Herbal remedies are usually known to have specific traits and properties. In the case of lavender, we usually associate this pleasant plant with relaxation and sleep. While lavender might be most famous for supporting sleep, that’s only one aspect of what the lavender plant can do for health and wellness.
We think that lavender deserves a moment in the spotlight for all it can do — you probably don’t even know what lavender flowers are truly capable of. That’s why this article is dedicated to uncovering the versatile abilities of lavender from top to bottom, giving you plenty of reasons to explore this herb and incorporate it into your routine.
You may discover that lavender is the missing link in your wellness regimen, whether it’s achieving deep sleep, skincare secrets, or a gateway to aromatherapy. Let’s see what lavender can do for your mind and body and offer some tips to make the most of this versatile plant.
What is lavender?
Lavender is a genus of plants belonging to the mint family. The most popular species, Lavandula angustifolia, is known by its common name English lavender. While Spanish and French lavender is common, the distinctive purple flowers can be found in regions around the world.
Lavender shrubs are small and aromatic, typically only growing a few feet tall. Purple is not the only color, either. On closer inspection, you’ll see that lavender flowers also contain shades of blue and white. This makes lavender an attractive plant as well as a functional one, and the unique scent adds an extra layer of appeal that makes it popular in gardens worldwide.
Historically, lavender has been used since ancient times. The Egyptians, for example, used lavender in the mummification process, while the Romans used it for scents, bathing, cooking, and more. Lavender is also a key part of a healthy ecosystem, as its flowers are particularly attractive to bees and other pollinators.
It’s clear why lavender has stood the test of time and why we continue to appreciate this plant in modern times. From home gardens to a wide range of commercial uses and applications, lavender has come a long way and will continue to make its mark on all five senses.
What are the top health benefits of lavender?
Now that you’ve been reintroduced to lavender and its characteristics, let’s talk about the health benefits of the wonderful plant. You’re probably already familiar with some of the benefits we’ll discuss, but you’ll likely discover some lesser-known traits that make lavender a gem in the world of plants.
Calming and relaxing effects
Lavender provides calming and relaxing effects mainly through aromatic compounds that interact with the body’s central nervous system. This can be done through multiple channels, including scent molecules or when the compounds are ingested and absorbed through the intestinal tract.
More specifically, lavender supports the proper activity of the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain, which can help ease feelings of stress. Because of this, lavender is a reliable, natural way to help maintain a state of calm and balance.
Psychological and physical states are closely linked, and lavender may help ease both through a broad calming effect. With lavender tea, aromatherapy, or essential oils, you have many routes to support relaxation.
Sleep quality support
Just as lavender helps the body and mind relax, it also helps prime the central nervous system for high-quality sleep. This is the most widely known characteristic of lavender, and it holds true in practice. Lavender contains terpenes like linalool which may help you fall asleep, stay asleep, and navigate the different phases of sleep.
Everyone has their own challenges when it comes to sleep hygiene, whether it’s poor sleep latency or disruptions during the night. With lavender’s soothing properties, you can enjoy the deep sleep you deserve.
Whether you sip lavender tea before bedtime or use lavender essential oils in your bedroom, you can expect a good night’s sleep with the help of lavender.
Reduced tension and discomfort
Sources of tension can vary, as can the severity and duration of discomfort in muscles and joints. For those in the midst of a demanding physical exercise regimen, lavender may offer some soothing, tension-reducing effects for knees, hips, shoulders, or other areas of the body that bother you post-workout.
While diet and sleep are the main components of recovery, the compounds in lavender, such as linalyl acetate, can make a difference as well.
In these cases, consider using a lavender topical product like a cream or massage oil that allows you to target specific areas of the body that need it most. Combined with lavender tea or essential oils, you have a multi-faceted method that can soothe tension and help your muscles and joints feel better than ever.
Strong antioxidant properties
Our cells are under constant stress from energy expenditure, oxidation, and other factors. That’s why having a potent antioxidant like lavender is a good idea for anyone looking to maximize longevity and support their cells during exposure to free radicals.
Lavender contains a wide range of naturally occurring terpenes and polyphenols that play a role in maintaining cellular health and strength. The antioxidant effects largely take place on a microscopic level, but you can see and feel the benefits in your skin and in your muscles and joints.
If you’re looking to reap the benefits of plant compounds, lavender is one you’ll want to add to your list. There’s a reason why it’s often included in topical creams and antioxidant tea blends, so use it as a standalone product or find it in a mix of other potent herbal ingredients.
Emotional wellness support
Lavender has been shown to support overall emotional wellness through methods like aromatherapy and ingestion in the form of teas, tinctures, and essential oils. Whether you inhale the calming scent of lavender or sip an herbal tea with its flowers, lavender may help support healthy levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine.
The scent and flavor of lavender is often associated with positive emotions. Of course, the tension-reducing effects of lavender can help melt away some of the physical or psychological tension built up throughout the day, too, helping you relax and ease into a better state of mind in the evening.
This mix of emotional factors and science-backed research shows that lavender can be a true game-changer when it comes to holistic wellness and quality of life.
Hair and skin health support
While there isn’t much research to support the theory, some believe that lavender can help stimulate hair growth and even push back against trends like pattern balding. Using essential oils or lavender-infused shampoo is popular among both men and women, as the compounds found in lavender may help improve circulation and deliver antifungal effects.
The evidence for lavender as a hair loss remedy might be shaky, but plenty of anecdotal reports show that it can indeed make a difference in hair thickness, quality, and cleanliness. Hair loss is a complex condition that hasn’t yet been cured, but the balancing, supportive effects of lavender can only help improve the quality of your hair in its current state.
The same can be said for skin health, whether you use lavender essential oils as a topical or in coordination with a broader skin care routine. Some users swear by lavender as a natural way to combat acne-causing bacteria, while others find that it soothes irritated skin.
While you should always consult your healthcare provider to deal with serious skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis, lavender may be a natural, DIY remedy worth adding to your lineup.
Respiratory benefits via aromatherapy
The respiratory benefits of lavender aromatherapy have been well documented, with research showing that the plant’s phytochemical profile can soothe irritated sinuses and lungs. This is an increasingly common use of lavender, whether dispersed with a diffuser or inhaled as part of a lavender tea ritual.
For those who experience allergic reactions that affect the lungs, lavender aromas can soothe sensitive areas of the body and offer some short-term relief. The aromas open the airways and assist in breathing, which is particularly helpful during cold seasons and bouts of difficult nasal congestion. Meanwhile, the antimicrobial properties of lavender can help further protect the airways when combating common colds and bacteria buildup during winter.
Finally, lavender aromatherapy can be used before bedtime and during sleep to help individuals breathe more easily and attain better sleep quality while under the weather. Since sleep is so important for recovery from illness, this added benefit may help you bounce back more quickly and stay protected when cold season is at its worst.
What are the best ways to use lavender?
We’ve mentioned some ways to use lavender already, but let’s run through the most effective lavender delivery methods you can try for yourself to maximize its effects. Take note of these varied lavender uses and see which ones match best with your lifestyle and wellness goals.
To this day, lavender tea is the simplest and most effective way to reap the benefits of this amazing plant. Pure lavender tea is made from dried lavender buds and flowers, offering a slightly sweet flavor and delivering the many benefits we’ve discussed so far. Lavender is also used in a range of herbal tea blend sachets, often mixed with chamomile, mint, lemon balm, and more.
Additionally, lavender tea can be consumed during the day in combination with green tea, making for a nice mix of caffeine and soothing effects. To multiply the effects of your favorite lavender tea, mix with organic honey and some lemon juice. This helps amplify the calming benefits of lavender tea with an extra boost of immune support.
Lavender tinctures are increasingly popular among users who want the concentrated effects of this plant to maximize health benefits with regimented accuracy. These tinctures often include a range of different plant compounds in a single product, creating a synergistic effect of many terpenes and phytochemicals in a single service.
One of Sunmed’s best-selling products, our Full Spectrum Sleep CBN Tincture, also contains lavender as one of its main active ingredients. This product combines a botanical blend of CBN-rich hemp extract with lavender and other plant compounds to help you get deep, restful sleep without drowsy morning effects.*
We’ve touched on the effect of aromatherapy with lavender, but you have several options to incorporate this approach into your routine. Evidence-based clinical trials show that aromatherapy works on multiple levels, both physically and psychologically. While an essential oil diffuser is the most common method, you can also drop lavender oil into a humidifier or opt for steam inhalation for more direct effects.
Alternatively, you can take an aromatherapy bath using one of our Broad Spectrum CBD Bath Soaks with lavender. This gives you the benefits of direct skin contact with lavender essential oils while offering the soothing effects of CBD, epsom salts, and more. Aromatherapy targets just one of many senses that lavender can target, so check many boxes at the same time for maximum effects.*
Topicals, skincare, and more
With lavender topicals, you can enjoy the targeted soothing effects of the plant while also enjoying the tactile sensations that come with a high-quality skin care product. Our Broad Spectrum CBD-Infused Massage Oil features a natural blend of hemp extract and active ingredients like lavender, helping loosen muscles and providing a pleasant warming effect.*
Lavender topicals, especially combined with CBD and other active ingredients, give you the benefits of these potent plants where you need them most. Lotions, soaps, and other topicals give you control of where and how you want to use lavender in addition to your favorite teas and aromatherapy methods.*
The bottom line
Lavender can be used in natural remedies throughout your entire wellness routine, from your daily skincare sessions to calming aromatherapy and your bedtime tea rituals.
If you’re ready to make lavender a part of your life, you’ve got all the tools and info to make it happen. Discover the benefits of this plant for yourself and experience a new level of all-natural well-being with natural products from Sunmed.