There’s something about essential oils that I’m I’ll equipped to narrate. So precious and delicate, to the winds they permeate in the instant a drop is set free. All at once the atmosphere changes, and our environment is filled with a pure essence. Each time we inhale, it slips into us.
One day, back in 1997, my daughter came home with a lanyard that had a little Celtic box on it. For the next several weeks, she would diligently add a drop of essential oil to the box and I soon realized that I was calmer, and falling and staying asleep much better ever since she began this ritual. She was seven, but oh so wise. So went my first introduction to the benefits of Lavender.
The name lavender comes from the Latin root lavare, which means “to wash.” Lavender may have earned this name because it was frequently used in baths to help purify the body and spirit. Today, many products incorporate it, and each seems to imbue a truthful benefaction.
In almost every application, lavender is cherished for its aromatic properties. However, this herb has also been used as a remedy for a range of ailments from insomnia and anxiety to depression and fatigue. Research has confirmed that lavender produces slight calming, soothing, and sedative effects when its scent is inhaled. (http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/lavender-000260.htm)
Studies have shown that Lavender aromatherapy reduced serum cortisol and improved CFVR (coronary flow velocity reserve) in healthy men. These findings suggest that lavender aromatherapy has relaxation effects and may have beneficial acute effects on coronary circulation. Other results revealed that lavender oil caused significant decreases of blood pressure, heart rate, and skin temperature. In terms of mood, the subjects in one study categorized themselves as more active, fresher and relaxed. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17689755, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22612017)
Lavender is native to the mountainous zones of the Mediterranean where it grows in sunny, stony habitats. Today, it flourishes throughout southern Europe, Australia, and the United States.
Blueberry, Orange & Lavender Smoothie
1 cup ice
1 frozen banana, peeled and chopped into chunks
1 can (14.5 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons honey, or more to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lavender buds, chopped
1/2 cup almond milk
Fresh lavender sprigs, to garnish
- Combine ice, banana, mandarin oranges and blueberries in a blender or food processer. Process until finely chopped.
- Add yogurt, honey and lavender. Blend until smooth.
- Taste; add more honey as needed, and gradually pour in almond milk to thin as desired. Serve immediately, garnished with fresh lavender sprigs.