Useful information

Lavender uses: go beyond oil

Lavender treatment

Narrow-leaved lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

In medicine, not only lavender essential oil is used. The inflorescences themselves are the most valuable medicinal raw materials. The experience of the ancients says that lavender flowers and leaves help with a variety of diseases.

In ancient Egypt, lavender oil, along with sage essential oil, was forced to drink to women after epidemics and wars to increase the birth rate. As it turned out, not in vain. These plants, especially sage, are estrogen-like.

In ancient Rome, lavender and various dosage forms from it were used as a remedy for infectious diseases. It is known that patricians rubbed themselves with lavender oil, believing that this would protect them from pestilence. And between epidemics they treated bruises, burns, purulent wounds, indigestion and venereal diseases. And, of course, lavender was used for aromatic baths. Actually, the name of lavender comes from "lava" - to wash. By the way, Julius Caesar, after nervous meetings in the Senate, liked to relax in a lavender bath, calming the heated soul and mind for further making informed decisions.

French perfumers of the Middle Ages used it to prepare eau de toilette and soap.

In the phytotherapeutic European literature, it was first mentioned by Hildegada of Bingen. In the Middle Ages, it was grown practically throughout Europe and in monastery gardens and near rural houses.

Avicenna, a great Arab physician who lived more than 1000 years ago, in his work "Canon of Medicine" mentions this plant in recipes.

Lavender was widely used by the Armenian physician of the 15th century Amirdovlat Amasitsiani. In his work Unnecessary for the ignorant, "he writes the following:" Her nature is hot and rarefied. It warms the brain, the nature of which has cooled. It is very useful in liver and spleen diseases. If fumigated, it will eliminate the bad smell, as well as warm the uterus, remove moisture and cleanse it. If women insert it into the vagina, they will become pregnant. It has been tested. If you crush it, wind it and mix it with flour and apply it to the ulcer, it will cure it. "

The great botanist N. Kulpeper writes in his writings that "lavender is suitable for all occasions and heals from skin to brain, ... relieves spasms, convulsions, ... relieves tremors and heart diseases."

Of course, the most important active ingredient in lavender is essential oil, which contains quite a lot of components, but the main ones are the esters of linalyl acetate and lavender lavandula acetate (see the article essential oil). In addition to essential oil, tannins (tannins), phenylcarboxylic acids (rosmarinic acid and its derivatives), hydroxycoumarins (umbelliferone, herniarin), phytosterols, coumarins and flavonoids were found in lavender inflorescences.

Narrow-leaved lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Lavender flowers, as well as essential oil, are included in the European Pharmacopoeia. Preparations from them act as a mild sedative, relaxing and sedative agent. Studies have established antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, fungicidal, insecticidal and acaricidal action. Flowers have a choleretic effect. Tannins have a slightly hardening effect.

It is recommended for sleep disorders, functional digestive disorders, especially those associated with stress and irregular nutrition, with irritable stomach syndrome, and according to the results of modern research, it is recommended for Romfeld syndrome. In balneotherapy (bath treatment) it is used for circulatory disorders and rheumatic diseases.

Lavender, given its estrogenic effect, is used in conjunction with valerian, motherwort for menopausal disorders in women, eliminating unpleasant symptoms in the form of hot flashes, palpitations, insomnia, and nervousness.

So, in Bulgaria, lavender is used as a sedative, for migraines, neurasthenia, externally - as a soothing bath and for skin diseases.Here is a recipe with lavender of the Bulgarian herbalist P. Dimkov. For intercostal neuralgia, take 100 g of basil herb, 50 g each of sweet clover, blackberry leaves, lavender flowers, linden flowers and hop "cones". Add 1 teaspoon of dill fruit powder to two tablespoons of the mixture, pour 0.5 liters of boiling water, insist overnight in a sealed enamel bowl. Drink 75 g after each meal.

In Germany, inflorescences are also used for the preparation of ointments. In Austria, leaves harvested before flowering are used as a soothing, anti-inflammatory and bile-thinning agent, and in place with flowers are laid out in a wardrobe for moths. In Poland, combined with chamomile, is used for hoarseness and bronchitis. In France, a decoction of flowers is considered a good choleretic and diuretic.

The easiest way is to prepare an infusion of lavender flowers at home. To do this, 3 teaspoons of crushed raw materials are poured with 400 ml of boiling water and insisted in a sealed enamel bowl for 20 minutes. Strain and drink in equal shares throughout the day. You can use this infusion externally to wash non-healing wounds and ulcers.

For baths, raw materials are used at the rate of 20-100 g of raw materials per 20 liters of water, depending on the disease and the type of baths. For hand, foot and sit-down baths, it is recommended to put more raw materials (at the rate of 100 g per 20 l), and for ordinary baths, 20-40 g per 20 l of water is enough. Raw materials are poured with approximately a bucket of boiling water, insisted under a lid for 15-20 minutes and poured into a bath of the desired temperature.

An alcoholic tincture of 40% alcohol, prepared in a ratio of 1: 5, is used in the form of rubbing for rheumatism, neuralgia, sprains. It can also be used to treat wounds and burns.

A specific female antidepressant is a tincture of fresh lavender flowers (1 part of flowers and 5 parts of 70% alcohol), which is taken 40-50 drops 1-2 times a day. Probably, this remedy affects the hormones in the body and thereby prevents mood swings. This tincture can be used for menopause, premenstrual syndrome, associated nervousness, insomnia, hot flashes. This is due to the estrogen-like action of lavender and its essential oil (see article Lavender essential oil: properties and uses).

And in a number of countries, leaves are also used.

In homeopathy, fresh flowers are used for diseases of the central nervous system. However, unlike many other medicinal plants, it is not a favorite of homeopaths.

 

Lavender in everyday life and in the kitchen

 

Lavender angustifolia Hidcote. Photo: Benary

Lavender is sometimes used as a spice in cooking in the preparation of fish, vegetable mushroom soups. Old cookbooks recommended shifting apples with lavender leaves when soaking. You can get a fragrant vinegar infused with lavender flowers. When smoking fish, sometimes juniper berries and lavender flowers are added to the firewood. In the USA, green tea is flavored with lavender.

And of course, this plant is a great honey plant with a long flowering period. From 1 hectare of plantations, you can get 120-160 kg of aromatic medicinal honey.

A few drops of lavender oil or an inflorescence in a linen bag protect woolen and fur items from moths.

Bouquets of inflorescences look very beautiful as a dried flower. They are cut off during flowering, dried in bunches "upside down" and, tied with beautiful ribbons, are placed in sheaves in a room or in a vase in the kitchen. A subtle, unobtrusive aroma spreads around them for a long time. These dried inflorescences go well in bouquets with roses and cereals. At one of the exhibitions I saw a stunning wreath of lavender inflorescences and ears of wheat.