When it comes to fragrances, almost everyone is familiar with lavender. Even if you don’t think you’ve ever encountered it, you probably have, because the scent is used in almost every “calming” product on the market, from face wash to shampoo to hand cream.
Even though lavender is a common herb, most people don’t know that it’s been used to cure ailments for centuries, protecting us from everything from the occasional headache to the plague.
Read on for nine interesting facts about lavender that are so cool, they might just get you onto Jeopardy one day.
Lavender may have been introduced to Britain by the Romans, and was used medicinally in the Middle Ages.
By the 16th century, lavender was being used all over England to help scent laundry and toilets. It was also thought to ward off bedbugs, and was routinely sewn into sheets.
During the Black Plague, which hit London in the 16th century, lavender oil and alcohol were taken as a way to ward off the disease. Bunches of lavender were sold in the streets in an attempt to ease the smell of the dead and dying.
Lavender essential oil was used in hospitals during WWI.
Bees love lavender, and it’s a good source of honey.
Lavender has been used as a headache remedy for centuries. Try a few drops of the essential oil on a sugar cube.
Lavender essential oil is said to have calming, sedative effects.
When taken internally, lavender has been known to help treat indigestion and gas.
To add natural fragrance to your carpet, drop dried lavender buds down before using the vacuum.
We think lavender is so awesome, we use it in our smoothies on a pretty regular basis. Some delicious examples are:
Lavender has been used for decades in folk medicine to treat a variety of ailments, but it’s most commonly used to help ease an overworked nervous system. Also known as “Chilean wineberries” maqui berries are native to South America, and have more antioxidants per serving than almost any other fruit (antioxidants also benefit the nervous system). By combining these two nervous system-loving superfoods with a hefty dose of vitamin C from pear, apple and lemon, we’ve created a calming drink that will keep you focused all day long.
Honeydew Lavender Lift
You may be familiar with lavender-scented soaps and creams, but this herb has also been shown to reduce anxiety and symptoms of PMS when ingested. Honeydew is full of Vitamin C, giving you 34 percent of your recommended daily dose, as well as a good serving of potassium. Kale has Vitamin C as well, but also gives you a few grams of protein. Flaxseed has those important Omega-3s, and pecans have a nice amount of fiber. If your stomach or your emotions need a recharge, see if this smoothie can’t do the trick.
Lavender Apple Spice Cake
The fragrant herb lavender isn’t just for your aromatherapy bath! Edible-grade lavender (don’t use the sachets from your drawer!) adds an elegant flavor to a sweet or savory recipe. Apple and red butter leaf lettuce add fiber and nutrients including vitamins A and K. To provide that baked good element, you’ll blend in some gluten free oats, cinnamon (may help regulate blood sugar), and vanilla almond milk. This is a cake with health benefits!
Blue Lavender Bliss
We all know lavender scent aids in relaxation. Eating lavender flowers has that same calming effect. Blueberries have some of the highest levels of the antioxidant anthocyanin, and have been linked to all kinds of positive health benefits, including sharper cognition.These sweet little gems are also rich in vitamin C, which has been shown to relieve stress. Avocado brings the omega-3 fatty acids, and lots of B vitamins. We need B vitamins for healthy nerves and brain cells. A healthy supply of B vitamins reduced anxiety. Sip, savor, relax.
What is more calming than the smell of lavender? Maybe the taste of lavender? This smoothie will set you up for success by creating a great respite from the stressful NYC day. All the ingredients in the Lavender Honey Smoothie are light and airy; from the refreshing honeydew to the sweet coconut water. Before putting the lavender in your blender, breathe in the wonderful fragrance. Sunny meadow, is that you?
Want more lavender in your life (and in your smoothies)? Join Green Blender today!