Lavender, or common/true lavender is an evergreen, woody shrub, with beautiful purple-blue flowers. It is native to the Mediterranean region, but is now cultivated world wide. The fragrant flowers of lavender are used in the preparation of herbal medicines.
Traditionally, herbalists used lavender for a variety of conditions of the nervous system, including depression and fatigue. It has also been used for headache and rheumatism. Due to its delightful odour, lavender has found wide application in perfumes and cosmetics throughout history.
What it does
Lavender contains a volatile oil which comprises of over 100 different constituents. The flowers also contain coumarins, flavanoids and other triterpenes. It is best known as a very calming and relaxing plant. It is also anti-bacterial, analgesic, anti-spasmodic, anti-convulsant, anti-depressant, carminative, stimulates menstruation and an insecticide.
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Lavender flowers can be infused to make tea for internal use which can be drunk up to 3 times daily. In aromatherapy, lavender has many uses, the essential oil can be used for inhaling, massage and adding to the bath. It is also an effective insect repellant and can be used as an alternative to tea tree or citronella.
Generally, there are no side effects or contra-indications from using Lavender. The essential oil should not be taken internally. When taken in excess Lavender can make you drowsy.
At the time of writing there were no well known negative drug interactions with Lavender.