Lavender has been used as an herb for over 2,500 years. It was used in ancient times for mummification and perfume by the Egyptians, Phoenicians, and people of Arabia. Lavender is mentioned often in the Bible by the name of spikenard. Romans also used lavender oils for bathing, cooking, and scenting the air, and they most likely gave it the Latin root from which we derive the modern name -either lavare meaning to wash, or livendula meaning livid or bluish.
Lavender is a member of the mint family and it grows as a small shrub. Its’ flowers are born in whorls, held on spikes rising above the rest of the plant. The flowers may be blue, violet, lilac, pink, mauve, white and even yellow. There are hundreds of different varieties of lavender; each one with its own special quality such as plant or flower size, flower or leaf color, fragrance or hardiness.
Lavender is considered a Monday or Moon herb due to its’ calming effect and affinity for the nervous system.
Health Benefits of Lavender
Lavender is widely known for its’ soothing, relaxing qualities of which few herbs can be claimed as effective. It has been known to treat anxiety and restlessness, insomnia and even depression.
As a pain reliever it helps with headaches, sprains, toothaches and even sores.
It is especially beneficial to the respiratory tract in colds, coughs and influenza as it eases breathing when the lungs and sinuses are choked with phlegm.
Lavender helps defend our bodies against airborne viruses.
Lavender is an antiseptic, antifungal and an anti-inflammatory that even helps heal minor burns and bug bites.
It aids with digestive issues such as vomiting, nausea, intestinal gas, upset stomach, and abdominal swelling.
Lavender may even be useful against impotence. In a study of men, the scent of lavender was one of the scents rated as the most arousing.
In Spain, lavender is added to teas to treat diabetes and insulin resistance.
Lavender is good for aches and pains and muscle stiffness and may also help with rheumatic discomfort and joint stiffness.