Try this lavender lemonade recipe for anxiety and headache relief
Lavender has long been used by people for both medicinal and cosmetic purposes. According to Natural Medicine Journal, lavender is an antibacterial, an antifungal, and an antidepressant, among many other things. It has also been used to combat insomnia and settle gastrointestinal upsets.
Lavender oil is easy to find at pharmacies and health stores and is relatively inexpensive, but make sure you look out for the words “essential”, “undiluted” or “therapy grade.” Remember that essential oils are not suitable for everyone, so you should read the safety instructions carefully, and consider using dried lavender if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Read on for our top five benefits of lavender oil and how to use it (including lavender lemonade recipe):
5 benefits of lavender oil
1) Soothing anxiety. According to WebMD, studies have shown that ingesting lavender oil over 6-10 weeks improves anxiety and sleeping patterns. University Health News also cites a study which showed lavender to be as effective as Ativan lorazepam in treating anxiety, but without the sedative side effect which lorazepam commonly causes, and without the potential for addiction or drug dependence. Additionally, University Health News cites studies evidencing the effectiveness of lavender on insomnia, depression, nervousness and restlessness. It can even help those who suffer from dementia-related agitation.
2) Soothing headaches. Migraine Again cites several scientific studies which indicate the usefulness of lavender oil as a migraine treatment. One particular study showed 71% of patients reporting less symptoms after inhaling vapors from lavender oil.
3) Treating hair loss. WebMD explains that in the case of a hair loss condition called alopecia areata, applying lavender oil – in combination with other essential oils – could improve hair growth by up to 44% over seven months. Try mixing a drop of two of lavender essential oil with another oil of your choice try coconut, or almond and then massaging into the scalp. Be careful that you dilute the lavender enough, as essential oils are powerful.
4) Healing canker sores. Canker sores are those little ulcers you get on the inside of your mouth. They are small and usually red or white in colour, and can be extremely painful, especially when talking or eating. They commonly happen to young people, and although they are often aggravated by things like citrus fruit or trauma, there is no real known cause. Fortunately, there is a solution; according to research you should apply two drops of lavender oil directly to the sore three times daily to reduce swelling and pain, and promote healing.
5) Natural pain-killer. WebMD cites a study that showed women who were recovering from a Cesarean birth and inhaled lavender essence while receiving intravenous pain medication experienced less pain overall.
How to use lavender oil
One of the best ways to use lavender is adding it to your bath water; six drops of lavender oil or up to half a cup of dried lavender flowers will do the trick. You can also make your own relaxing and moisturizing body oil by adding two drops of lavender oil to an ounce of your favorite unrefined oil (such as almond). You can try using lavender oil in a diffuser for effective stress relief and help to sleep, and you can make a tea by adding one or two tablespoons of dried flowers to boiling water. Lavender is incredibly versatile, but one method we love is to make a delicious lavender lemonade.
Lavender lemonade recipe
3/4 cup honey
7 cups warm water
1/2 drop lavender essential oil or 1/4 cup dried lavender
4 lemons, peeled and juiced
Lavender sprigs for garnish
Dissolve the honey in warm water, then add the lemon juice and lavender oil. Stir well and refrigerate until cool. Try reducing the water component to make a more concentrated version, then add sparkling mineral water and ice just before serving for a refreshing summer drink.