and digestive disorders you can take 20-40 drops of mother tincture diluted in water 2-3 times a day between meals. Be careful not to exceed the doses as an excess could cause drowsiness.