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September 17, 2010 at 4:00 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Natural Insomnia Relief: Lavender Bath, Oil and Tea Recipes

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

When people think of insomnia, they often think of drastic circumstances. However, insomnia can happen in various degrees. While some cases do involve individuals being awake for weeks, most cases simply involve a severe disagreement with the ability to sleep. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 64 million Americans regularly suffer from insomnia each year, and it is 41 percent more common in women than men. But if you're suffering from insomnia, you're not helpless or doomed to a life of prescription sleep aids and tranquilizers. There are many natural ways to help your body ease into sleep. One of the most prominent of them is lavender.

Originating from the mountains in the western Mediterranean, lavender was first put to use by the Arabians. In the later centuries, the Romans brought it to Europe, and from there it was transferred to the American continents. Now, lavender is common around the world and used as a natural reliever of many ailments. Insomnia is one of these ailments. The reason lavender is such a popular sleep aid is its calming properties. It works quickly to slow brain waves and depress the central nervous system, causing a groggy and drowsy feeling. And just because it's natural, doesn't mean it's not powerful. It's easily comparable to many pharmaceutical tranquilizers.

So now that you know lavender is a great sleep aid, you want to know how to use it. Below are a few ideas. Remember to make sure that the lavender you purchased is efficient as a sleep aid. Some forms of lavender (most notably Spanish lavender) are stimulants and will have the opposite effect. It's never a bad idea to consult an aromatherapist at the time of purchase.

Lavender Bath:

One great way to use lavender is to put it in a hot bath. About an hour before bed, fill up the tub with hot water and add a cup of dried lavender leaves, or a few drops of lavender oil. The aroma will work wonders.

Lavender Oil:

Another popular method of applying lavender is using the topical oils. This gives you the benefit of not only the scent, but also physical application. However, it's important to note that there are recorded instances of lavender allergies. It's always a good idea to spot-check lavender before you apply it, just to be safe.

Lavender Tea:

Below is the recipe for a great, soothing Mint-Lavender Tea, just one of many great ideas for insomnia therapy. What You Need:

  • 1 teaspoon fresh lavender flowers (or substitute 1/2 teaspoon dried lavender flowers)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves (or substitute 2 tablespoons dried mint leaves)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Other soothing herbs for flavor, like rosemary, rose geranium, lemon balm, or lemon verbena
  • Stovetop pan, teapot, or tea infuser

Instructions:

  • In an empty pan or teapot, mix the lavender and mint flowers together (either loose or using a tea infuser).
  • Pour 1 cup boiling water over the leaves and allow them to steep for around five minutes.
  • Remove the infuser or strain the leaves from the tea.
  • Drink before bed for better sleep.

Sources:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/maiac/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16520572

http://www.mothernature.com/Library/Bookshelf/Books/41/75.cfm

http://www.relax-and-sleep.com/insomnia-cure-lavender.html

http://help-me-to-sleep.com/insomnia/herbal-remedies-2.html

http://www.ehow.com/how_2119614_use-lavender-treat-insomnia.html

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