How Lavender Essential Oil Can Calm, Comfort, and Heal Your Mind and Body

How Lavender Essential Oil Can Calm, Comfort, and Heal Your Mind and Body

“It always seems to me as if the lavender was a little woman in a green dress with a lavender bonnet and a white handkerchief. She’s one of those strong, sweet, wholesome people, who always rest you, and her sweetness lingers long after she goes away.” –Myrtle Reed

A search on Wikipedia.org reveals the fantastic history of lavender (formal botanical name Lavandula), which dates back more than 2000 years. There are over 47 species of the lavender plant found in the cool French Alps as well as the dry heat of the Middle East. Lavandula is Latin for “to wash” and comes from the ancient Romans who perfumed their baths with lavender oil (solvents or steam distillation are used to extract the essential oils from the plant).

The color “lavender” derives its name for this plant.

For a history of this plant, follow this link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lavandula

Not only is the plant beautiful and smells good, it also has countless health benefits. During my research, I discovered many medicinal uses for this unusual plant.

For instance, back in the 16th century, some herbalists claimed that lavender would cure paralysis of limbs and neuroses! Not only that, they believed that wearing a skullcap made of lavender would increase intelligence!

And the research also shows that as recently as World War 1, some governments wanted to use extracted oil from lavender to treat soldiers’ wounds.

Why am I writing this blog? For one, I believe in the natural healing powers of essential oils. Secondly, because of the six essential oils I’ve used personally (tea tree, orange, lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon grass), because of its versatility, l prefer lavender.

Carrying a bottle of lavender essential oil around with you is like having a personal first aid kit.

Also, I’m always looking for ways to make caring for myself a bit easier, more pleasant, and offer comfort.

Consider this brief overview:

Medicinal Uses of the Essential Oil Lavender

  1. Calms and relaxes: one research paper found that new mothers using lavender oil in their bathwater reported lower discomfort scores several days after giving birth; further, lavender oil is also currently used in many delivery rooms for its general calming action. Try rubbing 2-3 drops of lavender oil in your cupped hand and inhaling for an immediate calming effect.
  2. Cures colds: put a few drops of lavender oil into a large bowl of steaming hot water, cover your head, close your eyes, and breathe in through your nose for one or two minutes.
  3. Relieves headaches: massaging just a few drops of lavender oil into your forehead, temples, and nape of the neck will result in a refreshing and soothing feeling.
  4. Treats bacterial infections that are resistant to antibiotics: studies show lavender to be lethal to bacteria that cause typhoid, TB, and diphtheria.
  5. Soothes aching muscles: add lavender oil to your bathwater after a day moving and lifting to ease aches and pains and relieve tension.
  6. Reduces stress and anxiety: caregivers worry a lot; research shows that lavender oil is just as effective for signs of anxiety as Valium or Xanax—and without the side effects.
  7. Heals cuts and bruises: lavender oil soothes pain, aids in scar-free healing, and prevents infection.
  8. Treats acne: lavender oil blocks the bacteria that causes skin infection and helps to rebalance the over-secretion of oily or waxy matter called sebum.
  9. Reduces wrinkles: suitable for all skin types; moisturizer and cleanser high in antioxidants that increase blood flow and protects skin from harmful free radicals as well as ultraviolet rays of the sun
  10. Improves allergies: fight a runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, or headaches naturally; use lavender oil mixed with lotion topically or diffuse lavender to reduce inflammation in bronchial tubes (do not ingest).
  11. Relieves eczema: apply infused lavender oil onto dry, itchy skin or add a few drops of lavender oil to calamine lotion, shake, and rub on for a comforting feel. Others have mixed the lavender oil with a nut or vegetable oil and used topically.
  12. Eases insomnia: put 3 or 4 drops of lavender oil on your pillow or use a diffuser to help you go to sleep and stay asleep; awake rested and more alert.
  13. Relieves motion sickness: lavender oil appears at #3 behind peppermint and ginger on most lists to treat motion sickness or nausea. If you’re traveling, use a car diffuser or inhaler, or just place one or two drops on tissue paper and inhale as needed.
  14. Reduces teeth grinding (bruxism): studies have shown that the scent of lavender can change brain wave patterns and calm nerves. Use a room diffuser or apply one or two drops to critical points on the body, such at temple, back of the neck, inside writs, chest, and shoulder.
  15. Relieves minor burn pain: run cold water on a burn and then apply lavender oil for almost immediate pain relief and without scarring.
  16. Eliminates dandruff: dry skin is the most common cause; use several drops of lavender into the scalp as a gentle moisturizer. It’s anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory that also smells great!
  17. Fights fatigue: add a few drops of lavender to a hot foot bath and soak for several minutes, so that it reaches your bloodstream more quickly. Lavender will stimulate and soothe your entire body.

These 17 ideas do not nearly cover the many medicinal purposes of the marvelous lavender plant. However, you can see from this list that lavender essential oil can ease the common problems that many face, such as anxiety, depression, fatigue, and insomnia.

I feel as expressed by Karen Rose: “If you had to choose an oil, it would have to be lavender essential oil because it is antibacterial and antiviral. So, it’s great to have when the people around you are sick; it can also be used to relax.”

This quote pretty much summarizes how we can benefit from lavender essential oil—a fragrance that’s calming, relaxing both physically and emotionally. I agree with many who say we should carry a bottle of lavender around with us as our first aid kit!

Disclaimer:

The information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to prescribe, treat, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition. Should you begin a regimen using essential oils, please consult with your physician, naturopath, or aromatherapist before doing so. The use of essential oils can be very empowering and beneficial. However, use your discretion.

 

 

Top 12 Coping With Stress Strategies

Top 12 Coping With Stress Strategies

“When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.” –Peter Marshall

If you Google “Stress Management,” you’ll receive 54,100,000 or more results—a massive topic that shows how important this is to your wellbeing. And on a single site, such as WebMD, you’ll find more than 5,361 articles devoted to stress.

Why is this topic searched on, and talked and written about in such large numbers?

Because . . .

Stress Kills!

True story:

Many years ago, I worked in a high-pressure sales job. The money was great. We had company cars and expense accounts. But we also had seemingly unending and increasingly higher sales goals to meet.

Well one day, Sam, our highest achiever, dropped dead in the office. Just like that! To everyone’s horror, he fell flat on the floor, face down outside his cubicle.

What made his death so shocking was that Sam was an avid tennis player. So he got plenty of exercises. This tragedy baffled us.

What happened?

We learned later that the doctor said he died from chronic stress, or what’s referred to as, “acute stress hormone.”

He was only 55 years old.

*****  *****

What is stress?

“A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances” –Oxford English Dictionary

Consider these U.S. Stress Statistics

  • 77% percent of people regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress
  • 73% periodically experience psychological symptoms caused by tension
  • 33% feel they are living with extreme pressure
  • 48% believe their stress has increased over the past five years
  • 76% cited money and work as the leading cause of their emotional strain
  • 48% reported lying awake at night due to stress.

(Source: 2016 Statistics Brain Research Institute)

Stress Causes Workplace Violence!

From a survey conducted January 12, 2018:

  • 80% of workers feel stress on the job, and nearly half say they need help in learning how to manage stress
  • 42% say their coworkers need help dealing with the daily job pressures.
  • 14% say they had at one time felt like striking a coworker, but didn’t
  • 25% have felt like screaming or shouting because of job stress.
  • 10% fear an individual at work could become violent.
  • 9% are aware of an assault or violent act in the workplace.
  • 18% have experienced some in-your-face threat or verbal intimidation in the past year.

(Source: The American Institute of Stress [AIS])

Add to the above statistics the fact that many feel less job security than ever before while working longer and harder. Many workers overcommit and stretch themselves too thin. Plus, some have awful bosses and hate their jobs.

Recipes for disaster!

Stress Makes Us Sick!

According to Jay Winner, MD, as reported by R. Morgan Griffin on WebMd.com, these are 10 of the most significant health problems due to stress:

  1. Heart disease (sudden emotional stress can be a trigger for heart problems).
  2. Asthma (stress can worsen asthma).
  3. Obesity (excess belly fat poses the more significant health risk).
  4. Diabetes (stress can worsen diabetes: increases lousy behavior and raises glucose levels of people with type 2 diabetes directly).
  5. Headaches (stress is one of the most common triggers for tension headaches, including migraines).
  6. Depression and anxiety (chronic stress equates to higher rates of depression and anxiety, such as experienced by people with demanding work with few rewards; they have an 80% higher risk of developing depression within a few years).
  7. Gastrointestinal problems (stress doesn’t cause ulcers but makes them worse; also contributes to gastroesophageal reflux disease and irritable bowel syndrome).
  8. Alzheimer’s disease (stress might worsen the condition; researchers speculate that reducing stress could slow down the progression of the disease).
  9. Accelerated aging (there’s evidence that stress can affect how you age; according to research, stress seemed to accelerate aging by 9 to 17 additional years).
  10. Premature death (a study looked at the health effects of stress by studying elderly caregivers looking after their spouses—people who are naturally under a great deal of stress and found that caregivers had a 63% higher rate of death than people their age who were not caregivers) **

What can you do?

How can you improve your health?

Dr. Winner shares” Four Ways to Fight Back Against Stress—and Improve Your Health”:

  1. Breathe deeply (Just a few minutes of deep breathing can calm you; you can do this anywhere. As you breathe out, you relax a specific muscle group. Start with them muscles in your jaw. On the next breath out, relax your shoulder. Move through the different areas of your body until you’re feeling calm.)
  2. Focus on the moment (Instead of worrying about the future, focus on what you’re doing right now. If you’re walking, feel the sensation of your legs moving, and so forth.)
  3. Reframe the situation (If you’re running late for an appointment and stuck in traffic, it won’t help to get all worked up. Look at that time as an opportunity to yourself.)
  4. Keep your problems in perspective (The next time you’re feeling stressed out, think about the things for which you are grateful. If you have family and friends, consider yourself fortunate. This can be a surprisingly effective method for stress relief.)

Also:

  1. Eat right.
  2. Get enough sleep.
  3. Exercise every day.
  4. Meditate/Pray.
  5. Listen to soothing music.
  6. Laugh.
  7. Take in the beauty of creation.
  8. Read * (my favorite way to relax)

There you have it: Top 12 Coping with Stress Strategies. Many of us experience enormous pressures in our daily lives. Use these and other tips to keep stress from leading to burnout in your life.

What Do Boomer Women Want?

What Do Boomer Women Want?

A reporter asked a woman what it meant to her to be in her 50’s.

Her answer: “to be invisible.”

Yes, frequently women in their midlife are ignored. However, the potential for marketing to these women should be obvious.

With more than 39 million Boomer women in the U.S., how does a company develop a marketing strategy without coming up with ways to appeal to a cohort that’s one of the most affluent in recent history?

I watched an interesting video recently, produced by MartiBarletta.com, titled “Why Boomer Women Are Game-Changers.”

My three biggest takeaways:

  • 72% are in the workforce and have their own money.
  • They become widows at an average age of 60 but enjoy a life expectancy of another 23.42 years.
  • Senior women are researchers; they care about details and how you differentiate from your competitors.

Thus older women possess wisdom, brains, and power!

So what do “today’s mightiest” women want?

That your marketing efforts consider the possibilities open to increase your bottom line when you promote your products and services; that you confirm their existence.