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its scent is inhaled.
Scientific evidence suggests that aromatherapy with
lavender may:
*slow the activity of the central nervous system; *im-
prove sleep quality; *promote relaxation; *lift mood
in people suffering from sleep disorders
Studies also suggest that massage with essential oils,
particularly lavender, may result in a more stable
mood, better concentration, and reduced anxiety. In
one recent study, people who received massage with
lavender felt less anxious and more positive than
those who received massage alone. Several small
studies suggest that lavender aromatherapy may
help reduce agitation in patients with dementia.
Lavender flowers have been approved in Germany
as a tea for insomnia, restlessness, and nervous stom-
ach irritations. So to ¡°grandmother¡¯s remedy¡± of hot
tea and honey for colds and sore throats and upset
stomachs and such, we can add lavender flowers for
a fragrant restorative.
To prevent and reduce headaches, eye strain and
puffy eye, a lavender filled eye pillow that rests
lightly across the eyes and forehead can give wel-
come relief. A lavender filled neck wrap that can
be warmed up or chilled gives precious relief to
muscles that tighten in the shoulder, neck and upper
arm area from hours at the computer or any kind of
stress. Putting lavender filled sachets or drawer pil-
lows with clothes that are to be stored for the change
of seasons will protect them from moths and other
pests. Hanging sachets in closets smell much better
than cedar or mothballs.
Recently there has been an interest in cooking and
baking with lavender to produce new, flavorful
foods. Of course, herbs de Provence has always in-
cluded lavender in its recipe, but meat rubs, flavored
salt, oils and vinegars are now available.
Health & Nurturing
2013 October
Pg 7 - The Sunshine Express
Lovin¡¯ Lavender
Lavender is also being studied for
antibacterial and antiviral proper-
ties. Lavender oil is often used in
other forms of integrative medicine:
*massage; *acupuncture; *chiroprac-
tic manipulation.
Aroma therapists use lavender in
inhalation therapy to treat head-
aches, nervous disorders, and
exhaustion. Herbalists treat skin
ailments, such as fungal infections,
wounds, eczema, and acne with
lavender oil. It is also used in heal-
ing baths for joint and muscle pain.
Studies have confirmed that laven-
der produces slight calming, sooth-
ing, and sedative effects when
Do you recognize the phrase, ¡°purple moun-
tains majesty¡±? Most of us know it as a line
from the song ¡®America the Beautiful¡¯. The song
praises, among other things, our spacious skies,
bountiful harvests, endless plains and majestic
mountains.
Yet for a growing group of gardeners, farm-
ers, ranchers and residential growers, purple
mountain majesty invokes the glorious beauty
of endless rows of deep purple lavender, wav-
ing its heavenly fragrance across the planting
fields of Western Colorado. Over the past five
years there has been a fast-growing interest in
lavender, particularly on the Western Slope. As
lavender is being grown, products are being
developed, and people are responding by buy-
ing lavender, soaps, lotions, pillows, sachets,
bundles and more. Essential oil is extracted
from the fresh flowers of the lavender plant and
used for medicinal purposes.
Lavender has a history dating back to the
Greeks and Romans. The flowers were sprin-
kled on laundry as it dried outside on bushes.
The flowers were bundled and put in bath
water to purify body and spirit. It was used to
keep clothing smelling fresh. In folklore, pil-
lows were filled with lavender flowers to help
restless people fall sleep. In the Victorian period
it was wrapped in ribbon and lace and given to
a love one, often with a note tucked inside. It
has long been used as a remedy for a range of
ailments from insomnia and anxiety to depres-
sion and fatigue.
While France is known worldwide for its laven-
der production, there are many other countries,
like Bulgaria, England, Australia and New Zea-
land, producing fine quality plants. In Western
Colorado, where the climate is excellent for its
growth, more and more plants are being put
into the ground. Researchers are examining
the possibility that Western Colorado¡¯s high
altitude may produce some of the best lavender
essential oils in the world.
So, why all the activity around lavender?
Because the word is spreading that lavender
and lavender products are easily available and
extremely useful for everyday life. Supportive
research, though the studies have been small,
has shown that lavender essential oil may be
beneficial in a variety of conditions:
*insomnia; *alopecia (hair loss); *anxiety;
*stress; *postoperative pain.
The Lavender Association of Western Colorado
produced a cookbook entitled ¡®Spike It With Lav-
ender!¡¯, that is filled with tested recipes for many
dishes, drinks and even household hints. Each
year, new recipes are added. The cooking demon-
stration at last July¡¯s Annual Lavender Festival, in
Palisade, featured world chef Marcelo Marino of
Palisade¡¯s Wine Country Inn with tips and uses
for lavender.
It seems that with few exceptions, lavender is a
universally loved fragrance that can encompass
all aspects of daily life: sleep, eat, bathe, meditate,
heal and give to others. An anecdotal study by
Rosemary Litz, owner of All About Lavender,
Grand Junction, finds that about 50% of lavender
purchases are gifts for someone else, surely evi-
dence of ¡°crown(ing) the good with brotherhood
(sisterhood)¡±, as the beautiful song tells us.
(Rosemary Litz is a residential lavender grower
and the owner of All About Lavender, produc-
ing lavender filled eye pillows, neck wraps, dryer
bags, sachets and many other lavender products
for health and relaxation. The shop is located in
the Shabby Chic¡¯ Boutique at 2586, Grand Junc-
tion, CO. She can be reached at rosemarylitz@
yahoo.com or all aboutlavender@yahoo.com)