This weekend I had the awesome opportunity to attend the Lavender Festival in Blanco, Texas for my birthday. It was like a dream come true 🙂 I got try lavender cookies paired with a glass of lavender lemonade, so refreshing. One of the vendors even offered a special cocktail drink made with lavender and of course it was delicious! I fell in love with lavender awhile ago, when my therapist recommended for me to use lavender spray as part of a calming exercise. I was going though a lot of anxiety, depression and insomnia at the time and since I always like to try the natural holistic options over medicine, it seemed like a good option.
So I started buying lavender essential oil spray and sprayed it on about anything in our home, like the bed before going to sleep, as a body spray after a shower etc. BUT WAIT THAT’S NOT ALL… what about using lavender in food?
Did someone said food? Of course, I’m a big big fan of coffee so now I make lavender latte about every morning. I also found using lavender in chicken or pork can make a tremendously delicious main course but don’t forget to pair it with a glass of lavender lemonade! For after dinner or anytime for those with a sweet tooth you must try lavender bread, I absolutely love it and it would go great right along side a scoop of creamy honey lavender ice cream.
So what are the benefits of using culinary Lavender?
You may have heard that breathing in the smell of lavender makes you drowsy; turns out, it’s true. Research shows the scent lowers heart rate and blood pressure, putting you in a relaxed state.
But note: “Lavender himself isn’t a game-changer unless you practice other sleep-promoting habits,” says Joseph Ojile, MD, founder of Clayton Sleep Institute in St. Louis. Start to avoid caffeine 10 hours before bed, keep gadgets silent, and turn in at the same time every night.
Bloating and poor digestion can result from an overgrowth of “bad” bacteria (which can happen when you take antibiotics). “The polyphenols (a type of antioxidant) in lavender can help reduce the ‘bad’ bacteria in your gut,” says Christine Gerbstadt, MD, author of Doctor’s Detox Diet and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. For its de-puff perks, sprinkle dried culinary lavender onto Greek yogurt (also gut friendly).
Reduce Anxiety and Stress
There are a number of methods to use lavender to anxiety and stress. The natural organic compounds in the leaves and flowers of lavender can be ground between the fingers and then rubbed into the temples. This topical application can soothe the body and mind, relieving anxious thoughts and balancing out mood. Aside from this topical application of the flowers themselves, you can also brew lavender tea and achieve much the same effect. The antioxidant components of lavender can impact the endocrine system of the body to lower the levels of stress hormones in the body.
With all this been said now you have some reasons to incorporate a new herb to your diet and cooking routine. Start enjoying the awesome benefits of lavender in your life!