The Article:

Not Just a Pretty Scent: The Many Benefits of Lavender


By:  Andi  Jenkins  Abe's Enthusiast & Author of All Put Together  May 21st, 2013

Summer’s a great time to shake up old health and beauty routines and find new uses for old standbys. An old workhorse of the beauty aisle, lavender is better known as the ubiquitous scent found in skin care products, soaps and fragrances. But lavender boasts many benefits beyond the beauty routine; the herb is also touted for its healing power and unique flavor, earning it a spot next to other super botanicals, such as coconut, jasmine and aloe vera. Whether it’s fresh or an essential oil, lavender is incredibly useful to have in the home. Here are some of lavender’s many benefits: 

Health Booster

Lavender's medicinal benefits have existed for thousands of year — if it was reportedly good enough for Cleopatra lord knows we all can get into it. The herb features antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to treat a range of ailments, such as those that affect the skin, digestion and mental health. But that's just a start. Lavender is a pretty powerful botanical that aids in a number of conditions like:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Cuts, scrapes and skin irritations (e.g. eczema, acne)
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Constipation and gas

Now before you go bury your face in fresh lavender or start to liberally apply lavender oil to the skin, remember; too much of a good thing can be bad. Although lavender’s medicinal benefits seem abundant, it is always recommended to consult a physician before adding anything new to a treatment program, especially if you’re pregnant or nursing. 

Flavor Enhancer

If 90 percent of what is perceived as taste is actually smell, then it’s no surprise that someone in the course of history was curious to see if lavender tasted as good as it smelled. Lucky for them (and us!) lavender is edible and acts as a wonderful flavor enhancer. Culinary experts have been creating innovative dishes with this unique ingredient for some time, adding lavender to desserts, cocktails and dressings, among other dishes. Feeling adventurous, make shortbread cookies with lavender-infused sugar, sweeten tea with lavender-infused honey, or indulge a sweet tooth with lavender-infused milk chocolate. Just remember to add lavender favoring sparingly, otherwise the dish could taste like potpourri – and honestly, do you want to eat potpourri?!

As you begin planting this year’s garden, why not find space among the veggies for this hearty, well-rounded plant? If the sheer aroma isn’t enough to convince you, than we hope the many benefits mentioned above have you heading to the nearest farmer’s market for a flat of lavender seedlings. Whether you’re reaching for the medicine cabinet, seasoning your favorite dish or freshening your home, you'll thank us after infusing a little lavender into your life.  

 

Andi Jenkins

Abe's Enthusiast & Author of All Put Together

Andi Jenkins Andi is a yoga practicing, gluten-free living marketing director for an international private equity firm. When she's not advising entrepreneurs she's happily repurposing vintage finds and writing for her lifestyle blog All Put Together.

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