The herb lavender -- considered soothing, gentle, invigorating and aromatic -- is used for a variety of medicinal purposes. For centuries, lavender tea has been used to purify the body and spirit, and eliminate headaches, insomnia, depression and fatigue. Lavender may cause side effects, so speak to your health practitioner before using it for medicinal purposes.
The scent of lavender produces a sedative, calming effect. Drinking lavender tea may reduce migraines because the flowers used to make the tea contain medicinal compounds that are anti-spasmodic, helping to relax the blood vessels and the small muscles in the neck and scalp and around the eyes, writes Phyllis A. Balch in her book "Prescription for Nutritional Healing."
Depression and Anxiety
Depression and anxiety may be reduced by drinking lavender tea and inhaling its scent. The aroma from the tea is stimulating to the senses and may increase cognitive abilities in some people, explains Phyllis Balch. The herb may play a role in reducing stress and anxiety levels as well as improving mood, especially if depression is concomitant with migraine headaches.
Insomnia and Exhaustion
Drinking a cup of lavender tea may give you a gentle pick-me-up during the day, helping to overcome exhaustion, says the University of Maryland Medical Center. Another cup of tea at bedtime may soothe you to help you get to sleep more easily. Lavender calms the nervous system and reduces stress levels, according to “The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook." Lavender tea may be especially helpful if your exhaustion is the result of having to deal with chronic pain.
Like the herb ginger, lavender may offer relief from queasiness and nausea, says “The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook." Drink a cup of lavender tea to settle your stomach, especially if your nausea is related to a headache. Lavender is reputed to reduce inflammation of the vagus nerve, which often becomes inflamed during a migraine, causing nausea and vomiting.
Lavender produces some effects similar to those of estrogen hormones, according to the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center. The use of lavender in tea or essential oils may lessen or block the effects of androgens or male sex hormones. If you have a cancerous tumor whose growth is dependent on estrogen, you should avoid using lavender in all forms.
Lavender is generally considered a safe herb to use in teas, according to the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center. However, some people may experience a rash or other allergic reaction to lavender when they use the essential oil on the skin. If you develop symptoms, regardless of how you use lavender, stop taking it and contact your health practitioner.
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Lavender
- “The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook: Your Everyday Reference to the Best Herbs for Healing“; James Duke; 2002
- "Prescription for Nutritional Healing”, Phyllis A. Balch, 2006