Feeling tired or anxious? Lift away the day’s stress with lavender! Lavender oil benefits may surprise you, and this gorgeous, fragrant flowering plant has plenty to offer. Follow these tips below to soothe away your anxiety with one of nature’s most potent stress-busters.
Of course, essential oil benefits are nothing new.
“Lavender has been used in natural remedies for centuries to promote calm and relaxation,” reveals holistic health coach Brenda Johnston. How does it work? “It has two key compounds that studies suggest gently slow your nervous system, lower your heart rate and improve your mood, which ultimately helps you unwind.”
While we've always known lavender oil to be a natural cure for insomnia, we're thrilled that it's also the perfect ingredient to use in a refreshing tea to nix stress headaches, a luxurious body wash to melt away tension, or a calm-inducing aromatherapy oil. After all, who doesn't love that at-home spa feel?
1. Wash away tension with Lavender-Honey Body Wash. Turn your shower into a relaxation ritual by sudsing up with lavender body wash! Compounds in lavender—linalyl acetate and linalool—have a mild sedative effect to calm your mind, while massaging the moisturizing body wash into tense muscles relaxes you from head to toe.
The recipe: 1 cup water, ¼ cup honey, 2/3 cup liquid castile soap, 40 drops lavender essential oil, 1 tsp. vitamin E oil, 2 tsp. jojoba oil. Add all ingredients to bowl; mix well. Transfer to lidded plastic bottle or a clean, empty body wash bottle. Shake gently before each use, then squeeze onto a washcloth, loofah or your hands and massage into skin. Rinse well.
2. Soothe stress with a Lavender-Sage Oil Blend. On the go and stressed? Feel instantly more at ease with a swipe of this aromatherapy “roll-on” oil blend. “It’s one of the easiest ways to enjoy the stress-busting benefits of lavender,” Johnston promises. Lavender helps slow your heart rate, while clary sage boosts your mood. Even better: The portable roller ball vial can be stashed in your purse for relief anytime, anywhere!
The recipe:: 4 drops lavender essential oil, 6 drops clary sage essential oil, 1/3 oz. almond oil, 1 roller ball vial (from $7 for 6 vials at Amazon.com). Remove roller ball top from vial. Add lavender and sage oils to vial, then top with almond oil. Reattach roller ball; shake gently to combine. To use, roll vial between hands to gently mix. Roll onto pulse points like temples and inner wrists when stressed and breathe deeply to inhale the scent.
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3. Calm tension headaches with Lavender-Mint Tea. Ease a stress-triggered tension headache or migraine by sipping this pain-relieving tea tonic. “Lavender is an anti-inflammatory,” says Leslie Doroba, spa manager at The Ivy Hotel in Baltimore—that means it reduces blood vessel inflammation in your head. And mint is proven to ease the nausea that can accompany severe headaches so you feel relaxed and pain-free.
The recipe: 8 oz. hot water, 1 tsp. culinary grade lavender buds, 1 Tbs. mint leaves (sliced), honey (to taste). Steep lavender and mint in hot water for 10 minutes. Strain into large mug, discarding buds and leaves. Sweeten with honey, if desired. Tip: “For a refreshing iced option, refrigerate brewed tea for 10 minutes, then pour into a glass over ice,” Doroba says.