Sometimes a good night’s sleep seems like a far-off dream.
But the answer to our slumber situation could be right under our noses: lavender.
A uniquely versatile flower, lavender has the ability to act as a natural sleep aid, and calm both the mind and the body when incorporated into one’s nightly lifestyle.
One of actress Kimberly Elise’s favorite ingredients, lavender is featured in her natural hair care product, Alchemy 27 by Kimberly Elise. The product soothes your scalp and senses while restoring your hair’s natural beauty.
By Emily Dinenberg
As a struggling insomniac, adding another step to my bed time ritual seemed too challenging. However, I soon found that reaping the benefits of lavender could be as easy as infusing it (literally and figuratively) into my pre-existing regimen.
With uses ranging from a bug repellent to a wound soother, lavender has marked its territory as more than just a pretty flower, and can change your life beyond the garden.
Read on to learn how to use lavender to combat your restless mind and body.
What is Lavender?
Lavender, scientifically known as Lavandula, is a member of the mint family and native to Cape Verde and the Canary islands. However, the species is so common that it can be grown and seen all over the world. Almost all parts of lavender can be utilized from its buds down its long stalk. But most commonly, the flower spikes are cut from the stem and dried, or distilled into an essential oil. Interested in learning about the benefits of essential oils? Click here.
The use of both dried and distilled lavender has been shown to decrease heart rate and blood pressure, potentially putting you in a more relaxed state—perfect for using right before bed.
How can it improve my nighttime snacking?
Often times, a bad night’s sleep is a result of physical rather than mental restlessness. The anti-inflammatory and analgesic agents in lavender have been shown to soothe your organs and promote better digestion, which can help relax your muscles and help you fall asleep faster. The best way to reap these benefits is through a warm cup of lavender Tea.
After boiling 8 ounces of water, drop in a tea ball or sachet of 4 tablespoons of dried lavender buds. Let the tea steep for 10 minutes, and enjoy it while settling in for the night.
Interested in more lavender recipes? Check out these Chocolate Lavender Cupcakes for a sweet treat.
How can it improve my shower time?
A bath itself is extremely relaxing and often enough to drift you to sleep on its own. To amp up your nighttime pampering, add 6-8 drops of lavender essential oil into a filled tub, and stir the water around to disperse the oils. The soothing properties of the lavender will aid your aching muscles, and the scent will promote relaxation and stress relief so you can go to bed with a clear mind.
Not a bath person? The soothing effects of lavender aren’t limited to soaking. While in the shower, add three drops of lavender essential oil to a small capful of water and lather the mixture onto your head for an instant and soothing scalp massage. You can even add the oil to your regular shampoo, and rinse as normal for a scent boost. The steam in the shower will carry the aroma and leave you feeling more relaxed than ever.
You can make your own conditioner using the lavender essential oil- just follow Kimberly’s D-I-Y Conditioner Recipe!
How can it improve my beauty routine?
If stress and sleeplessness are causing you to deal with acne, look no further than lavender. After washing and moisturizing your face as usual, dab lavender oil on your blemishes with a cotton pad.
In addition to anti-inflammatory properties, lavender is a strong anti-optic. It will help kill the bad bacteria causing acne. It also improves circulation and can help blood flow within your skin, speeding up its healing process.
The beauty benefits of lavender extend far beyond the skin. The circulatory and healing properties of lavender are also perfect to revive hair follicles and promote healthy hair growth. Lavender has a use within every hair type and can aid with anything from an itchy scalp to hair growth.
Want to take your hair healing a step further? When dealing with damaged hair, Alchemy 27 is an easy and natural way to revitalize and restore your follicles’ natural health beauty through use of nutrient-filled botanicals, plant, and essential oils (like lavender oil!).
How can it improve my sleep ensemble?
After you’ve had your tea, taken your bath, and finished your beauty routine, putting on your pajamas and tucking in for the night is the final step in the bedtime process. Lavender’s most famous and common use is its aroma, which is known to slow down your heart rate, and calm the body into a state of relaxation. A common way to take advantage of this scent is through use of an essential oil diffuser.
Add a few drops and the machine will spread the scent throughout your room, creating a perfect atmosphere to fall asleep faster. Beyond your room, you can take the aromatherapy a step further by placing a bag of dried lavender buds in your pajama drawer. The scent will transfer to your clothes, keeping the calming scent close by all night.
Have you tried any of these tips and tricks for using lavender in your own nighttime routine or have some new ideas? Let us know in the comments below!