Lavender is the common name given to members of the Lavendula genus of flowering plants. These delicate and aromatic flowers are part of the Lamiaceae family, which contains many herbs used in cooking and aromatherapy, such as mint, basil, sage, thyme, and similar plants. There are over 45 unique species of lavender, all of which produce vertical, spiky stems that blossom small flowers. Lavender is best known for its pastel purple color (hence the color of the same name), but some species come in a variety of hues that range from violet blue, to pink, to white. In Japan, there are many breathtaking lavender fields that are open to the public during the summer months.
For centuries, lavender has been a popular ingredient in perfumes, oils, soaps, and other cosmetic products thanks to its strong yet pleasing fragrance. It is also used in culinary dishes and teas around the world for its distinct flavor and aroma. Lavender is native to the Mediterranean region of Europe, but is now widely cultivated in many parts of the world for its ornamental and medicinal purposes.
There are many uses for lavender oil thanks to the calming properties it possesses, making it a popular choice in aromatherapy to promote relaxation and relieve stress and anxiety.
Keep reading to learn more about the wonderful benefits of lavender.
1. Encourages Sleep
Many people who struggle with insomnia or other sleep disorders find relief in using lavender for sleep. To summarize the science behind it, lavender contains a number of chemicals (such as linalyl acetate and linalool) that function like sedatives, making it an all-natural sleep aid. Lavender is also believed to aid the body in the production of melatonin - a hormone that helps to regulate the natural sleep cycle.
Credible studies have found that test subjects who struggle with sleep that used lavender before bed experienced less difficulty falling and staying asleep, and also woke up feeling more refreshed.
2. Soothes Stress & Anxiety
Aromatherapy for stress and anxiety has grown increasingly more popular in recent times as general public interest in natural/holistic remedies has increased. While there are many factors that play a role in sensations of stress and anxiety, both of these feelings stem from the body’s nervous system.
Experiencing stress and anxiety is a natural biological reaction that comes from our innate survival instincts, hence why other species can experience these sensations. Feeling these emotions in excess, though, is considered to be disruption in communication between the body and the emotional center of the brain (amygdala), as well as how those systems process internal and external stimuli.
Lavender has been found to affect the limbic and nervous systems to effectively regulate feelings of stress and anxiety. This is because it stimulates production of certain neurotransmitters (GABA) that produce sensations of calmness and relaxation comparable to that of prescription medications of the same purpose.
3. Anti-Inflammatory & Pain Management Properties
Lavender’s medicinal uses make it an effective essential oil for pain relief. Lavender oil is often used to alleviate various types of pain, including headaches, migraines, muscle aches, and joint pain. The analgesic properties of lavender are believed to be due to its ability to modulate pain perception and reduce inflammation. As a result, lavender oil is a popular choice for pregnant women seeking natural remedies as they approach their due date since it helps to alleviate some of the anxiety and pain associated with delivery.
Additionally, lavender oil also contains beta-caryophyllene which possesses anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have found that wounds treated with lavender essential oil have a faster healing process than those left to heal on their own.
Buckwheat Pillows with Lavender
We offer organic French lavender as an add-on for our buckwheat hull pillows because of its soothing fragrance and aromatherapeutic properties. Our organic buckwheat hull pillows are filled with the untreated, dried husks of the flowering buckwheat plant - a relative of rhubarb. Lavender is added by mixing all-natural dried lavender buds in with the buckwheat filling.
Sobakawa pillows, or soba gara makura (そば皮), create an all-natural sleep surface that is firm yet cushioning - similar to memory foam - but without the artificial materials. Buckwheat husk pillows offer several health benefits, including excellent support for the head and neck due to their moldable nature, improved sleep posture (neck and spine alignment), greater air circulation for a cooler sleep experience, and hypoallergenic properties, making them suitable for individuals with allergies or sensitivities.
When combined with lavender’s health benefits, a buckwheat pillow creates a sleep experience unlike any other. When striving to sleep better at night or to find natural insomnia remedies, considering both physical and psychological aspects is crucial, and these pillows seek to support both of these areas of overall well-being.
If you’d like to learn more, we have multiple other blogs regarding buckwheat neck pillows.