From fighting stress to calming skin, lavender is more than just a pretty scent.
It helps you relax
You may have heard that breathing in the smell of lavender makes you drowsy; turns out, it's true. Research shows that the scent lowers heart rate and blood pressure, putting you in a relaxed state. To set yourself up for zzz's, put a handful of dried lavender in a vase on your nightstand—or use a diffuser with lavender oil. Also try a bubble bath with our lavender wash or treat yourself to any of our lavender collection.
But note: "Lavender 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.
So you're a mosquito magnet? Get the itch out with lavender essential oil or our calming lavender lotion or barn balm. "It's a natural anti-inflammatory, so it helps reduce itching, swelling, and redness," explains Naila Malik, MD, a Texas-based dermatologist. Dab a drop or two on the area and wait about 15 minutes for it to seep in (but stop if skin becomes more irritated). Apply as needed every six to eight hours for the next 24 hours.
Healthy up your meal
Add lavender's phytonutrients (good-for-you plant compounds) to any meal by using herbes de Provence (available at grocery stores). Sprinkle the lavender-based spice blend onto sauteed or grilled meats, poultry, vegetables, and even whole-grain pilafs (barley, couscous, brown rice), Dr. Gerbstadt suggests. Voila!
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).