The lavender, scientific name Lavandula officinalis, is a plant evergreen from the many properties belonging to the Labiatae family. The plant grows throughout Italy in both flat and mountain areas. You can find them up to an altitude of 1.000 meters.
The lavender is a spontaneous plant which, thanks to its properties, is also widely cultivated for the extraction of its essences. These are used in the cosmetics industry, especially for perfumes.
The flowers can be used in a variety of ways, from fresh to dried for the preparation of infusions or for the perfuming of environments. The flowers are to be picked in summer just after opening. To dry them you can prepare bunches to hang in a ventilated and not humid place.
The main constituents of the essential oil are: cineol, linalool, borneol, camphor, linalyl acetate, camphor, terpineol, tannins, flavonoids, rosmarinic acid (substance with antioxidant activity) lavender and limonene.
Lavender: Properties and Benefits
When we talk about the properties and benefits of lavender we are talking above all about its essential oil. This compound is used in various ways for therapeutic use.
Asthma and Respiratory Problems
It has properties that can bring benefits in case of problems affecting the respiratory tract. The vapors released by the essential oil have bactericid properties which make it useful in case of asthma, bronchitis, sore throat and phlegm.
Recent clinical studies have demonstrated the properties sedative and anxiolytic that the essential oil exerts on the central nervous system. These studies have revealed that the benefits of the plant are particularly tangible when the active ingredients have been taken by inhalation.
Some studies report the good properties that lavender has for insomnia. The researchers found that replacing sleep medications with the essential oil (a few drops on the pillow) in older people improved sleep quality and regularity.
Recent studies claim that the plant has useful properties in case of anxiety, nervousness, sleep disturbances and also in case of senile dementia.
It has also been shown how hot baths with a few drops of essential oil can relax and positively affect psycho-physical well-being.
Thanks to its properties it brings benefits even in case of digestive problems. Its intake, in addition to promoting digestion and reducing abdominal swelling, restores the intestinal flora to an optimal level.
It is Good for the Skin
The essential oil is also used for external use and is useful in the case of acne, dandruff, insect bites, sunburn, inflammation and dermatitis. According to dermatologists, lavender oil is one of the best remedies for acne. It is able to inhibit the proliferation of bacteria that cause the initial infection which then gives rise to acne.
For this purpose, a few drops of essential oil can be added to the cream that we normally use for the care of our skin.
Another positive aspect of this plant comes from the results of a study conducted at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. Here lavender extracts have been tested on some pathogenic mushroom strains.
Tests have found the lethal effect of the extracts on skin fungi. It has been found that the active ingredients of the plant are able to destroy the cell membrane of pathogenic fungi.
An in vitro study has shown that some substances contained in the plant inhibit the growth of the saprophytic fungus called Candida albicans.
Studies conducted by researchers from the University of Kyoto and the Shitennoji University of Osaka, both in Japan, have shown how the use of lavender in aromatherapy can mitigate the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome in women.
The essential oil can be used as an analgesic in case of rheumatism and joint pain. In this case, lavender oil is used to massage the painful parts and can also be used in cases of back pain, muscle pain, low back pain and rheumatism.
Remove the Insects
The oil applied to the skin is a powerful repellent against annoying insects such as mosquitoes, midges and flies. In addition, in case of insect bites the plant has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to reduce the pain and irritation caused by insect bites.
The substances contained in lavender have been shown to have properties useful in eliminating lice and their eggs. In addition to this, the plant is also useful for the treatment of hair loss, especially for people suffering from alopecia. In this case the remedy consists in massaging the scalp with lavender essential oil.
Scientific research suggests that the plant, used in aromatherapy, has beneficial effects on blood circulation and is also able to lower blood pressure by preventing hypertension and pathologies associated with poor blood circulation.
The Lavender has antibacterial and antiviral properties and therefore represents a valuable for the immune system to fight viruses and bacteria.
Preparation Lavender Essential Oil
The essential oil is obtained from the flowers of the plant which, once placed in a special boiler, are flooded with steam until they reach a temperature of 100 ° which is the temperature necessary for the plant cells of the lavender to break and release the precious essences.
When the steam is saturated with essential oil, it reaches the condenser which collects the oil / water cooled mixture in a special container. Here, thanks to the different density, the oil remains on the surface and is thus easily collected.
Contraindications and Side Effects
CAUTION : its essential oil is not should never be ingested but only applied to the skin or inhaled (vapors) through the appropriate instruments typical of aromatherapy. Ingestion can cause serious health problems.
In excessive doses, which is common to all other essential oils, it can be toxic. It can give rise to allergies found with the formation of dermatitis.
Care must be taken not to combine analgesic and calming drugs with lavender. In fact, the latter could increase its effect.
To be used with caution in children and pregnant women.
Lavender extract is a good insect repellent, both at the person and the environment level.
In ancient Rome, bunches of lavender flowers were placed in the thermal baths to perfume their skin.
The flowers, if used for external use, purify the oily skin and promote wound healing.
Always for external use, it can be used to disinfect the mouth and refresh the breath through rinsing and gargle.
Its essential oil has useful properties for the prevention of lice. A few drops of essence poured on the scalp and some on the comb before combing them keep them away.
A study conducted at the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database in California, highlighted the possible benefits of lavender towards alopecia areata. This disease manifests itself in patchy hair loss.
Massaging the temples with a few drops of essential oil brings benefits in case of migraine.
Maybe not Everyone Knows That
It seems that its aroma, if widespread in the workplace, is able to increase staff productivity.
The leaves are used in the kitchen to flavor some foods, especially roasts.
The Italian regions where this plant is mostly grown are Tuscany, Lazio, Piedmont and Emilia Romagna.
In France, lavender sprigs are placed on window sills to keep scorpions away.
For those interested in buying lavender products, you can use this page.
Lavender: Properties and Benefits
This is not a medical publication, the information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is general in nature, they cannot in any way replace the prescriptions of a doctor or other health professionals authorized by law. The notions of posology, medical procedures and the description of the products on this site have an illustrative purpose and do not allow to acquire the necessary experience and manual skills for their practice or their use. If you have been prescribed medical treatment, I invite you not to interrupt or modify it, because all the suggestions you find on www.mr-loto.it must always and in any case be compared with the opinion of your doctor.