Since we started growing lavender out in our back garden only a few months ago, it’s just absolutely flourished! It’s now twice as big as when we planted it, with no sign of slowing down. Now that we have lavender coming out our ears, I thought I’d look into the many different uses for it, and what I can make with it to better my health!
I’ve used it so far to make lavender oil, but I recently saw you can actually make tea with the buds too! So, you know me, I had to try it out. And here we are!
Thanks to lavenders’ linalool and linalyl acetate components (which are present even when diffusing), it has beneficial and protective effects shown to help:
- Soothe nerves (great for relieving anxiety)
- Stabilise mood
- Improve sleep
- Detoxify the body
- Work as an expectorant (which basically means it helps loosen mucus so you can cough it up)
- Balance blood sugar
- Kill bacteria (it’s a natural antibacterial)
- Relieve pain
- Speed up wound healing (it’s a great anti-inflammatory)
Proven Benefits of Lavender
Here are some of the many wonderful benefits lavender can bring:
May improve sleep (and help with insomnia)
One of lavender’s most well-known abilities is it can help with relaxing the mind and improving quality of sleep! In a 2006 study using a focus group of sleep-deprived college students, they got one group to inhale lavender and the other to take a placebo. Those who inhaled lavender were found to sleep more soundly and felt more refreshed upon waking up compared to those who had the placebo.
More study is needed to determine whether lavender is safe to use during breastfeeding (it’s normally not recommended to have it during this time), but there is more and more research emerging around how lavender may help women during the postpartum period (a very crucial time to be getting enough sleep!).
Its anti-inflammatory abilities (and skin care benefits!)
Lavender has some pretty powerful anti-inflammatory effects and can help the body with scavenging for free radicals. There is a bit of controversy (as there commonly is in the health world) as to whether it’s a skin irritant OR a skin protectant, but in this article I read by Robert Tisserand, he shares reasons as to why its benefits greatly outweigh any risks associated with it (he explains how risks are slight – in his informed opinion).
Give lavender a go in your skin care/beauty routine! Make sure to use a quality oil, and properly dilute it for skin (I use a carrier oil along with it, such as olive oil or coconut oil). If there is any concern about sensitive skin, try a little tester on a small patch of skin on the inner elbow (which will show if you have a reaction/irritation to it or not).
Painful inflammation can also be treated with lavender oil. It contains pain-relieving and numbing effects to help soothe the inflammation/inflamed area, while the beta-caryophyllene in the oil can act as a natural anti-inflammatory.
To use lavender to treat the inflammation on a burn;
- Combine 1-3 drops of lavender oil + 1-2 tsp of coconut oil.
- Apply to affected area (can apply the mixture 3 times a day).
If you have a sunburn, applying a lavender oil spray may help:
- In a spray bottle, combine 1/4 cup aloe vera juice + 2 tbsp distilled water + 10-12 drops lavender oil and jojoba oil.
- Shake bottle and spray onto sunburn. Use spray 2-3 times a day until sunburn heals.
Wound healing properties
It has been shown in studies (and much anecdotal experience) that lavender may help to speed up the wound-healing process and encourage the healing of skin tissue. It can help reduce pain and itching from bug bites, bee stings, and even burns. In a 2011 study, lavender was looked at to see the benefits it had in healing episiotomies (the surgical cut made at the opening of the vagina during childbirth), while another 2013 study found that using lavender in aromatherapy helped to relieve pain after a C-section.
To use lavender oil to help treat small wounds;
- Mix 3-4 drops lavender oil with a few drops of coconut oil.
- Apply mixture onto wound with a cotton ball (organic cotton preferably). If your wound has already healed, lavender oil can reduce appearance and size of remaining scars as well.
You can even make this lavender tea into iced tea! Just let the strained tea cool and serve over ice to make iced tea!! (Great as a refreshing cool drink on a hot Summer’s day)
May help relieve anxiety and depression
Many studies have shown lavender to be helpful for memory, mood, and overall cognitive function. Simply breathing in the scent of lavender helped a variety of test groups remain relaxed and focused when asked to do various stressful tasks, or aided in improving their ability to recover feelings of wellbeing much more quickly after exposure to stress.
There is research currently underway examining the possible effects lavender may have in the treatment of dementia, anxiety, depression, and various other neurological disorders.
Promotion of hair growth
In a 2016 study conducted on mice, lavender was shown to significantly increase the number and health of hair follicles when applied in proper dilution daily for a time-frame of 4 weeks. The properties lavender contains make it a great promoter of healthy, shiny hair (natural hair growth serum recipe here – includes lavender).
Uses for Lavender at Home
I use lavender for majority of my DIY creations (it’s one of my all-time favourite scents!). I keep the dried + fresh herb and essential oil on hand as I need both for different preparations & creations.
Here are some great uses for lavender (though the options are endless!) – I found these awesome ideas originally from Wellness Mama:
Dried + fresh herb uses:
- Relaxing herbal tea – Using lavender by itself can be too strong as a tea, but when mixed with mint leaves, it makes a wonderful soothing herbal tea. You can even add chamomile, too! (as an added relaxing component). Steep all in hot (not boiling water) for a few minutes and add honey (or pure stevia) if you like (to give it a sweeter flavour). Full recipe below.
- Dandruff remedy – Make an extra strong batch of tea (let it steep for longer), then let it cool, and use as a scalp rinse to treat dandruff. You can also use this cold tea recipe as an after-sun spray (for when you feel you’ve had a little too much sun).
- Lavender tincture – A lavender tincture can promote relaxation and sleep (also here’s a recipe for a homemade dandelion tincture to help cleanse the body and relieve digestive discomfort)
- Placed inside a pillow or mask – Add dried lavender flowers to pillows or sleep masks to help promote relaxing sleep (the fragrant scent is very calming).
- Laundry or drawer freshener – can pop dried flowers into small satchels and use them in place of dryer sheets in the dryer.
- Infused vinegar – Infuse vinegar with dried lavender flowers to use in cooking or as a skin toner (just make sure to dilute it properly).
- Air freshener – Simmer dried herb in a pot of water with some citrus peels to make a natural air freshener.
- Face scrub – Combine dried flowers and oatmeal to make a gentle, sweet scented face scrub.
- Use in cooking – There are SO MANY different recipes you can find online and in cookbooks sharing how to incorporate lavender into yummy recipes.
Once you’ve finished boiling the water, take it off heat and add in the lavender (and mint, if using), then let it steep for 15-20 minutes or more. Make sure you’re NOT boiling the water while the herbs are in there, otherwise it will damage the beneficial properties in the herbs.
Essential oil uses:
- Ear drops for bacterial or fungal infections – These homemade ear drops are super easy to make and work wonders against bacterial or fungal ear infections!
- Salt ear infection remedy – You can use either lavender essential oil or dried lavender for this, and is a great hot pack that works to remedy ear infections and ear aches fast!
- Diffuse oil before bed – Place a few drops in an essential oil diffuser before bed to help calm you down before heading to sleep.
- Soothe sunburns or other burns – As I mentioned earlier, lavender makes for a great wound healer. You can use the recipe above, or try this one; add a few drops of lavender essential oil to a bottle of cool water and spray on burns to provide relief.
- Bath time – These DIY bath bombs or bath salts make for the perfect relaxation experience after a long day and may help to relax and soothe sore muscles.
- Headache remedy – For a natural headache relief, simply take a whiff of lavender or peppermint essential oils (or use this headache relief roll-on).
- Homemade bug spray – This homemade natural insect repellent works wonders to deter bugs like mosquitos, ticks, and other biting insects (plus is chemical-free!!)
- Beauty recipes/routine – Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to your homemade beauty products, such as this relaxing homemade moisturiser, whipped body butter, or sugar scrub.
- Remedy acne, eczema and other skin irritations – Add a few drops of lavender and frankincense essential oils to this honey face mask and cleanser recipe.
- Hair growth serum – As I mentioned above, I use lavender in the homemade hair growth serum I use to help promote long luscious locks naturally!
Lavender Tea Recipe
Now, you don’t have to add mint leaves to this tea recipe, you can purely use fresh or dried lavender, however, you may find it to be quite strong, so if this is the case, adding some mint and honey to the tea recipe can help to dilute the strength of the taste, and make it more appealing. BUT it’s not a must. You can choose to omit both mint and honey if you’d prefer. It’s completely up to you and what you’d like! Feel free to add chamomile too for an extra soothing effect! Enjoy the wonderful benefits!
- 4 cups filtered water
- 1/4 cup lavender buds, dried or fresh
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves (optional)
- Raw honey or stevia, to taste (optional)
- Place water into saucepan and bring to boil, then turn off heat.
- Add lavender buds and mint leaves (if using) into saucepan with boiled water, and let steep until tea has reached your desired flavour and strength, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Strain out mint leaves and lavender buds and stir in honey or stevia (if using) as desired, then serve hot. OR, if you prefer, let strained tea cool and serve over ice to make iced tea!
Is Lavender Essential Oil Safe?
While essential oils are natural, they’re also extremely potent, and so need to be respected. I personally do not ingest or take essential oils internally. I have read that there’s some evidence pointing towards long-term regular use of concentrated lavender possibly causing hormone imbalances in males.
It’s recommended to avoid using dried or fresh lavender internally while pregnant, and, because of its relaxing properties, it is recommended to avoid use in conjunction with medication that also causes sleepiness or relaxation, as well.
Note: people who have allergies, especially to pollen, should avoid lavender, as it may trigger an allergic reaction.
As always, it’s important to check with a doctor before taking this or any other herb, especially in large amounts or if taking any other medicine or supplement or if pregnant or nursing.
Have you used lavender before? What did you use it in? Share below! We’d love hear!
Lots of love,
Wells, Katie. (Updated: May 22, 2020). How to Use Lavender (Grow It, Make Natural Remedies & More). Wellness Mama. Retrieved from https://wellnessmama.com/7041/lavender-uses/
J Henry. Lavender Mint Tea. All Recipes. Retrieved from https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/229352/lavender-mint-tea/
Lavender Tea Health Benefits, Side Effects, and How to Brew. (October 2, 2020). Sencha Tea Bar. Retrieved from https://senchateabar.com/blogs/blog/lavender-tea
Gotter, Ana. (Last reviewed: December 17, 2018). How to Improve the Health of Your Skin with Lavender Oil. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/lavender-oil-for-skin
Krans, Brian. (Updated: December 19, 2016). How to Make Lavender Tea. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-sleep/how-to-make-lavender-tea