10 Benefits Of Growing Lavender At Home

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Growing lavender is fun, easy, and has a number of health and culinary benefits. Lavender is known for its versatility and numerous uses, especially its oils, which are extracted from the flower of the plant through steam distillation. It is a member of the mint family, and can be used for medicinal or culinary purposes.

The flowers of the lavender plant have a soothing fragrance when they are fresh or dry, which is one of the many reasons why they are so popular among those who grow herbs.

The calming scent of lavender makes it a regular ingredient in aromatherapy. Lavender oil combines beautifully with other herbs, such as cedarwood, pine, clary sage, geranium, and nutmeg. You’ll find lavender commonly used in many personal care products, including lotions, gels, and soaps, as well as in sweet and savory foods.

In addition to the calming effect of its aroma, lavender oil has many other benefits.

On a related note … Did you see this article on the benefits of Mugwort?

10 Benefits of Lavender and Lavender Oils

1 Bug Repellent

Lavender oil is the perfect natural alternative to harmful bug repellents. The scent of lavender oil is too strong for many types of insects including mosquitos, midges, and moths.

If you have been bitten by a bug, rub a few drops of lavender oil onto your skin. This should relieve the irritation caused by the bite. Lavender oil has anti-inflammatory properties.

Next time you go out in the woods, keep a bottle of lavender oil in your Natural First Aid Kit.

2 Insomnia

One in three adults has trouble sleeping, (1) which heavily affects his or her ability to do day-to-day activities. The lack of sleep affects mood and the immune system, too.

Prescription drugs that help you sleep can have severe side-effects, including addiction.

Lavender oil induces sleep without any side-effects; a few drops on your pillow, or a sachet of lavender under your pillow, is all you need.

3 Nervous system

Lavender’s soothing aroma is known to calm nerves and reduce anxiety. It helps provide symptom relief of migraines, depression, and emotional stress. The calming fragrance relaxes your nerves, while revitalizing your brain.

Studies found that people suffering from anxiety and stress before an exam had increased mental function after sniffing lavender oil. (2)

4 Skin Conditions

It is common for people to suffer from acne breakouts during puberty, but some adults also suffer from this bacterial outbreak.

Lavender oil reduces the growth of bacteria that cause infections and regulates the over-secretion of sebum (oil produced by the skin).

Scars left by acne can be reduced by the use of lavender oil. By adding a couple of drops to your moisturizer, or even some water splashed on your face, should reduce your acne and its scars.

5 Immune system

According to the Journal of Medical Microbiology, “lavender shows a potent antifungal effect against strains of fungi responsible for common skin and nail infections.” (3) Lavender has antibacterial and antiviral properties, which protect the body from diseases like TB, typhoid, and diphtheria.

6 Circulatory system

Research has found that aromatherapy using lavender promotes blood circulation, lowers elevated blood pressure, and reduces hypertension.

The increased blood flow leads to increased amounts of oxygen in the muscles and the brain. Your skin also glows due to better blood flow, and your body is better protected against heart disease. (4)

7 Digestive system

Lavender oil leads to better digestion by increasing the movement of food in the digestive track.

The oil stimulates your intestines and the production of bile and gastric juices. This helps with upset stomach, stomach pain, indigestion, gas, colic, vomiting, and diarrhea. (5)

8 Pain relief

It can help with sore or tight muscles, joint pain, sprains, backache, and menstrual cramps.

For menstrual cramps, massage a few drops of lavender oil on your lower abdomen and apply a warm towel. Also, applying the oil on the bottom of your feet will help.

9 Diabetes treatment

In 2014, Scientists in Tunisia tested the effects of lavender oil on blood sugar levels to see if it would help with diabetes.

During their study, they found that lavender oil treatments protected the body from increased blood glucose, weight gain, and liver and kidney function. Researchers were amazed to find that the radical antioxidant properties of lavender were more effective than Vitamin C. (6)

10 Healthy Hair

Lavender oil helps kill lice, lice eggs, and nits. There are some studies that show that lavender can possibly treat hair loss and boosts hair growth by up to 44 percent after seven months of treatment. (7)

 

growing-lavender

© maximkabb

 

Growing Lavender at home

Lavender is a very useful herb, it can be used for everything from taking care of you to cleaning your home. With these types of benefits, it would be great to grow your own lavender plants.

Here is one of the easiest way of growing lavender at home:

Grow Lavender in Pots

Growing lavender in a pot is easy, whether you use seeds, cuttings or bought plants.

If you’re going to use seeds, place them on top of sandy soil. Cover them lightly with a layer of perlite. In two to three weeks, your seeds should sprout.

If you’re going to use cuttings, make sure to take them below the node (the leafy part of the plant). Dip your cuttings in root hormone or an organic rooting hormone. Place them upright in warm, damp sandy soil.

Make your own Organic Rooting Hormone! Grab a small cup and cinnamon. Spit into the cup, or have your son do it. Dip your cutting in the saliva. Then, dip it into the cinnamon. Place your cutting into  your rooting medium. Saliva is a natural root enhancer, and cinnamon minimizes damping off of your cutting.

Whatever type of container you choose to hold your lavender plant, keep in mind that while lavender does need water, it does not like moisture. This means that you need a container with a good drainage system.

A container with plenty of drainage holes is perfect. If there are only a couple of holes, drill some more.

If your pot is going to be inside, then get a pot with a removable saucer at the bottom to catch the excess water. Do not get a pot with an attached saucer. You don’t want your lavender plant to be too damp.

Maintain your potted lavender

Once you’ve found the right amount of moisture in the sandy soil, maintaining your lavender becomes pretty easy. Ensure that the plant receives the right amount of sun exposure, water, soil pH, and temperature.

Sunlight

Place your lavender pot somewhere that it will get at least 8 hours of sunlight a day. Note: In places in the southwest and southeast where the sun is extremely strong, your lavender may need a bit of shade.

Water

Lavender does not require much water. Let the soil become dry in between watering, but do not let it get so dry that the plant wilts.

Soil pH

Lavender does not like acidic soils. It may look fine the first year, but it will start dying off. This member of the mint family loves an alkaline soil with a pH between 6.7 to 7.3.

Temperature

Depending on where you live, your lavender will grow best in the late spring to early summer. If you are in a cooler climate, you might want to look at varieties, like English Lavender, which will grow in your cooler temperatures.

French Lavender is at its healthiest when it is warm. There is a good chance it won’t survive a cold winter, which is why it is better to plant it in pots, so it can easily be moved when temperatures drop.

Harvesting Lavender

Lavender has many benefits in all its forms.

If you prune the first bloom in early spring, you may have a second harvest in the summer.

When re-flowering begins to slow, (after about a month of flowering), you’ll be ready for your final harvest. Remove the flower stems from the bush and gather the stems into a bunch.

Cut your lavender a few inches above the woody growth with a harvesting knife.

Drying Lavender

Dry lavender in bunches, on screens, with a dehydrator, or in a paper bag. Either dry in a cool, dark place hanging upside-down, or on a screen out in the sun. Note: The sun will change the color of the lavender.

Now use YOUR lavender for anything from crafts to cooking. However, the lavender oil, which you can extract through steam distillation, is lavender’s most popular use.

What is your favorite way to use lavender? The comment section is waiting for you below.

Resources:

  1. Trouble Sleeping? [https://centracare.org/florida/blog/2016/05/23/trouble-sleeping/]
  2. Lavender Oil Benefits: Reducing Stress and Depression [https://www.drwhitaker.com/lavender-oil-benefits-reducing-stress-and-depression]
  3. Lavender Oil Has Potent Antifungal Effect. Science News. [https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110214201842.htm]
  4. Relaxation effects of lavender… [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17689755]
  5. Love Lavender? Try Lavender Oil. Mercola. [http://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/lavender-oil.aspx]
  6. Lavender essential oils attenuate hyperglycemia… [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3880178/]
  7. What are the health benefits of lavender? Medical News Today. [http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265922.php]

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The post 10 Benefits Of Growing Lavender At Home appeared first on The Grow Network.

9 Surprising Uses For Backyard Lavender Plants (Got Bugs? Try No. 5)

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9 Surprising Uses For Backyard Lavender Plants (Got Bugs? Try No. 4)

Image source: Pixabay.com

Lavender is one of the most popular herbs in backyard gardens. Using lavender allows you to tap into its multiple medicinal properties.

Let’s take a look at my favorite ways to use it!

1. Lavender in jam recipes

Yes, you read that correctly! Despite the fact that lavender is a floral herb, it makes a fantastic accompaniment with fruit. Blueberry and blackberries are two great choices. Fresh lavender is the best for jam recipes because it has a more vibrant taste.

2. Lavender dryer bags

If you are like me, you prefer to avoid chemicals as much as possible. Still, nicely scented clothes are something I hate to give up. The answer? Make simple lavender dryer bags with muslin drawstring bags. All you need to do is pour dried lavender into the bag and tie it tightly! Each bag can be used multiple times.

3. Lavender infused oil

I massage it on my kids when they are ready for bed. It works great on bug bites or in one of my multiple salves and lotions I make each year. You can keep infused oil for at least nine months, giving you plenty of time to use it. There are several ways to make infused oils. It is a great medicinal item to have in your medicine cabinet!

4. Simple lavender salve

Once you have your lavender infused oil, you will want to find ways to use it. Everyone needs to have a lavender salve. It is like a lavender ointment. Use it for massages, headaches, restless legs, tired muscles and on your small abrasions.

Learn How To Make Powerful Herbal Medicines, Right in Your Kitchen!

To make salves, you need access to beeswax or candelilla wax. You can purchase both online. Try adding a few drops of lavender essential oil. It helps to add more scent to the salve and it increases its medicinal value.

9 Surprising Uses For Backyard Lavender Plants (Got Bugs? Try No. 4)

Image source: Pixabay.com

5. Keep bugs away

Citronella is famed for keeping away bugs, but did you know bugs also hate the scent of lavender and mint? You can use fresh and dry lavender for this. To keep bugs away while you are outside, put a few branches on your fire pit. Another choice is to make a bundle of lavender and mint, burning them together. The scent deters bugs from entering the area.

6. Lavender mint chicken coop spray

Summer heat can cause chicken coops to smell. I always keep lavender in their nesting boxes, but a coop spray can help with the strange scent. All you need is fresh mint and fresh lavender leaves and flowers. Soak them in a mason jar with white vinegar or vodka. I prefer vodka because it helps develop the sweet scent. After you allow the herbs to soak for three weeks, spray your coop as often as you like.

7. Honey lavender soap

Honey does wonders for your skin, but lavender does, too. If you use a honey soap base and have lavender essential oil, you can make a simple batch of honey lavender soap. Use your lavender plant to add pieces of fresh herb to the soap before it fully dries. It will help to exfoliate your skin.

8. Lavender tea – hot and iced

One way to intake lavender is with delicious teas. While I prefer mine hot, you might like iced tea. I use green tea bags and mix them together in my homemade tea bags. Lavender tea is great for a drink before bed or to take away a frustrating headache. You can purchase your tea bags online!

9. Lavender honey hand scrub

Here is another way to use all of that lavender infused oil you made before. You might want to make another batch! Hand scrubs are great for gardeners. We spend so much time in the dirt and working with our hands. To make these types of scrubs, you need cane sugar, lavender infused oil, honey and lavender essential oil. Making it is a breeze. You just mix everything in a bowl until you find the consistency that you like. These make the perfect gift, as well!

Lavender is a versatile and beloved herb, useful in many situations. From baking recipes to sugar scrub, you can find a multitude of ways to use your lavender plant. Lavender should never go to waste!

What are your favorite ways to use lavender? Share your tips in the section below:

15 Ways to Repel Bugs Naturally

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1_featured_bug_repellent_natural

2_tiger-mosquito-mosquito-asian-tigermucke-sting-86722Having a healthy insect population in your garden is a good thing, but when you’re camping you can run into all sorts of things like mosquitoes, flies, spiders, ticks, fleas, ants and mites. If you’re an avid gardener, you might also want to keep the insect population on your lovelies in check. Pesticides and insect repellents can contain harmful ingredients (or you might not have access to them), and you might want to opt for a natural way that doesn’t harm you, your family or the bugs in question.

By Alex Coyne, a contributing author of SurvivalCache and SHTFBlog.com

Here are some of the most effective ways to repel bugs naturally…

#1: Crushed basil leaves

What’s homemade Italian cooking without some basil? It’s an essential addition to any herb garden – as most chefs will tell you! Fresh, crushed basil leaves placed on a table will keep flies away while you’re eating: This is especially handy for camping trips, picnics or hot days.

#2: A solution of yeast, water and sugar

Yeast is something you should always have in the house. A solution of yeast and sugar – to feed the yeast and attract the bugs – will keep flies away. This is the natural version of the bug-zapper. Just remember to change it out every couple of days – or hours, depending on how huge your fly problem is.

#3: Homemade fly strips

1_fly_bug_repellentThere’s no reason you should have to buy fly strips. (If you’ve ever tried getting one down again without sticking hundreds of fly corpses to yourself, you might not want to buy them again….). Boil some sugar water (or water with a bit of money in it) and add strips of paper. Hang these up, and they will attract flies pretty much just like a fly strip would. Again, change and dispose of these periodically.

Read Also: Oak Trees and Survival Food

#4: Clove essential oil

Flies (and some humans) absolutely hate the scent of clove oil, so if you’re trying to get a handle on a fly problem, get some essential oil to make a spray with and spray in the areas the flies happen to frequent. Keep clove oil as part of your natural arsenal anyway, as it can also be used as a natural and very effective (though temporary) remedy for toothache: If you do not have the oil, bite down on a clove.

#5: Yellow globes

Yellow light naturally repels bugs (including moths and mosquitoes) at night, so if you have an ongoing problem with either, start by changing your lights – and, it should go without saying, getting a mosquito net to go with your bed. They’re cheaper than getting treated for malaria, or, y’know, being buried.

#6: Burning coffee grounds

Used coffee grounds can be burned – over a fire, like you would incense or dried herbs – to get rid of mosquitoes. If you’re a regular camper, it’s likely that you love the smell of coffee by a campfire, so it doesn’t cost you anything to do this as part of your process anyway.

#7: Rose geranium for ticks

Ticks can carry diseases like tick bite fever, and if you’re going to the woods or African bush you’ll want to check your body regularly. Rose geranium, in an essential oil on the skin (or diluted in a spray), is commonly recommended to get rid of ticks. This works on both man and beast, by the way, so it’s even great for your dogs.

#8: Black pepper for ants

1_pepper-pepper-mill-pfefferkorn-pepper-ground-39069Black pepper, sprinkled where you don’t want them to go or diluted in a spray, will keep ants in check and away you’re your food. Of course, don’t leave open food lying around for ants either – get containers that seal (and seal properly). Cayenne pepper works just as well, but you don’t want to get that in your eyes.

#9: Vinegar

Vinegar is commonly recommended as a repellent for spiders: Diluted, spray it if you don’t want to follow the spiders. Apple cider vinegar (again, diluted in water) will also keep away ticks and fleas on both humans and animals. Keep in mind that cats hate the smell of vinegar (and it’s also a cat repellent), so dilute pretty well if you plan on using it on your cats. Internally, it’s given to cats and dogs to treat a bladder infection.

#10: Caffeine for mites

Caffeine is a naturally occurring pesticide, and a weak coffee spray on plants will keep all sorts of pests away, including mites.

#11: Garlic

Garlic keeps away more than just vampires. You can also increase the amount of garlic in your diet to keep away mosquitoes: They really don’t like the smell of it. (If your camping mates don’t either, chewing on some parsley will neutralize the smell of garlic on your breath after some buttery garlic bread.)

Check Out: Protecting Your Soil Over Winter

#12: Mint leaves

3_mintMint leaves, fresh and crushed, in an oil or in a spray will keep away mosquitoes – and a range of other bugs including moths. Catnip is technically family of mint, and much of the same properties that apply to mint apply to catnip. (For those with heart problems, take care when ingesting mint.)

#13: Lavender for moths

Lavender has been recommended for years as a remedy for calm and aiding sleep, but it turns out that dried lavender pouches work just as well for keeping moths out of your clothes. (This tip comes courtesy of Martha Stewart – the queen of homemaking hacks.)

#14: Citronella for mosquitoes

Citronella candles or oil should always be part of your camping kit as a bug repellent. It’s commonly recommended for mosquitoes, and is a great natural replacement for mosquito coils.

#15: Sage

Both sage and rosemary can be burned over a fire to get rid of mosquitoes naturally. (And again, both are great additions to whatever you’ve got cooking on the fire, too!)

What have you used as a natural bug repellent? Use the comments to let us know.

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Growing a Lavender Hedge Year 2

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There isn't much maintenance with my lavender hedge year 2, it's looking great. A bit of compost and a bit of cleaning and you’ll be enjoying a wonderfully fragrant summer harvest | PreparednessMama

Last year I put a new garden in my Central Texas yard. It’s a 30×50 foot experiment that’s been a lot of fun. I’ve had successes and failures a plenty as I learn to garden in the South. The biggest success is my lavender hedge. Year two looks to be even better than the last. […]

The post Growing a Lavender Hedge Year 2 appeared first on PreparednessMama.

5 Herbs That Mosquitoes Absolutely, Positively Despise

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5 Herbs That Mosquitoes Absolutely, Positively Despise

Basil. Image source: Pixabay.com

 

Summer is here, and that brings one unfortunate type of creature: bugs.

Mosquitoes and fleas, and other bugs and insects, can become a real annoyance and ruin anyone’s outdoor fun. But there is an all-natural way to fight back against these pests: with herbs!

The five herbs below, and their essential oils, can help repel those annoying bugs throughout summer.

1. Basil. Basil is not only a delicious herb but is also great for repelling bugs. Flies and mosquitoes hate basil. Use it to repel bugs by planting it, making a spray with it, or rubbing the leaves directly on yourself.

Learn How To Make Powerful Herbal Medicines, Right in Your Kitchen!

When plating the basil, put it near areas where you most want to keep those pesky insects away from you. A simple spray could be made by steeping the leaves in water for a couple of hours. Then, take just the basil-water and mix it with a small amount of apple cider vinegar and spray it on yourself.

2. Mint. Its intoxicating and overwhelming smell is what keeps mosquitoes away. Mint can be made into a spray by mixing its essential oil (a few drops of peppermint oil) with vinegar or water. The plant itself also can be utilized as a repellent by rubbing the leaves on your skin directly, or by placing the plant wherever you hang out most often.

5 Herbs That Mosquitoes Absolutely, Positively Despise

Lavender. Image source: Pixabay.com

3. Lavender. One of the best-smelling and beautiful plants is lavender, and it has one of the most beneficial attributes to be used in the summer months. Lavender is perfect at repelling moths, fleas, flies and mosquitoes! This is the one herb that can do it all. Yet it is beneficial to not only you but also your garden. Hang it in your house and even by the doorways to keep the flies away. It can also be made into a spray like the other herbs.

4. Lemon thyme. When using this herb it is important to bruise the leaves before rubbing it on the skin. The only way the aroma is released is by smashing it or bruising it to release the oils. Then it can be applied to the skin. Among bugs and insects, lemon thyme is best used to repel mosquitoes.

5. Lemon balm. Lemon balm is an amazing plant that not only repels “bad” bugs but also attracts good ones. It repels annoying insects like mosquitoes, gnats or flies and attracts insects like butterflies and bees. This allows for your garden to be cared for by the beneficial bugs and protected from the pesky bugs. This herb can be crushed and applied to the skin or put on a patio or deck, or even planted in the garden, so as to protect you when you work.

In nature, there is a balance of good and bad. Nature gives us those annoying bugs, but nature also provides us plants to repel them when needed. Now that you have discovered what herbs to use, you can keep those exasperating insects away and actually enjoy your evenings outside, bug-free.

What herbs would you add to this list? Share them in the section below:  

If You Like All-Natural Home Remedies, You Need To Read Everything That Hydrogen Peroxide Can Do. Find Out More Here.

hydrogen peroxide report

10 Heal-Anything Herbs That Just Might Replace Your Medicine (No. 5 Is Popular During Summer)

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10 Heal-Anything Herbs For Growing Your Own Off-Grid ‘Backyard Medicine Chest’

Image source: Flickr

Growing herbs for use in the kitchen allows you to add a freshness to the table that store-bought herbs can never produce. Whether grown in a small plot designed especially for a kitchen herb garden, in containers along the patio or as companion plants in the family garden, herbs are an excellent addition to your homestead.

Although herbs add much to our culinary endeavors, they are also useful in many other ways. Many common herbs have great medicinal qualities, are helpful in caring for livestock, and some have the ability to control unwanted pests around the homestead. For the cost of a few seeds, or potted plants, and a bit of time for researching your options, you can grow a natural medicine chest in your backyard.

Below is a brief overview of 10 common plants that can be used to treat a wide variety of ailments. Some can be taken internally as an herbal tea, while some should only be used as an infused oil or as part of a poultice. Still others are best suited for pest management on the homestead.

1. Sweet basil

Sweet Basil is not only versatile in the kitchen, but also works as a repellent for flying insects such as flies and mosquitos. Basil reduces inflammation and has been shown to be effective as an antibacterial agent.

2. Calendula

Not to be confused with marigolds, which are toxic, calendula has many healing properties. It is best used as a salve in treating skin irritations, including rashes, bruising, cuts and scrapes. It is safe to use for everyone on the homestead, including livestock.

3. Comfrey

10 Herbs For Growing Your Own Off-Grid ‘Backyard Medicine Chest’

Comfrey. Image source: Pixabay.com

Comfrey contains allantoin, which aids cell formation, giving comfrey wonderful healing properties. Used to treat wounds, burns, skin irritations, sprains and even broken bones, comfrey can be used as a raw leaf, in a salve or more often as a poultice.

Need Non-GMO Herb Seeds? Get Them From A Company You Can Trust!

Please note that comfrey should not be taken internally, as it disrupts liver function.

4. Garlic

We all know that garlic has health benefits when added to our meals, but it is also helpful as a repellent for pesky mosquitos. A garlic poultice can be used to treat ringworm and other skin irritations. Painful ear infections can be eased by the application of warm, mashed garlic cloves.

5. Lavender

Even in ancient times, lavender was added to bath water to restore calm. Today, we recognize that it is helpful not only for relieving anxiety but it has beneficial properties that can be utilized to treat burns, cuts and insect bites.

6. Marsh mallow

Marsh mallow is a versatile healing plant. It can be used as a salve for insect bites, bruises and other types of skin inflammation. It works well as a poultice for chest congestion and can also be made into a syrup to further alleviate congested airways. An herbal tea, made from the root of the mallow plant, has been known to help multiple ailments, including excessive stomach acid and even the passage of kidney stones.

7. Painted daisies

Painted daisies, as well as other daisy relatives, contain pyrethrum, a natural insecticide. Whether it is used as a companion plant in the garden or planted around an outdoor living space, this plant is a colorful natural alternative to toxic insecticides.

8. Parsley

10 Herbs For Growing Your Own Off-Grid ‘Backyard Medicine Chest’

Parsley. Image source: Pixabay.com

Aside from garnishing your dinner plate, parsley aids in digestion, promotes optimal liver function and combats bad breath. It can be used as poultice to reduce swelling and bruising. Additionally, adding parsley when juicing other fruits and vegetables also helps to eliminate water retention.

9. Sage

A common addition to savory foods, sage, used as an herbal tea or as a syrup, is helpful in reducing fevers, easing headaches, and clearing sinuses. Relieve skin irritations, such as itchy rashes, with sage leaves.

10. Thyme

Thyme is a multipurpose plant, offering many medicinal uses, as well as being helpful for pest management. Adding thyme to your garden will draw bees for pollination. However, if you add thyme to a campfire, it will repel unwanted insects. Medicinally, thyme can be used a number of ways. As a poultice, thyme acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and is also antifungal. As a weak tea, it can be used as a mouthwash and gargle to relieve sores in the mouth and general sore throats. It works as an expectorant, helpful in relieving painful coughs.

Which herbs would you add to the list? Share your advice in the section below:

Bust Inflation With A Low-Cost, High-Production Garden. Read More Here.

Lavender Oil: The Off-Grid Way To Fight Anxiety, Heal Wounds And Sleep Better, Too

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Lavender: The Off-Grid Way To Fight Anxiety, Heal Wounds And Sleep Better, Too

Image source: Pixabay.com

Lavender essential oil is one of the more commonly used essential oils and is perhaps the most versatile of all oils.

It is a non-toxic, non-irritating and non-sensitizing essential oil, so it is safe for all skin types. It has both stimulating and relaxing properties, and is known as a powerful healer and an antiseptic. Lavender essential oil refreshes, calms, invigorates and lifts the spirits.

I use lavender essential oil to help with my insomnia, as well as to reduce periodic bouts of tension, anxiety and depression. I find it exceptional for calming itching due to eczema and minor skin irritations such as rashes or insect bites. Lavender essential oil also aids in soothing my sore muscles, backaches and headaches. It is an excellent first-aid treatment when used to help with the healing of minor wounds and the prevention of infection.

The best ways to use lavender essential oil is through massage therapy and aromatherapy. Here are some ideas and recipes to help combat the most common of health ailments.

Use it for Anxiety, Depression and Tension

Everyone experiences stress and anxiety from time to time. If not treated, anxiety can lead to feelings of depression. Treatments for anxiety and depression often involve unnatural, addictive medications which cause sleepiness and loss of interest. Why not seek a natural source of relief from anxiety with essential oils?

Learn How You Can Make Powerful Herbal Medicines, Right in Your Kitchen!

Here are some recipes to try and help combat negative feelings …

Anti-Anxiety, Relaxing Combinations for a Massage Therapy Blend, Bath Water or an Air Diffuser:

  • 4 drops lavender essential oil
  • 4 drops neroli essential oil
  • 2 drops geranium essential oil

Or

  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops rose essential oil

To create a massage therapy blend, simply add 2 fl oz. of your favorite carrier oil.

Tackle Insomnia

Lavender has a natural calming effect and it also contributes to improving your mood, so it helps you fall asleep and feel better while you sleep.

Lavender: The Off-Grid Way To Fight Anxiety, Heal Wounds And Sleep Better, Too

Image source: Pixabay.com

For a simple but effective aromatherapy idea to help with insomnia, before going to bed apply several drops of lavender essential oil to a tissue. Leave it beside your pillow so you breathe it in continuously while you sleep.

Create a Relaxing Atmosphere in the Bedroom by Using These Blends in an Air Diffuser:

  • 4 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops tangerine essential oil

Or

  • 4 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops sweet orange essential oil

Or

  • 3 drops lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops geranium essential oil

Taking a hot bath using lavender essential oil or combined with other essential oils is another way to relax before bedtime. It also has healthy benefits for your skin, muscles and state of being when added to a steaming bath water. Light some candles around the room and play some soft music to create a relaxing atmosphere. Run your bath water, drop in about six drops of the essential oils and swirl it around. Relax and enjoy.

Restful Bath Combinations:

  • 4 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops Australian sandalwood essential oil

Or,

  • 3 drops lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops linaloe essential oil

Treat Cuts and Wounds

Lavender essential oil has high-quality healing and antiseptic effects, which calm and soothe the irritated area. It aids in healing by helping with new skin cell generation. It is also an anti-inflammatory agent, so that it will help with any swelling and pain, too.

Try using this lavender essential oil blend to help disinfect and heal …

To Heal Cuts, Wounds, Ulcers or Skin Infections:

  • Two drops myrrh essential oil
  • Two drops frankincense essential oil
  • One drops German chamomile essential oil
  • One drops lavender essential oil
  • One fl oz. grape seed carrier oil

Don’t Forget Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is a special way of using lavender essential oil blends. Some would say it is the most pleasurable, combining as it does the senses of touch and smell. It is also a therapeutic method, as essential oils are diluted in a carrier oil, like sunflower, and rubbed directly into the skin.

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Massage therapy using lavender essential oil blends has two further bonuses. First, it stimulates circulation, enabling the essential oils to disperse rapidly around the body, and second, the essential oils create a warmth with skin-on-skin friction, and this also causes the essential oils to smell stronger so that you get the therapeutic benefits of both the mind and the body.

Take a look at these therapeutic massage blends using lavender essential oil …

Recipe for a Rich Moisturizing Blend:

  • 7 drops rose essential oil
  • 4 drops lavender essential oil
  • 4 drops sandalwood essential oil
  • 2 fl oz. sweet almond carrier oil

Recipe for Eczema, Itchy and Sensitive Skin:

  • 8 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops marigold essential oil
  • 5 drops violet essential oil
  • 2 fl oz. sweet almond carrier oil

Recipe for Backache:

  • 6 drops lavender essential oil
  • 6 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 3 drops lemon essential oil
  • 2 fl oz. safflower carrier oil

Recipe for Tense Muscles:

  • 8 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops petitgrain essential oil
  • 2 drops basil essential oil
  • 2 drops sunflower carrier oil

Headache Massage Blend:

  • 2 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops rose essential oil
  • 1 drop chamomile essential oil
  • 1 fl oz. sunflower carrier oil

Conclusion

By creating a mixture which you love to smell each time you use it, you will feel more fulfilled and at peace. Lavender essential oil combines well with many other essential oils, so feel free to experiment with your own combinations to discover your favorite, relaxing scent.

How do you use lavender essential oil? Share your tips in the section below:

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5 Heal-Everything Essential Oils You Should Stockpile For First Aid

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5 Heal-Everything Essential Oils For Your First-Aid Stockpile

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Spring has arrived, and summer is rolling in soon. The much-welcomed, pleasant weather results in more activity, both indoors and outdoors.

It is also, unfortunately, the time of year which results in more accidents. Now is the time to create your all-natural first-aid kits so that quick treatment is available during your time of need!

I would recommend making two first-aid kits: one to take on the go, and one for your home. I always keep a well-stocked first-aid kit in my home, for quick retrieval in case of an emergency. Then, I also have one in my vehicle which travels with me everywhere I go. Having a well-stocked first-aid kit can save a life.

In this article, I have put together a list of which essential oils I use in my first-aid kits and an explanation of why they are beneficial for first aid. To help even further, I have added some personal recipes and remedies on how to use these oils in the event of an accident or a bothersome health ailment, such as a migraine.

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Don’t forget to add a carrier oil to the kit, which is used for diluting 100 percent pure essential oils. I use sweet almond carrier oil, but there are many from which to choose.

Here is what is in my first-aid kit:

1. Peppermint essential oil

Properties: Antibacterial, Anti-Inflammatory, Antiparasitic, Antispasmodic, Analgesic, Antiviral, Digestive.

5 Heal-Everything Essential Oils You Should Stockpile For First Aid

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Peppermint essential oil is nearly one-third menthol, which makes it excellent for soothing headaches, muscular pain, sunburn, insect bites, mental fatigue, nausea and indigestion.

Headache relief:

  • 4 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 4 drops lavender essential oil
  • 4 tsp sweet almond carrier oil
  • Massage this blend into your temples or scalp to relieve the discomfort of a headache.

Relief of Pain Due to Sprains or Strains:

  • 4 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 4 drops helichrysum essential oil
  • 4 tsp sweet almond carrier oil
  • Massage this blend into the area of the injury to relieve the pain.
  • This blend is also great for sore muscles after strenuous activity.

Relief of Indigestion, Nausea, Motion Sickness or Morning Sickness:

  • Place a drop of peppermint essential pil onto a tissue and inhale deeply for several minutes. The menthol significantly improves circulation, and this helps relieve indigestion.

2. Helichrysum essential oil

Properties: Anti-inflammatory, Analgesic, Antibacterial, Antioxidant, Anticoagulant, Antispasmodic, Antiviral, Expectorant, Mucolytic.

Helichrysum essential oil is useful for relieving pain, stopping bleeding, relief of burns and sunburn, healing of cuts and is a natural sunscreen.

To Relieve Bodily Pain, Such as Back Pain, Neck Pain or Leg Pains:

  • 12 drops helichrysum essential oil
  • 4 tsp sweet almond carrier oil
  • Massage into the area of pain for quick relief.
  • You will find that this blend works a lot like aspirin does and is a great natural substitute for pain-relieving drugs.

To Stop Minor Bleeding:

  • Helichrysum is a natural anticoagulant.
  • Pat the cut or wound with a sterile cloth and then drop several drops of the oil onto the bleeding area. Cover with gauze. This process might need to be repeated until the bleeding stops.
  • If the wound is deep and might require stitches, seek professional medical help if it is possible. If help is not readily available, helichrysum oil can contribute to coagulation until help can be reached.

Burn Relief:

  • Helichrysum essential oil is mild enough to use directly on the skin when called for. In the case of burns, rub the oil onto the burned area.
  • Place several drops of helichrysum essential oil onto a sterile piece of gauze, cover the burned area of skin, and then use medical tape to keep in place.
  • For severe burns, seek professional medical treatment as soon as possible.

Natural Sunscreen:

  • 5 drops helichrysum essential oil
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 4 tsp sweet almond carrier oil
  • Rub into areas of the skin which will be exposed to sunlight.

Help Heal and Reduce Infection of Cuts and Scrapes:

  • Because helichrysum essential oil is a natural antibacterial agent when rubbed into a cut or scrape, it will not only prevent bacterial infection, but it will also help speed the healing process.

3. Lavender essential oil

Properties: Analgesic, Antihistamine, Anti-inflammatory, Antiseptic, Antispasmodic, Regenerative, Sedative.

5 Heal-Everything Essential Oils You Should Stockpile For First Aid

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Lavender essential oil is known for its soothing and healing effects.

To Relieve the Itching and Redness, and to Help Heal Rashes and Insect Bites:

  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops chamomile essential oil (not listed in this article, but chamomile essential oil has wonderful, soothing and anti-inflammatory qualities and is an oil worth including in your kit!)
  • 4 tsp sweet almond carrier oil
  • Rub the blend onto the rash several times a day for relief and healing.

To Soothe Sunburn:

  • 6 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops chamomile essential oil
  • 2 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 4 tsp sweet almond carrier oil
  • Massage the blend into the sunburned skin.

To Reduce Painful Swelling From a Sprain or Injury:

  • Apply a cold compress with 6 drops lavender essential oil dropped onto the compress.
  • This method can also be used to relieve muscular aches.

4. Tea Tree essential oil

Properties: Antiseptic, Antibacterial, Antifungal, Antiviral.

Tea tree essential oil is a perfect antiseptic. It is used for cleaning and treating wounds, stings, blisters, acne, rashes and burns.

To Clean, Prevent Infection, and Speed the Healing of Cuts, Wounds and Insect Bites:

  • Place 2 drops tea tree essential oil onto a sterile cotton swab and apply to the affected area.

To Draw Out an Infection:

  • Apply a hot compress with 2 drops tea tree essential oil

5. Eucalyptus essential oil

Properties: Expectorant,  Insecticidal, Analgesic, Anti-infectious, Anti-Inflammatory.

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I have included eucalyptus essential oil as a must-have in a first-aid kit because of its expectorant benefits. It has many other beneficial medical uses, however.

To Soothe Dry or Chesty Coughs and to Breath Easier During Sinusitis, Hay Fever, Allergies, Colds or Bronchitis:

  • 5 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 5 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 4 tsp sweet almond carrier oil
  • Rub the blend onto the chest area several times a day.

To Clear Blocked Nasal Passages:

  • Place several drops of eucalyptus essential oil on a tissue and deeply inhale until your nasal passage clears.
  • You also can blend in several drops of lavender essential oil with the eucalyptus essential oil and inhale the blend in the same manner.

Do not forget to add other basic essentials to your first-aid kits like sterile gauze, cotton swabs, bandages, tweezers, scissors and medical tape. For your travel first-aid kit, I recommend adding survival items also such as a firestarter, mylar blanket, fishing line (or floss), a whistle, and a flare. Research what else you might want to include, depending on your travel destinations.

Remember also that there are too many essential oils to list here, and most have beneficial health and first-aid properties! You can find books about essential oils and do research online to learn more and to discover which essential oils are your favorites.

What essentials oils would you add to this list? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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Planting a Lavender Hedge

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How to plant a lavender hedge for a beautiful garden windbreak | PreparednessMama

Make a beautiful windbreak for your garden There are few herbs that bring as much delight as lavender. Its sweet smell and beautiful color brighten any home garden. Scent and color aside, lavender is a hard worker too, providing flowers for cooking, crafting, and herbal preparations.  Lavender also mounds nicely into hedges to enhance your […]

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