When most people think of lavender in terms of health benefits, they tend to think of lavender essential oil. Lavender, or lavandula angustifolia, has been used for over 2,500 years, and its use has been documented in ancient Egypt, Rome and Greece.
Health Benefits of Lavender Oil
Lavender oil has been shown to have many health benefits, including antiseptic, antifungal and antibacterial properties, along with anti-inflammatory properties. It has proven useful in reducing symptoms of depression and headaches. Lavender has also been proven effective in reducing respiratory symptoms in those with allergies and asthma as well as colds and flu. Lavender oil has been long used in the treatment of skin disorders such as scars, bug bites, eczema and psoriasis, and cuts and burns. It has also been used to relieve insomnia and stress.
Editor’s Note: Another way to naturally ease stress is with calming herbs. Try Natural Wellness’ Stress Relief supplement that includes all natural stress calming herbs such as valerian, hops and skullcap.
Caution About Lavender Oil
While lavender tinctures, extracts and oils have traditionally been used in aromatherapy and as ingredients in skin care products, lavender oil can actually be poisonous when ingested! It is of vital importance to know the source and quality of an oil, and to be sure of its proper concentration and uses before ingesting any essential oil. It is imperative to keep this in mind when trying recipes that call for lavender essential oils in making lavender lemonade.
Use Lavender Tea Instead
Lavender tea is made from the stems and leaves of the lavender flower, which are dried and processed into a tea. This can be added to other teas as flavor or used independently. (A word of caution, however, as lavender tea has actually been shown to cause headaches in some people.) Additionally, as with essential oils, it is vital to know the source of lavender tea to be sure of the quality and purity of the tea.
Adding lavender tea to classic lemonade offers a delightful flavor and aroma, and is very well tolerated by most people. It can help in reducing stress and tension and has a wonderful aroma of lemon and lavender.
A simple way to add lavender to your favorite lemonade recipe is to use a tea strainer filled with loose lavender tea, and pour boiling water over it to steep the lavender tea. Once the tea is brewed, allow to cool, and then add the tea to the lemonade. Serve over ice, with a sprig of lavender as garnish if possible. Enjoy!