Anxiety and stress have become part of our lives a long time ago, and headache is experienced by nearly everyone at least once a year (in most cases, it is waaay more frequent). While the most commonly used treatment is over-the-counter pain relievers, one can also opt for natural remedies, which are backed by scientific evidence and can help you relieve headache and anxiety. One of such remedies is lavender.
Image Credit: dicasnaturais.com
Many people find the smell of lavender terrific. Picturesque fields somewhere in Provence are among the symbols of relaxation and mind-calming views. However, the benefits of the herb in question are not limited to the visual aspect of it: the essential oil derived from it can be used as part of treatment, as far as anxiety and anxiety-induced headaches are concerned. You can even make a drink containing dried lavender to enhance the properties of the good old lemonade!
In what ways is lavender beneficial?
Lavender oil is reported to have antiseptic, sedative and some other properties and be capable of killing viruses and germs. In most cases, lavender is used in aromatherapy, as it has been researched quite extensively, and scientific findings suggest the following:
- Lavender aromatherapy can have anxiolytic effects, which were observed in the course of a study carried out by a team of scientists from an NHS hospital. Patients who required intensive care reported feeling less anxious and improved mood after sessions of burning the herb oil.
- Chronic hemodialysis patients also appear to benefit from this kind of aromatherapy. They reported reduced levels of anxiety after being treated with aromatherapy.
- There are a number of studies in patients suffering from a particular disease or condition, which are aimed at finding out whether lavender aromatherapy can actually reduce anxiety in them. It is presumably due to the stress such patients experience, but healthy people can also benefit from sessions of aromatherapy.
- As to studies which looked into whether lavender oil could have the same effect, it is reported that consumption of a 200 microl dose can help alleviate low anxiety, but is likely to fail to help in case of high anxiety. Well, it’s a natural remedy, after all, so it’s not supposed to treat severe cases.
It appears that both the aroma and intake of lavender can be beneficial for health and help treat anxiety and headaches resulting from stress.
To utilize both ways by which lavender can affect the human body, you can make lemonade enriched with dried lavender. It is tasty, refreshing and healthy. Be careful not to use too much lavender, though, as it can have adverse effects if used in excess.
How to make lavender lemonade
Well, it’s still lemonade, so you will need several lemons, so going to the local market is necessary unless you grow your own lemons. Here is what you will need.
- Culinary lavender – ¼ cup;
- Lemons, juiced (don’t forget to peel them!) – 6 pcs;
- Drinking water – around 5 cups;
- Honey (preferably raw) – 1 cup;
- Something for garnishing, like lemon slices or lavender sprigs (optional).
Bring the water to boil. Place the pan with the water in a cool place. Add the herb and honey and let the mixture enrich with nutrients for half an hour. Before pouring it into a jar, strain the liquid to remove lavender particles. Add lemon juice and mix the lemonade. It is recommended to serve it cool. Keep it in the fridge, especially if it the weather is hot.
If you don’t like the taste, you can still reap the benefits of lavender by adding several drops of oil to the water in your bath. The most popular way to use the herb is to use a burner or an air humidifier (such appliances often have a compartment for oils), so you can also give it a try to reduce anxiety.
Psychological effects of aromatherapy on chronic hemodialysis patients – Onlinelibrary.wiley.com
Effects of orally administered lavender essential oil on responses to anxiety‐provoking film clips – Onlinelibrary.wiley.com