May Chang

 Litsea cubeba foliage and flowers. Photo taken on Anma Mountain (鞍馬山), Da Xue Shan Forest Recreation Area (大雪山森林遊樂區), Tzuyu Village, Hoping HsiangTaichung CountyTaiwan, with a Nikon D200 digital camera.

May Chang (Litsea cubeba)

May chang (Litsea cubeba), often referred to “mountain pepper” for the fruit’s resemblance to a pepper, is a kind of citrus that grows in China. It has a bright, lemony aroma and, like other citrus oils, offers uplifting and cleansing benefits. It is a wonderful addition to the collection of any essential oil user.

This shrub is native to China and areas of Southeast Asia. The essential oil is extracted through distillation from the small fruits that are grown on tress featuring white or pale yellow flowers. The flowers have a lemony aroma similar to the aroma of the essential oil.

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Bright, lemony, and energizing, it is most commonly known for its usefulness in dealing with skin problems. This oil has uplifting properties, and it has a strong effect on promoting mental and physical well-being.

Blends Well With: Bergamot, Citronella, Clove Bud, Geranium Egyptian, Ginger Root CO2, Grapefruit Pink, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Marjoram Sweet, Orange Sweet, Petitgrain and Rosemary 1,8-Cineole.

Benefits of May Chang Essential Oil

  • In massage treatments, May Chang can act as a digestive and liver tonic, particularly useful in abdominal massage.
  • May Chang can also help to clear the head and refresh the mind and spirit, soothing and restoring frayed nerves.
  • When used in a diffuser, this oil has uplifting qualities. It is known for lowering blood pressure and relieving stress without causing drowsiness. It can also promote overall physical and mental well-being.
  • May Chang has natural insect repellent qualities. It can be blended into body lotion, shampoo, or liquid body wash to help repel mosquitoes. Adding a couple drops to a candle and placing it outdoors will help keep pests away.
  • This oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties making it popular for use in skin care products. It is useful for preventing the growth of bacteria that can cause acne. Some people use it to treat eczema and similar skin conditions.
  • As an astringent, it is used to eliminate excess skin oil and shrink enlarged pores. It may also have anti-inflammatory properties that can help clear up skin irritation. Users should always dilute the oil before applying it to the skin. This skin tonic is said to leave skin feeling silky-smooth and refreshed.
  • This oil is known to have a stimulant action on the digestive system and can even help in case of poor appetite. The blend of May Chang oil and a carrier oil is perfect for massage over the stomach to improve digestive tract function.
  • Combined with a carrier oil on throat, chest, neck and back provides instant relief from respiratory infections. This essential oil even helps in quieting down coughs and improving cold too.

Cautions

To avoid the risk of various safety issues, we recommend a maximum dilution of 0.8% for topical applications. Possible drug interactions. 

Recipes

May Chang Toner 

Ingredients:
8 drops Aura Cacia May Chang Essential Oil
10 drops Aura Cacia Tea Tree Essential Oil
2 fluid ounces witch hazel
2-ounce Aura Cacia Amber Glass Mist Bottle 

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Directions:
In bottle, combine oils and witch hazel. Replace lid, shake until well blended, then mist face, avoiding eyes. 

References:

  1. https://www.planttherapy.com/may-chang-essential-oil
  2. https://www.epainassist.com/articles/uses-of-may-chang-essential-oil
  3. https://plantessentials.com.au/blogs/news/81438913-exploring-the-health-benefits-and-uses-of-may-chang-essential-oil
  4. https://lumitylife.co.uk/pages/oil-ingredient-may-chang
  5. https://www.tisserand.com/aromatherapy/may-chang-ethically-harvested-pure-essential-oil-9ml/
  6. https://www.aromaweb.eu/product/organic-may-chang-essential-oil-litsea-cubeba-10ml/

Lavender Oil

Lavender Essential Oil (Lavandula angustifolia/officinalis)

Lavender is perhaps the most well-known of the essential oils and for good reason. Lavender essential oil is renowned for its many beneficial properties, including promoting calm, relaxation, and being a nervous tension reliever. It can also be added to a carrier oil to help reduce the appearance of scars and wrinkles and help soothe alterations in skin integrity, such as during sun exposure or a minor cooking burn.

Early and modern aromatherapy texts advocate for lavender’s use as an antibacterial essential oil. The leaves and stems of the plant were used to prepare decoctions against digestive system diseases and rheumatism, and lavender was valued for its cosmetic purposes. The Romans used lavender oil for bathing, cooking and purifying the air. And in the Bible, lavender oil was among the aromatics used for anointing and healing.

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You will find Lavender essential oil in many of Mother Jai’s products.

The proven health benefits of lavender essential oil include its ability to reduce stress and anxiety, eliminate nervous tension, relieve pain, disinfect the scalp and skin, prevent acne, enhance blood circulation, and treat respiratory problems. Lavender oil is used extensively in aromatherapy and works as a natural sleep aid. Its potent antibacterial nature makes it a wonderful household cleanser and deodorant.

Lavender essential oil is extracted from the flowers of the lavender plant (Lavandula angustifolia), primarily through steam distillation. Lavender flowers are known for their calming fragrance and have been used for making potpourri for centuries. The Latin name of lavender is Lavare, which means “to wash”. This is because lavender flowers and lavender essential oil have been used since ancient times by the Romans, Persians, Greeks, and Egyptians as a bath additive and perfume.

Lavender essential oil is a pure oil and differs from certain commercial lavender oils which may be diluted and are often sold as perfumes. Lavender perfume and body sprays are popular due to their fresh and floral scent. On the other hand, pure lavender essential oil is frequently used in various forms including as an aromatherapy oil, in gels, infusions, lotions, soaps, baby products, and candles. It is also used to make tea, lemonades, syrups, aromatic beverages, and in baked dishes.

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Lavender (scientific name Lavandula angustifolia) is commonly contaminated with related species, including Lavandula hybrida, which is a cross between Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula latifolia, from which lavandin oil is obtained.

PARTS USED: Flowering tops

EXTRACTION METHOD: Water-steam distilled

NOTE CLASSIFICATION: Middle

AROMA: Sweet, floral, herbaceous

BLENDS WELL WITH: Bergamot, Black Pepper, Cedar Atlas, Chamomile, Clary Sage, Clove Bud, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Grapefruit, Juniper Berry, Cistus / Labdanum, Lemon, Lemongrass, Mandarin, Sweet Marjoram, Oakmoss Absolute, Palmarosa, Patchouli, Peppermint, Pine, Ravensara aromatica, Rose, Rosemary, Tea Tree, Thyme, and Vetivert.

Major Constituents of Bulgarian Lavender Essential Oil: Linalyl acetate, Linalool, (Z)-B-Ocimene, Lavandulyl acetate, Terpinene-4-ol, B-Caryophyllene, (E)-B-Farnesene, (E)-B-Ocimene, 3-Octanyl acetate, etc. See Essential Oil Safety for constituent breakdown for oils distilled from Lavender angustifolia grown in other regions.

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[E. Schmidt, The Characteristics of Lavender Oils from Eastern Europe. (Perfumer & Flavorist 28, 2003), 48-60. Source cited in Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 326.]

BENEFITS & USES OF LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL

Acne, allergies, anxiety, asthma, athlete’s foot, bruises, burns, chicken pox, colic, cuts, cystitis, depression, dermatitis, dysmenorrhea, earache, flatulence, headache, hypertension, insect bites, insect repellent, itching, labor pains, migraine, oily skin, rheumatism, scabies, scars, sores, sprains, strains, stress, stretch marks, vertigo, whooping cough. [Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 56-67.]

Aids in Digestion: Lavender oil is useful for digestion because it increases the mobility of food within the intestine. The oil also stimulates the production of gastric juices and bile, thus aiding in the treatment of indigestion, stomach pain, colic, flatulence, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Air Freshener: The same way you use lavender oil as a perfume, you can use it around your home as a natural, toxic-free air freshener. Either spray lavender oil around your home or try diffusing it. To create a relaxing atmosphere in your bedroom before you fall asleep, try spraying the lavender oil and water mixture directly onto your bed sheets or pillow.

Anti-bacterial: Regular use of lavender essential oil provides resistance to a variety of diseases. Lavender has antibacterial and antiviral qualities that make it perfect for defending the body against rare diseases like TB, typhoid, and diphtheria, according to early research in the 20th century.

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Antidepressant: Some research shows that lavender aromatherapy reduces depression after childbirth in some women.

Antioxidant Protection: Free radicals, like toxins, chemicals and pollutants, are arguably the most dangerous and most common risk factor for every disease that affects Americans today. Free radicals are responsible for shutting down your immune system and can cause unbelievable damage to your body. Thankfully, lavender essential oil is a natural antioxidant that works to prevent and reverse disease

Bug Repellent: The smell of lavender essential oil is potent for many types of bugs like mosquitoes, midges, and moths. Apply some lavender oil on the exposed skin when outside to prevent these irritating bites. Furthermore, if you do happen to be bitten by one of those bugs, lavender essential oil has anti-inflammatory qualities that will reduce the irritation and the pain associated with bug bites.

Chemical Free Lip Balm: Lavender oil is excellent for preventing sunburns on the lips and also healing chapped, dried lips. Try adding a couple of drops of oil to shea butter, jojoba oil, coconut oil or another “carrier oil” and then rubbing it into your lips for protection whenever you will be in the sun.

Colic Relief in Babies: through its pain relieving and anti-anxiety benefits, babies with colic experience calming relief when applied to the feet or diffused in the room. Results from one small study show that massaging a combination of lavender and almond oils onto the belly of infants for 5-15 minutes at the onset of colic reduces crying time by about 7 hours per week.

Complementary Cancer Therapy: A 2012 study published in the African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines shows that aromatherapy, particularly using lavender oil, helps patients with cancer cope with stress, nausea, chronic pain and depression. Because lavender oil works to stimulate the immune system, boost mood, improve sleep and fight stress, it can be used as a therapeutic agent.

There is a significant research on the effects of lavender, in combination with other essential oils, as a way to prevent the occurrence of breast cancer in mice. This could be an indication of an increased chance of lavender battling carcinogenic effects and the presence of cancer.

Massaging lavender oil into the back of your neck, chest, wrists and temples can induce relaxing and calming effects. If you are experiencing muscle or joint pain, or pain at the site of injections, apply 2–3 drops of lavender to the affected area.

Dementia Support: because lavender improves circulation and has strong antioxidant benefits the chances of developing dementia are reduced. It can also help to improve events and their longevity when patients have dementia. Some research shows that using lavender oil in a diffuser at night reduces agitation in people with dementia.

Diabetes Natural Treatment:  In a nutshell, lavender essential oil treatment protected the body from the following diabetes symptoms:

  • Increased blood glucose (the hallmark of diabetes)
  • Metabolic disorders (especially fat metabolism)
  • Weight gain
  • Liver and kidney antioxidant depletion
  • Liver and kidney dysfunction
  • Liver and kidney lipoperoxidation (when free radicals “steal” necessary fat molecules from cell membranes)

Ear Infections: Early research shows that administering ear drops containing lavender and other herbal extracts improves ear pain in people with ear infections. However, this herbal combination does not appear to be more effective than using a skin-numbing agent along with the antibiotic amoxicillin.

Fall Prevention: There is some evidence that attaching a pad with lavender oil onto the neckline of clothing reduces the risk of falling by 43% in nursing home residents.

Flavor Booster: Lavender is a great flavor enhancer in things like grain-free muffins, teas and even salad dressings. Lavender oil is completely edible, but you will want to use a very small amount since the taste is very powerful. You’ll also want to purchase only a high-quality, 100 percent pure grade oil from a reputable company.

Heals Cuts & Burns: Widely known for its antimicrobial properties, for centuries lavender oil has been used to prevent various infections and combat bacterial and fungal disorders. Research shows that lavender oil speeds the healing of burns, cuts, scrapes and wounds — and a big part of this is because of its antimicrobial compounds.

A study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine evaluated how lavender’s antimicrobial ability is enhanced when it’s blended with other essential oils, like clove, cinnamon and tea tree oil. Researchers found that a 1:1 ratio of these oils was found to be the most effective in fighting against Candida albicans and Staph aureus — two common causes of many fungal and bacterial infections that lead to respiratory pneumonia and skin funguses.

A 2016 study conducted on rats found that lavender oil promoted wound healing in the early phase by accelerating the formation of granulation tissue (tissue from the healing surface of the skin) and promoting collagen synthesis. The area of wounds treated with lavender oil was significantly decreased compared to the control group.

Healthy Skin & Hair: Most likely due to its antimicrobial and antioxidant characteristics, lavender essential oil mixed with a carrier oil (like coconut, sunflower, or grapeseed oil) has profound benefits on your skin. Using lavender oil topically can help to improve a number of skin conditions, from canker sores to allergic reactions, acne and age spots. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties help to ease skin conditions and reverse signs of aging.

Studies also show that lavender oil, along with other essential oils like thyme, rosemary and cedarwood, can significantly improve alopecia areata and hair loss when massaged into the scalp daily.

Improves Blood Circulation: Lavender essential oil is also good for improving the circulation of blood in the body. Researchers from the Department of Cardiovascular Science and Medicine, Chiba University in Japan suggests that aromatherapy using lavender oil has beneficial effects on coronary circulation. It also lowers blood pressure and is often used as a treatment for hypertension. This means that not only do the organs increase their levels of oxygenation, promoting muscle strength and health, but brain activity can have a noticeable boost, skin remains bright and flushed with blood, and the body is protected from the risks of heart attack and atherosclerosis often associated with poor blood circulation.

Early research shows that using an essential oil mixture of lavender, lemon, and ylang ylang as aromatherapy might reduce systolic blood pressure (the top number) but not diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) in people with high blood pressure.

Induces Sleep: Because of lavender oil’s sedative and calming properties, it works to improve sleep and treat insomnia. A 2015 study involving 158 mothers in their postpartum period were divided into the control or intervention group. The intervention group inhaled lavender oil before bed four times a week for eight weeks. The women using lavender oil displayed a significant improvement in sleep quality when compared to the control group.

Early research shows that using lavender oil in a vaporizer overnight, or on a gauze pad left beside the bed, might help some people with mild insomnia sleep better.

A mixture of lavender oil, Roman chamomile essential oil and magnesium oil is the best combination for improving sleep. Just rub this mixture into the back of your neck and wrists to induce a calm, peaceful feeling.

Lice Deterrent: it has been shown to be very effective on lice, lice eggs, and nits.

Mouth Sores: Research shows that applying 2 drops of lavender oil to the affected area three times daily can reduce canker sore swelling and pain and shorten the time it takes for canker sores to heal.

Natural Perfume: Do you want to smell good without using toxic perfumes? Lavender oil is a great scent for both women and men. You can either try adding pure oil directly to your skin, or you can dilute oil in water or with a carrier oil for a more subtle scent.

If you’d like to rub the oil right onto your skin, try adding 2–3 drops into your palms and then rubbing your hands together. Then rub the oil directly onto your skin or hair. You can also try using 2 drops of lavender oil added to a spray bottle with about ½ cup of water. Shake up the spray bottle and then spray whatever you’d like.

Neuroprotective Effect: A study published in Brain Research (February 2014) showed that lavender oil has the potential to reduce brain edema and improve functional ability in people affected by cerebral ischemia. While lavender has traditionally been used in many cosmetic and therapeutic applications due to medicinal properties, this study confirms that lavender oil has potent neuroprotective properties. Furthermore, the oil helps increase antioxidant capacity in the body and inhibits oxidative stress.

Promotes Wound Healing: Lavender essential oil is an excellent essential oil to have on hand as it helps treat minor cuts, bruises, and burns. According to a 2016 study published in the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal, the essential oil boosts the synthesis of collagen and heals skin tissues. Just rub a few drops of lavender essential oil on the bruised area or on burns to increase blood circulation and healing. It can also be used to soothe skin irritations, razor bumps, and sunburn.

Relieves Headaches: It’s one of the best essential oils for headaches because it induces relaxation and relieves tension. It works as a sedative, anti-anxiety, anticonvulsant and calming agent. According to a study published in European Neurology, people struggling with migraine headaches saw a significant reduction in pain when they inhaled lavender oil for 15 minutes.

Relieves Pain: Lavender essential oil is known as an excellent remedy for various types of pains including those caused by sore and tense muscles, muscular aches, rheumatism, sprains, backache, and lumbago.

Several studies have found that lavender oil helps as a natural painkiller. Simply rubbing lavender into the area of concern can reduce inflammation and pain intensity, helping to alleviate the symptoms of many health conditions.

Another study, published in the Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, found that a combination of lavender, marjoram, peppermint and black pepper essential oils improved neck pain when applied to the affected area daily.

And yet another recent study proved that lavender oil, when massaged into the skin, can help to relieve dysmenorrhea, which is associated with menstrual pain and cramping in the lower abdomen. The results of this study suggest that lavender oil can be used as a natural remedy for PMS and menstrual cramps.

Relieves Stress & Anxiety:  In 2013, an evidence-based study published by the International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice found that supplementing with 80 milligram capsules of lavender essential oil alleviates anxiety, sleep disturbance and depression. Additionally, in the study there were no adverse side effects, drug interactions or withdrawal symptoms from using lavender oil.

The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology published a human study in 2014 that revealed that Silexan (otherwise known as lavender oil preparation) was more effective against generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) than placebos and the prescription medicine paroxetine. After treatment, the study found zero instances of withdrawal symptoms or adverse side effects.

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS): One study shows that massaging the legs with lavender oil for 10 minutes twice weekly can reduce the severity of restless legs syndrome in people with kidney failure who are undergoing dialysis.

Stimulates Urine Flow: Lavender essential oil is good for urinary disorders because of its stimulating effect on urine production. Furthermore, it helps in restoring hormonal balance and reducing cystitis or inflammation of the urinary bladder. It also reduces associated cramps with these and other disorders.

Stomach Discomfort: Many people find the scent of lavender to be soothing to the stomach. If you are feeling nauseous or know that you are going to be traveling in a car of plane and are prone to motion sickness, spray some lavender oil on your skin and clothes, or rub it into your temples, next and palms.

Supports Brain Function: Research also shows that lavender oil serves as a natural treatment for Alzheimer’s disease! Studies conducted on rats show that inhaling lavender essential oil vapor can help to prevent brain oxidative stress and improve cognitive impairment.

Also, in 2012, the Swiss journal Molecules printed the results of a study that shockingly proved that lavender oil is a viable treatment option for neurological dysfunctions such as stroke. Researchers believe that lavender’s neuroprotective effects are due to its antioxidant properties.

Treats Acne: Pure lavender essential oil inhibits the bacteria that cause the initial acne infection, helps to regulate the over-excretion of sebum by hormonal manipulation and can reduce the signs of scarring after the acne has begun to heal. Adding a small amount of lavender essential oil to other skin creams or ointments can greatly increase the potential for relief and healing.

Treats Eczema: Premium organic lavender oil is used to treat various skin disorders such as acne, wrinkles, psoriasis, and other inflammatory conditions. It is commonly used to speed up the healing process of wounds, cuts, burns, and sunburns because it improves the formation of scar tissues. It is also added to chamomile to treat eczema.

Treats Respiratory Disorders: Lavender oil is widely used for various respiratory problems including throat infection, flu, cough, cold, asthma, sinus congestion, bronchitis, whooping cough, laryngitis, and tonsillitis. It can be put in in an aromatherapy essential oil diffuser or alternatively, it can be topically applied to the skin of neck, chest, and back. It is also added to many vaporizers and inhalers that are commonly used for cold and cough. The stimulating nature of lavender essential oil can also loosen up the phlegm and relieve congestion associated with respiratory conditions, thus speeding up the recovery process and helping the body naturally eliminate phlegm and other unwanted material. The vapor of lavender essential oil also has antibacterial qualities which can battle respiratory tract infections.

LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL SIDE EFFECTS & PRECAUTIONS

For most people, lavender oil benefits are all that you’ll experience and using lavender oil is completely safe; however, there has not been an extensive amount of scientific research done on lavender oil interactions with other medications, or for its use in pregnant women, so there are certain situations where you will want to use caution.

Medication Interactions: If you are already taking any prescription medication for sleep-related disorders or for depression, be cautious of the fact that lavender can increase the effectiveness of these medications. Even if you use an over-the-counter sleep aid or any type of sedatives (even cough or flu medicine), keep in mind that lavender makes many people sleepy and even somewhat drowsy, so it’s best to not combine lavender oil with other medications or sleep-related supplements. If you are planning on undergoing anesthesia in the near future, you will also want to avoid using lavender oil.

Pregnant Women: Lavender oil is generally considered safe for women who are pregnant and nursing. Because it can have a relaxing effect on muscles and can also affect hormone levels, use lavender with caution in your third trimester. It’s best to speak with your doctor about use of any essential oils when pregnant, since it has not been guaranteed that these are safe at this time.

Children: Lavender oil is considered generally safe for children to use, although there is some concern that lavender’s effect on hormone levels could be harmful for boys who have not yet gone through puberty. Although there isn’t strong evidence for lavender being a hormone disrupter (only 1–2 very small studies were ever completed), parents are told to use caution if using lavender oil frequently on young children.

Ingesting Lavender Oil: Studies have primarily looked at the effects of using lavender oil topically on the skin or through inhalation. There have been no negative symptoms found when three drops of oil are mixed with a carrier oil and applied directly to the skin. A 2013 evidence-based article, however, highlighted that lavender can be ingested at a large dose of 80 to 160 milligrams without adverse effects, except for minor gastrointestinal symptoms. To avoid gastrointestinal irritation, keep internal use to a minimum and be careful if you have a sensitive digestive system. There are no known food interactions of lavender oil at this time.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12112282/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3880178/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23351960
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26247152
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24373672
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23808618
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24456909
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22789792
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22475718
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5424179/
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22895026
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23737850
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4880962/
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3931201/
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92761/
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22517298
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4443384/
  18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3612440/#B74
  19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26051566
  20. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2008.03.007
  21. https://link.springer.com/article/10.2165/00023210-200620040-00001
  22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29955514
  23. http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2012/740813/abs/
  24. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25192562
  25. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4325408/
  26. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3746639/
  27. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3804257/
  28. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ptr.1103/abstract
  29. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24384140
  30. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-lavender-essential-oil.html
  31. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-838/lavender
  32. https://draxe.com/lavender-oil-benefits/

Lavender Tea

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) Flower Tea

The best benefits of lavender tea include relaxing the body, reducing muscle spasms, promoting healthy digestion, and aiding sleep. It also helps in eliminating inflammation, balancing mood, healing the skin, and soothing chronic pain, among many others.

When you drink lavender tea, it can provide relief from inflamed tissues, arthritis, insomnia, high anxiety, gastrointestinal upset, tension, skin irritation, and headaches, just to name a few.

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It has an impressive concentration of calcium, iron, vitamin A, and phenolic compounds, as well as powerful terpenes, such as linalool. These nutrients can have a number of notable effects on human health.

You will find lavender flower in Mother Jai’s Herbal Tea Blends.

Health Benefits of Lavender Flowers

Reduce Anxiety & Stress: organic compounds in lavender leaves and flowers soothe the body and mind, relieve anxious thoughts, and assist in balancing mood. Antioxidants work to lower stress hormones in the body by regulating the endocrine system.

Treats Insomnia: brewing a tea of lavender flowers and enjoying before bed can help relax the mind and body to assist in attaining sleep.

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Anti-Inflammatory: adding lavender flowers to your bath and soaking in it can help reduce inflammation in the joints.

Skin Care: lavender water or tea can be sprayed on the skin to soothe dry, irritated patches, including eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis.

Antiseptic Ability: applying crushed leaves and flowers on an open wound will disinfect the wound and stop the bleeding. The compounds will assist in speedy healing and prevent scare tissue formation.

Hair Care: lavender tea added to shampoo and conditioner can assist improving follicle health, nourish the scalp, and strengthen and smooth hair. Can be used as a conditioning rinse after shampooing as well.

Protects Heart Health: lavender tea is known to reduce blood pressure and prevent hardening of the arteries thus reducing the risks of heart attack and stroke.

Prevents Digestive Issues: polyphenols found in lavender extracts work to prevent the development of harmful bacteria and prevents gas accumulation in the gut. Drinking the tea after a large meal can ease discomfort, reduce bloating, and eliminate cramping.

Make Your Own Lavender Tea

Ingredients

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  • 4 teaspoons of fresh lavender buds (1 tablespoon of dried lavender buds)
  • 2 cups of water (filtered)
  • 1 teaspoon of honey, to taste, if desired

Recipe

  • Step 1: Add the fresh or dried lavender buds to a teacup
  • Step 2: Bring the water up to a boil, then remove from heat for 1 minute.
  • Step 3: Pour the water over the lavender buds and allow them to steep for 5 minutes. Place a plate over the top to keep the steam inside the mug, further infusing the tea.
  • Step 4: Remove the plate, add honey if you want to sweeten the flavor, and enjoy! No need to strain the lavender buds out; most will have sunk to the bottom of the cup.

Side Effects of Lavender Tea

Caution should be used if you have allergies to lavender or other relatives of the mint family. Side effects can include constipation, headache, increased appetite, skin irritation, and redness.

  • Pregnancy: When pregnant, using lavender is not recommended, as it can stimulate menstruation, which can lead to a miscarriage or other complication in pregnant women.
  • Low Cholesterol: Due to the cholesterol-lowering properties of this tea, if you are already taking cholesterol medicine, negative interactions may occur.
  • Blood Thinners: This tea has anticoagulant property, which is good for heart health, but if you are already taking blood-thinning medication, it can be very dangerous, particularly before undergoing surgery.
  • Sun Sensitivity: Excessive lavender tea consumption can increase the sun sensitivity of the skin, and may also cause skin irritation and rashes.

If you experience any of these side effects, stop using lavender tea immediately. If you think you may be at risk for a negative interaction with a medication, speak to your doctor before adding this tea to your daily or weekly health regimen.

References:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-838/lavender
  2. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/lavender-tea.html
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lavandula
  4. https://www.healthline.com/health/what-lavender-can-do-for-you
  5. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265922.php
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3612440/
  7. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/lavender/ataglance.htm
  8. https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hn-2120003
  9. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/244993841_Lavender_and_sleep_A_systematic_review_of_the_evidence
  10. http://www.unusualhealth.com/lavender-oil-uses/
  11. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01837966
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23573142
  13. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1876382016300828

Clary Sage

Clary Sage oil (Salvia sclarea)

  • Country of Origin: France
  • Extraction Method: Steam Distilled
  • Plant Part: Leaves and flowering tops.
  • Strength of Aroma: Medium

Aromatic Scent: Clary Sage essential oil has an earthy, fruity and floral aroma that is both nutty and herbaceous. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy. Its keyword is ‘Euphoric’.

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Blends Well With: Bergamot, Cedarwood, Chamomile German, Chamomile Roman, Geranium, Jasmine Absolute, Lavender, Neroli, Orange, Sandalwood and Ylang Ylang.

The chief components of clary sage essential oil are sclareol, alpha-terpineol, geraniol, linalyl acetate, linalool, caryophyllene, neryl acetate, and germacrene-D.

The health benefits of clary sage essential oil can be attributed to its properties as an antidepressant, anticonvulsive, antispasmodic, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, astringent, bactericidal, carminative, deodorant, digestive, emmenagogue, euphoric, hypotensive, nervine, sedative, stomachic, and a uterine substance.

Purported Oral Uses and Benefits

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In folk medicine, salvia sclarea extract is used as a general health tonic. It is purported to help treat mental fatigue, depression, anxiety, kidney disease, tension and migraines as well as to prevent and treat muscle spasms. It is also used to promote oral health and treat sore throats, bad breath and toothaches. Due to its estrogenic properties, it is used to restore hormonal balance, and to relieve symptoms of both premenstrual syndrome and menopause. Herbs2000.com states that salvia sclarea is beneficial for the treatment of a variety of digestive problems, such as upset stomach, gas, and both chronic and acute indigestion.

Health Benefits

Fights Depression: Clary sage oil can boost self-esteem, confidence, hope, and mental strength, thereby efficiently fighting depression. This can be very helpful for forms of depression due to failure in career or personal life, insecurity, loneliness, stagnation, the death of a friend or loved one, and many other reasons. Clary sage oil also relieves anxiety. As an antidepressant, it can be systematically administered to patients suffering from acute depression who are undergoing rehabilitation.

Works as Stress Reliever: Clary sage serves as an antidepressant and as one of the best natural remedies for anxiety; it boosts confidence and mental strength while alleviating feelings of anxiety and failure. It also has euphoric properties, leaving you with a feeling of joy and ease. A 2010 study conducted in South Korea found that clary sage oil could be developed as a therapeutic agent for patients with depression. For the study, antidepressant properties were measured in rats with a forced swimming test; clary oil had the strongest anti-stressor effect.

Reduces Convulsions: It calms down and reduces convulsions, whether they are epileptic or from some other nervous disorder or mental condition. Clary sage essential oil brings peace of mind and acts as a sedative for tense nerves.

Relieves Spasms: Clary sage oil is useful in the treatment of spasms and related ailments such as muscle cramps, spasmodic cough, stomachache, headache, and spasmodic cholera. It relaxes the nerve impulses and doesn’t allow uncontrollable spasms to occur.

Prevents Bacterial Infections: This type of essential oil kills bacteria and fungi, curbs growth and spread of bacterial infections, and also protects against new infections. Studies show that clary sage essential oil is particularly beneficial in curing bacterial infections affecting the colon, intestines, urinary tract, and excretory system. It is equally effective in inhibiting the bacteria from entering our body through water or food.

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Prevents Infections: Wounds will not become septic, nor will they be infected with tetanus germs if clary sage oil is topically applied to them. The antiseptic qualities can protect the body during surgical recovery and in all types of wounds that are typically hot spots for infections.

Stimulates Sexual Desires: This is one of the most well-known properties of clary sage oil. It is an aphrodisiac, which means a substance or stimulus that boosts libido and feelings of sexual desire. It is very effective in treating frigidity, psychological problems resulting in loss of libido, and even impotency. Studies have shown it to be equally effective for both, males and females. It affects the hormones and increases testosterone levels, which can increase performance and interest in sexual activities.

Prevents Hair Loss: If you think that your gums are weakening their hold on your teeth, sooner or later, they will start falling out. Speak to a dentist, but it is never a bad idea to use clary sage oil because it has astringent properties. It does not only strengthen your gums but also strengthens and tones the skin, muscles, and hair follicles, preventing hair loss and making you look and feel younger. It functions as an antioxidant in this way by tightening up the skin that might be sagging due to the activity of free radicals present in the body.

Skin Care: More specifically, there is an ester present in clary sage essential oil called linalyl acetate, which reduces skin inflammation and heals rashes. Furthermore, it balances and regulates the production of natural oils in the skin, reducing both oily and dry skin and making your skin look young and beautiful. It is recommended to be used directly or mixed with a carrier agent like almond oil to facilitate maximum absorption and effect.

Reduces Flatulence: Clary sage oil, owing to its carminative properties, can eliminate gas as quickly as a needle empties a balloon! That is, it will eliminate excess gas in your body through flatulence, which will reduce the sensation of being bloated. You might find it funny, but gas can actually be fatal when it pushes upwards and hits the delicate organs inside your chest cavity, so a downward movement is always the safest way to expel them. This essential oil also inhibits the formation of gas in the first place.

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Regulates Menstruation: If you are having troubles with irregular, obstructed or painful menses, you can try clary sage oil before you spend a fortune on specialized treatment from a gynecologist. There is no need to worry since it has no adverse side effects. It simply stimulates the opening of obstructed menses and makes them regular, while easing the pain. It also cures dizziness and mental irritation during menses as well as in cases of Post Menopause Syndrome (PMS). Furthermore, it can help to reduce the symptoms and negative effects associated with menstruation like cramping, bloating, mood swings, and cravings for food by balancing the hormones that run rampant during this time for women.

Reduces Cholesterol: Cholesterol is a naturally occurring substance made by the liver and required by the body for the proper function of cells, nerves and hormones. Cholesterol travels in the lipids (fatty acids) of the bloodstream, which is also called plaque, and can build up in the walls of the arteries. This decreases the flow of blood to vital areas of the body, and if the plaque continues to build, it significantly increases the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of clary sage oil are cardio-protective and help lower cholesterol naturally. Clary sage oil also decreases emotional stress and improves circulation — two very important factors for reducing cholesterol and supporting your cardiovascular system.

Relieves Depression: Clary sage oil can induce a feeling of immense joy, confidence, pleasure, and high spirits and fill you with the desire to live your life to the fullest. This is why it is frequently used to cure depression, chronic stress, and anxiety.

Relieves Insomnia: People suffering from insomnia can find relief with clary sage oil. It is a natural sedative and will give you the calm and peaceful feeling that is necessary in order to fall asleep. When you can’t sleep, you usually awaken feeling unrefreshed, which takes a toll on your ability to function during the day. Insomnia affects not only your energy level and mood, but also your health, work performance and quality of life. Two major causes of insomnia are stress and hormonal changes. An all-natural essential oil like clary sage can cure insomnia without drugs by alleviating feelings of stress and anxiety, and by balancing hormone levels.

Lowers Blood Pressure: Clary sage oil is very effective in reducing blood pressure by relaxing the veins and arteries, thereby reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke, atherosclerosis, and brain hemorrhaging. By reducing blood pressure, it widens the blood vessels and allows for increased circulation, resulting in increased oxygenation to the muscles and organ system, boosting your overall metabolic performance.

Increases Circulation: Clary sage opens the blood vessels and allows for increased blood circulation; it also naturally lowers blood pressure by relaxing the brain and arteries. This boosts the performance of the metabolic system by increasing the amount of oxygen that gets into the muscles and supporting organ function. A study done at the Department of Basic Nursing Science in the Republic of Korea measured clary sage oil’s ability to lower blood pressure in women with urinary incontinence or involuntary urination. Thirty-four women participated in the study, and they were given either clary sage oil, lavender oil or almond oil (for the control group); then they were measured after inhalation of these odors for 60 minutes.

Acts as a Nervine: Clary sage essential oil is good for your nerves. It sedates nervous convulsions and other disorders such as nervousness, vertigo, anxiety, and hysteria.

Lowers Inflammation: Do you need to calm down? Do you want to concentrate? Or do you simply want to relax and have a good night’s sleep? Clary sage oil can help you with all of these. It reduces inflammations and has an undeniably calming effect. People suffering from chronic stress or anxiety disorders find great comfort by using clary sage essential oil.

Reduces Stomach Disorders: This oil also maintains the health of the stomach and regulates secretion of digestive juices. In this way, it prevents stomach disorders and helps to stimulate efficient absorption of nutrients, digestion of food, and regulation of bowel movements. It also helps in the healing of ulcers. By regulating bowel movements, it can also protect the integrity of your colon and reduce the chances of serious gastrointestinal conditions, including colorectal cancer.

Eliminates Bad Odor: Buying synthetic deodorants is not only expensive but they also negatively impact the environment. Their pleasant smell effect only lasts for a short time. Moreover, sometimes they produce skin irritation and allergies. Clary sage oil can be a far better choice as a deodorant, because, in diluted form, it serves as an efficient deodorant without any side effects. It is natural, so it doesn’t impact the environment, and its effects can last for a long time.

Promotes Digestion: Clary sage essential oil promotes digestion and relieves symptoms of indigestion. It boosts the secretion of gastric juices and bile, thereby speeding up digestion and easing the process, which relieves cramping, bloating, and abdominal discomfort.

Improves Uterus Health: Clary sage oil helps to maintain good health of the uterus. It prevents some of the most common uterine problems that women have after menopause, including uterine tumors, bleeding, and pain. Furthermore, it regulates hormones like estrogen and ensures a long-term health of the uterus, thereby reducing the chances of uterine and ovarian cancer.

Fights Leukemia: A promising study conducted at the Department of Immunology, Hellenic Anticancer Institute in Athens, Greece, examined the role that sclareol, a chemical compound found in clary sage oil, plays in fighting leukemia. The results showed that sclareol is able to kill cell lines through the process of apoptosis. Apoptosis is the process of programmed cell death; research involving the role of apoptosis has increased substantially since the early 1990s. An insufficient amount of apoptosis results in uncontrolled cell proliferation, such as cancer.

Other Benefits: Clary sage essential oil can be used to battle addiction (particularly drugs) and can stimulate a change in mentality towards a positive way of approaching life. Furthermore, it is anti-inflammatory in nature and can treat backaches and joint pain. In terms of skincare, it can help to regulate excess sebum production and prevent acne from forming. It also eases labor and reduces labor pains.

Uses at Home

For menstrual pain, combine Clary Sage with Geranium, Marjoram and Carrot Seed. Add to your favorite carrier oil and use as a daily moisturizer or diffuse into the air for its mood-enhancing properties. For topical application dilute to 2-4%.

Combination therapy with at least Clary Sage and Lavender appears to be effective in reducing menstrual pain.

For stress relief and aromatherapy, diffuse or inhale 2–3 drops of clary sage essential oil.

To improve mood and joint pain, add 3–5 drops of clary sage oil to warm bath water. Try adding clary sage oil to my Homemade Healing Bath Salts to boost your mood and bust feelings of stress.

For eye care, add 2–3 drops of clary sage oil to a clean and warm wash cloth; press cloth over both eyes for 10 minutes.

For cramp and pain relief, create a massage oil by diluting 5 drops of clary sage oil with 5 drops of a carrier oil (like jojoba or coconut oil) and apply it to needed areas.

For skin care, create a mix of clary sage oil and a carrier oil (like coconut or jojoba) at a 1:1 ratio. Apply the mixture directly to your face, neck and body.

To ease digestion, massage the abdomen with equal parts clary sage oil and a carrier oil, or use a hot compress with 3–5 drops of clary sage oil soaked into it.

To enhance healing prayer or meditation, mix 6 drops of clary sage oil with 2 drops of frankincense, white fir or orange oils. Add the mixture to a diffuser or oil burner.

To naturally relieve asthma symptoms, mix 4 drops of clary sage oil with lavender oil and massage the blend on the chest or back.

For hair health, massage equal parts clary sage oil and rosemary oil into your scalp while showering.

Considerations

Salvia sclarea is generally recognized as safe, and there are no reported side effects. Despite its safety, pregnant and breastfeeding should avoid the herb. Due to the effect that salvia sclarea has on estrogen, people with estrogen-related disorders such as breast cysts and uterine fibroids, should avoid long-term use of this herb. It should be noted that the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database warns that there is currently insufficient research to determine the efficacy of salvia sclarea for its purported uses.

Possible Side Effects & Precautions

Use clary sage oil with caution during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester or when using it in the abdomen; clary sage can cause uterine contractions that may be dangerous. Clary sage oil is not for infants or toddlers.

There have been claims that clary sage oil brightens eyes, improves vision and protects loss of vision due to premature or normal aging; however, there is not enough research to suggest that essential oils be used in the eyes just yet. It may not be safe and should be discussed with your ophthalmologist first.

Avoid using clary sage oil during or after alcohol use; reports indicate that this may lead to vivid dreams and trouble sleeping. When using clary sage oil topically, make sure to test yourself for skin sensitivity. Apply the oil to a small area first to make sure you won’t have a negative reaction.

Chloral hydrate and hexobarbitone interact with clary sage oil; they cause sleepiness and drowsiness, and clary sage seems to increase the effects of these medications.

Word of Caution: It can enhance the intoxicating effects of alcohol and other narcotics since it is a relaxant and a sedative by nature. Heavy dosage can also cause headaches. Pregnant or nursing women should avoid using it since there has not been enough research done on the transference of effects through breast milk to children.

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