Lavender, also known as Lavandula, is a genus of 46 flowering plants in the mint family. It is native to southern Europe, Asia, and Africa. For years lavender plants have been cultivated not only for their beautiful flowers but also for various uses including their fragrance and medicinal properties. A good example is how medieval people harnessed the health benefits of lavender flowers to treat anxiety, fresh wounds, and insomnia.
[Note: The Right Flowers is not a medical site. Knowledge of and information about the therapeutic benefits and applications of flowers, while known through the ages, does not constitute medical advice. If you are having health issues, you should consult with a physician.]
Lavender has many active compounds and ingredients including nerol, linalyl acetate and cineole with antiseptic, antispasmodic, and antibacterial properties. Its fragrance has sedative properties while coumarins, tannins, and flavonoids give it antioxidant abilities. In addition, lavender’s claim to fame is attributed to its relaxation capabilities. Unlike sedatives and essential oils that are used cautiously, lavender falls on the safer side of the sleep-inducing remedies’ spectrum.
Lavender is well-known for its sedative properties. In a 2006 study, college students who were deprived of sleep inhaled lavender infusions while another group of students inhaled a placebo. Students who inhaled lavender showed significant improvements in their sleep habits compared to the students who inhaled a placebo.
Apart from the 2006 study, researchers are working to find out whether lavender holds the same promise for women suffering from postpartum disorder which often affects sleep patterns of its victims.
Antidepressant and memory booster
Existing studies indicate that lavender can help to alleviate memory loss, cognitive impairment, and mood issues. Researchers continue to examine the possibility of lavender in treating neurological disorders including depression, anxiety, and dementia. In many instances, just a whiff of lavender fragrance has been shown to help people in test groups relax, focus and work better while improving their stress levels.
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Lavender’s anti-inflammatory properties make it ideal for enhancing the look and feel of your skin while treating skin infections at the same time. In a study published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology, researchers found that lavender oil was highly effective in fighting antifungal infections including drug-resistant strains. These researchers established that the oil was lethal to a wide range of strains that cause fungal infections by destroying the membranes of the fungal cells.
Treatments of wounds
Lavender has been shown to be great in the treatment and healing of wounds. Researchers in a study published in the journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine suggested that wounds treated with lavender oil closed fast and showed significant improvement similarly to wounds treated with popular pharmaceutical drugs.
The above are just a few of the health benefits of lavender flowers. So, next time you catch a whiff of these flowers, smile and know that they have your back.