Tuesday 18 January 2011

Ode to Lavender

Breathe it in. That luscious smell. That heady, wonderfully warm smell. I love it.

Lavender is very well known as a stress-relieving remedy, for calming and quieting the mind...

...(inhale)....and er, it's relaxing and stuff.

Sorry, so powerful was the effect of just looking at that lavender picture! I got a little unbothered about finishing this post. But no! Persevere.

So this isn't actually a skincare related post, although lavender is good for healing the skin and boosting circulation. This is actually just to say how very good it is at sending me to sleep - another well known effect, lavender is often used to help with insomnia. I don't really have insomnia, more impatience when it comes to snoozing. After the exhaustive process of cleansing face, teeth, toning, moisturising, maybe a little facial massage whilst we here, eye cream, have I missed anything... a bit of balm, a bit of hand cream...when I finally get to resting my head on that pillow I kind of just want to sleep NOW! I get bored trying.

Obviously there are sophisticated ways of filling the air in your room with the intoxicating pleasantness of this herb, like warming the oil in little bit of water over a precious little tea-light sat in a very round and contemporary oil burner. Or you could put just a few drops on your pillow (ok, a tissue to avoid any oily marks) and zonk out. This also conveniently avoids the dangers of falling asleep with a candle burning!

Although, it should be said that if you use too much of the oil it can wake you up a bit! So don't go crazy. Lavender, rather interestingly is a sedative in low doses and a stimulant in high doses. Other essential oils that help promote sleep are chamomile and marjoram... so look for those too if you'd like to make your own custom blend.

It is important to select a fine quality essential oil, naturally distilled without the use of chemical extraction because you'll end up inhaling that chemical residue.

For an easy alternative Tisserand and Neals Yard Remedies do a sleep promoting essential oil roll-on which you can apply to temples and pulse points. Lovely.

More on aromatherapy and essential oils to follow....

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