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lavender is one of the few plants that not only arouses desire through their fragrance and the beauty of the flowers, but also shines with healing effects on a large scale. Lavender works against bacteria, viruses and fungi, it inhibits inflammation, cares for the skin, relaxes and reduces stress. In the garden, he helps ward off pests. Its oil contains the active ingredients in concentrated form and can be used in a wide variety of ways - in aromatherapy and in skin creams, in baths and shampoos. The most important facts in brief:
The healing substances are found in the flowers, but especially in the essential oil, which we extract from the fresh flowers by distilling with steam. This includes linalyl acetate, linalool, camphor and cineol, esters, monoterpenols, monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, ketones and oxides. In total, there are more than 2000 active substances, which are present in different doses in the individual lavender types and which also depend on the time of collection, the climate and location and also from plant to plant.
Monoterpenes are volatile substances that play a role in the perfume industry and provide the typical smell of lavender. Monoterpenols act against bacteria, viruses and fungi and are used in plants to ward off such pathogens. They can do the same with humans. In addition, they help regenerate cells, balance stress hormones and thus improve mood. Sesquiterpenes are especially important for the transport within cells, they have an effect on the production of the membrane fluid and support the oxygen metabolism.
If you use lavender as a remedy yourself, you will probably use the flowers first because they are the easiest to obtain. You can heat them as a steam bath and inhale the steam, make a tea with them or place them in a scented pillow under the pillow (lavender pillow).
Tea made from lavender flowers helps against the following ailments: strong arousal, stress, problems falling asleep, mild depression, migraines, gastrointestinal problems, exhaustion, fatigue and acute anxiety. In the case of permanent anxiety disorders in the psychiatric sense, they "only" alleviate the symptoms and do not replace psychotherapy.
Stress is associated with increased blood pressure, and lavender lowers it. Put two teaspoons of the fresh or dried flowers in a cup, pour hot water over them and let them steep for ten minutes. Then they sieve the liquid and drink a cup three times a day.
Lavender as the basis for teas harmonizes with other medicinal herbs that help against gastrointestinal problems, difficulty falling asleep or stress, such as anise, caraway or fennel. Melissa also calms and is compatible with the taste of lavender. Sage is highly antiseptic and antibacterial, but many people don't like it very much. Here lavender enhances the effect and also ensures a pleasant aroma.
Lavender tea has a slightly antiseptic effect and inhibits inflammation. Practically, it helps with menopause complaints, cramps, high blood pressure, relieves rapid heartbeat, supports regeneration, causes flatulence and acts against constipation and drives urine. But above all, it calms down. This makes it particularly suitable for all problems that have to do with “restlessness”: nervousness, exhaustion, hyperactivity, unclear fears, racing thoughts, excessive impulsiveness or fear of exams.
The active ingredients are available in lavender oil in a concentrated form and can be used in various ways against various ailments. In the bathroom it relieves circulatory system disorders, when gargled it helps against bacterial diseases in the mouth, throat and throat, on the skin it fights candida and filamentous fungi, so it effectively helps against skin and nail fungus. The antibacterial and antifungal effects of lavender not only relieve symptoms, they also attack the cause. To put it bluntly: lavender oil is far too good to be used only for relaxation.
Areas of application for lavender oil are:
- high blood pressure,
- Sleep disorders,
- psychological eating problems such as bulimia and anorexia,
- Headache in the temple area,
- Ear pain caused by infections in the outer and middle ear,
- Bad breath,
- minor skin injuries, insect bites and cuts,
- Relaxation during contractions and contractions,
- aching nipples,
- Muscle relaxation
Active ingredients in detail
The many different ingredients in lavender each show extremely different, but complement each other extremely positively.
Linalool inhibits inflammation, acts against harmful microbes and is antiseptic. Speiklavendel contains this substance to a high degree.
This provides the typical lavender scent, relaxes the nervous system and balances the hormonal balance. It curbs the sensory overload of the nerves, slows down exuberant feelings, soothes fears.
This substance promotes the production of the happiness hormone serotonin. Among the types of lavender, the highest concentration of linalyl acetate is found in real lavender.
Camphor is an analeptic. These substances excite the nervous system, but can be toxic in high doses. Camphor inhibits inflammation of the mucous membranes in the nose and throat when you inhale lavender oil in steam. Applied to the skin in creams with lavender oil, it relieves pain associated with rheumatic problems.
This substance dissolves mucus and acts against bacteria, so it is suitable for treating lung complaints and infections of the sinuses. It widens narrowed bronchial tubes because Cineol prevents the release of the neurotransmitters that cause this narrowness. It also has an antiseptic effect.
The essential oil of lavender, like all essential oils, can lead to unwanted effects. Because these oils irritate the mucous membranes. What applies to the individual active ingredients such as camphor is of course also true for the entire plant, which contains these substances. Especially crested and spiked lavender are toxic in high concentrations. You should therefore only use lavender oil internally under the supervision of a doctor.
If you apply lavender products to the skin, irritation may occur. Watch the effects. If the skin is itchy or red, you may be allergic to the essential oils in the flowers. Young children should not use the oil.
A "side effect" is, strictly speaking, a main effect of the lavender. A remedy that helps you fall asleep makes you sleepy. Lavender is therefore not suitable if you have to operate machines or drive a car.
Lavender may affect barbiturates and benzodiazepines. Concluding studies are still pending, but because of possible side effects, you should use such agents together with lavender at the most in consultation with a doctor or pharmacist.
You have to pay particular attention to an important point when growing your own: The amount of active ingredients varies depending on the location, but also from month to month. You cannot control the effectiveness of garden plants. Do you want to take lavender not only to fall asleep, feel better, against stress or because of its fragrance and taste, but as a medicine for serious illnesses? Then fall back on tested products from the pharmacy.
Lavender - individual types
Lavender occurs in a wide range of different types, which also differ in their effects.
Its oil is particularly effective against bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Its oil has a similar effect to that of the crested lavender and is mainly used for diseases of the bronchi and infections with streptococci.
Silver leaf lavender
In comparison to crested and spiked lavender, its oil works very well against viruses, but less against fungi and bacteria.
Hybrid lavender is a cross between real lavender and spicy lavender. Its antibacterial effect is less than that of Speiklavendel, but the oil is more suitable for skin care.
Dried lavender flowers
Tea can be made from dried lavender flowers or a sachet can be made. The tea from the flowers, the herb and the root regenerates, promotes blood circulation, balances the thyroid hormones, helps to sleep and sleep through, promotes labor, promotes milk production for breastfeeding women and raises low blood pressure. A scented sachet with lavender flowers provides a good smell, helps against mosquitoes and moths and lowers stress hormones.
For a lavender rinse, take two tablespoons of lavender flowers, 3 tablespoons of chamomile flowers and 300 ml of apple cider vinegar. They put everything together in a jar, close the mixture and let it steep for two weeks. Then sieve the liquid and store it closed. Use 1 tablespoon per shampoo, mix the essence with a glass of lukewarm water and put it in the hair.
Lavender powder can be used as a spice and it prevents food from becoming moldy.
The lotion is used for skin care and regenerates the skin.
Lavender oil in the apartment
Lavender oil in the home is an all-rounder. It is suitable as an essential oil in fragrance lamps, as an additive when washing clothes, but also for cleaning floors and walls - especially in the bathroom. Lavender smells good here, secondly, it fights bacteria, fungi and viruses, including stubborn mold. Lavender oil is also suitable for cosmetics, because as a face cream it refreshes the skin and acts against pimples and blackheads.
An old medicinal plant
The ancient Egyptians used lavender. She soaked the cloths of her mummies in lavender oil. Ancient Roman women perfumed themselves with lavender oil, hospitals were smoked with lavender. Men added it to the bath water. Lavare, the Latin word for wash, gave lavender its name.
The Romans also used lavender as a medicinal herb for period symptoms, stomach ache and kidney diseases such as jaundice, Arab women cared for their hair with lavender essence, treated inflamed skin with lavender oil and gurgled with lavender water for bad breath and throat infections.
The Mediterranean plant came to Germany via Italian clergymen and the first to cultivate lavender in this country were monks. In the 16th century, Paracelsus recommended lavender for nervousness and for relieving pain, so correctly assessed its effects. In 1710, Cologne water was produced for the first time in Cologne, one of the few perfumes that could also be drunk.
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Dr. phil. Utz Anhalt, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch
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