Monday, April 22, 2013

Mysterious Monday: Lavender

Those of you who have been following my blog know that I’ve been under a lot of stress lately. With my mother’s difficulty adjusting to the nursing home after having to be moved from the assisted living facility, and my father’s stress over that and his brother-in-law’s sudden diagnosis with liver cancer, things have been more than usually crazy around my house. Needless to say, my blood pressure has been on the high end. Some days, I thought I would have a frikkin’ heart attack from the banging of my heart. I hate medicine, even hate taking aspirin or ibuprofen when I have a headache. Many years ago, I turned to natural healing as an alternative.

I began with essential oils and also with minerals, like the love stone of my previous blog entry. Essential oils are one of the ways to use alternative forms of medicine. Essential oils are the concentrated form of the plants from which they are derived. Many of these oils are very, very strong and should be used with caution (and often dilution).  

Lavender is one of my favorites. I love the scent of it and it has a very calming effect. I have used it for many years to help with anxiety. I tend to project and worry even when there is no cause, so you can imagine how much I worry when there is something to worry about. From all that I’ve read about lavender and its versatility, I highly recommend keeping this oil in your holistic medicine cabinet.

Image courtesy of Feelart at

Lavender has helped my sleepless nights. I dab a little on a tissue and rub that tissue along the bottom of my pillow. Lay my head down, inhale, and I’m off to dreamland.

At times when I’ve thought my heart would explode from my chest, I’ve dabbed a little lavender on my wrists and other pulse points. Instantly, I could feel my heart slow down to normal.

Lavender is good for relieving pain. Add a little to a massage oil and work it into sore muscles. Pour a little into the bath and settle in for a nice long soak. Tight muscles? Cramps? Add to a warm compress and apply to the affected area.

Lavender oil is also good for coughs and colds. Add a bit to a vaporizer or put a dollop in a pot of boiled water. Place a towel over your head and form a tent from it with your head and the pot as the joining ends. Inhale the steam. Breath deep.

Lavender oil has antiseptic properties and so is good for minor burns and other skin irritations, including acne. If you use it on cuts or any open wounds, be sure you are using the pure, undiluted, therapeutic-grade oil. Most of the stuff sold in chain stores is not the pure kind. I’ve read that it also can be used as a deodorant, since it kills bacteria.

You can repel insects with lavender oil. Try rubbing some along the window sills of your home, as well as along electric outlet covers and other areas where bugs get in. You’ll keep out the ickies and your house will smell nice and be a relaxing place for all who enter. CAUTION: BEWARE OF USING WHEN YOUR MIL VISITS. SHE MAY FEEL SO RELAXED THAT SHE RETURNS, AGAIN AND AGAIN.  

As ever with these medical posts of mine, bear in mind that I am no doctor. I report things I have read and sometimes learned from experience. Please consult your doctor before using lavender in place of any treatment; if you do not do so, YOU are the one responsible for any negative results, not me or your doctor or anyone else. Also, since lavender promotes blood flow, pregnant women should avoid this essential oil. 

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