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6 Reasons to Keep Lavender in the House

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Lavender is an herb used in aromatherapy treatments for many ailments such as anxiety, insomnia, depression and headache/migraine pain.

Add the ingestible type of lavender to tea or as a spice on meals to combat a number of digestive issues including loss of appetite, vomiting, and flatulence or bloating.

1. Anxiety antidote
“Find a scent that makes you feel calm and happy,” says Christine Gerbstadt, MD, and RD, from Sarasota, Florida. Researchers have found lavender to have calming effects that can reduce anxiety.

Lighting a lavender-scented candle or warming a diluted mixture of essential oil and water might create just the aroma to help you unwind after a stressful day. The scent of lavender may also calm a tension-related headache.

2. Dandruff destroyer.
"Lavender oil can help scalp conditions," says Francesca Fusco, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist. Just mix 15 drops of lavender essential oil with two tablespoons olive or almond oil and microwave for 8-10 seconds. Dampen hair and message the mixture into scalp and let set for an hour, then shampoo hair.

Note: It may take several treatments to see results.

3. Dog destresser
“Lavender oil used pure or diluted helps in conditioning dogs to a safe space. May help allergies, burns, ulcers, insomnia, car ride anxiety and car sickness, to name a few,” said Dr. Richard Palmquist, Chief of Integrative Health Services at Centinela Animal Hospital, Inglewood California. Burning a diluted mixture of lavender oil and water to create a light scent may be just the ticket for an anxious pup.

Note: Essential oils can be toxic to cats.

4. Skin soother
"Lavender is a natural anti-inflammatory, so it helps reduce itching, swelling, and redness," explained Naila Malik, MD, a Texas-based dermatologist. Apply a drop or two on bug bites, burns and sunburns, as needed every six to eight hours. Adding a few drops of lavender oil into bath water can relieve that overall itchy-skin feeling.

5. Sleep saver
"Lavender isn't a game-changer unless you practice other sleep-promoting habits," says Joseph Ojile, MD, founder of Clayton Sleep Institute in St. Louis. So in other words, while the scent of lavender can bring your heart rate down and make you sleepy, it can’t work miracles. 

Avoiding caffeine, electronics, and crazy bedtime schedules can also help.

6. Tummy tonic
"The polyphenols (a type of antioxidant) in lavender can help reduce the 'bad' bacteria in your gut," said Christine Gerbstadt, MD, author of Doctor's Detox Diet and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Bad bacteria can occur when you take antibiotics and causing indigestion and bloating.

Debloating remedy: Add a pitch of dried culinary lavender onto Greek yogurt. 


Alternative Treatments for Migraines and Headaches. Webmd.com Web. 20, June, 2012

5 Healing Effects of Lavender. Health.com. Web. 20, June, 2012

Boost Your Mood Today. Oxygenmag.com. Web. 20, June, 2012

Pet Aromatherapy And Essential Oils: What You Need To Know. Huffingtonpost.com. Web. 20, June, 2012

Reviewed June 20, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

Add a Comment1 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Love the scent of lavender, Thanks for all of the suggestions, I am going to try them.

June 25, 2012 - 8:58pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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