You don’t need us to tell you that taking care of a family and the go-go-go of a busy life doesn’t leave much time for yourself. You also know that constantly being on the run and probably not getting enough sleep (does that sound familiar?) isn’t good for you, either mentally or physically. If you don’t look after yourself, though, you’re not doing anyone any favors.
You may be chugging coffee all day to keep yourself going, but while caffeine can certainly give you a charge of energy, it can also jangle your nerves and send you crashing. And it has the absolute opposite effect of preparing you for a good night’s sleep.
Not that you have to forget about having that morning cup of wake-up, but during the day and especially in the evening, switching to herbal tea can have a remarkable effect on your mood and your overall well-being.
One delightful way to spend a few minutes catching your breath and re-grouping is to take a timeout with a fragrant cup of lavender tea. It’s not only indulgent and delicious with nary a calorie, but it has surprising health benefits, too. Taking that time out for yourself is not only a treat, it’s good for you! Here are some of the benefits of lavender tea:
Anxiety and Stress Relief
Wrapping your hands around a cup of lavender tea and Inhaling its scent gives you an immediate sense of soothing and warmth that begins to calm you right away.
Giving in to the feeling of pure pleasure and comfort isn’t just an illusion; scientific studies have suggested that lavender’s fragrance may actually slow nervous system activity. Let the tea do its magic while you sit quietly and let your mind drift before the real world calls you back. Ahhh.
You might not imagine it from a pretty flower, but lavender tea offers high concentrations of Vitamin C, calcium, and iron, and a good amount of Vitamin A, too. It even contains a small amount of protein, not enough to write home about, but every bit helps.
These days we hear a lot about antioxidants, but do you know what they actually are? Well, by the very act of breathing, our bodies produce highly reactive molecules known as free radicals. These free radicals interact with and cause oxidation damage to other molecules in the body, potentially leading to a wide range of ailments and chronic diseases.
Our bodies do produce antioxidants that combat these free radicals, but not in sufficient quantity to keep pace, so we need a steady supply of antioxidants from other sources as well. Lavender tea’s antioxidant flavonoids and other active constituents work to boost the immune system and defend against the stress and cell damage caused by free radicals.
Inflammation is part of the body’s healing response, bringing nourishment and immune system activity to sites of infection and injury, but too much inflammation can be damaging. Add lavender tea to the list of foods — like dark leafy greens, salmon, tomatoes, peppers, onions, and dark chocolate — that provide elements to keep inflammation in check.
Aid to Digestion
The polyphenols found in lavender tea help prevent the development of harmful bacteria in the digestive system, and they can ease stomach discomfort, reduce bloating, and eliminate cramping.
For thousands of years, lavender tea has been known to induce relaxation and sleep. Its calming effect on the nervous system along with its delicate floral scent make it the perfect nightcap to send you off to sweet dreams.
Skin and Hair Health
You can even use lavender tea topically. Its antiseptic qualities have been put to use since antiquity, and up through World War I it was used for treating wounded soldiers on the battlefield. Steep a cup and let it cool down a bit, then soak a cotton pad and apply it to cuts or sores. You can also use lavender tea as a hair rinse to boost the health of hair follicles and tame dandruff.
Apart from all the benefits of tea made from its dried blossoms, beautiful purple-hued lavender flowers can be used in salads, as a flavoring for baked goods and other desserts, and even candied as edible decorations for petits fours and the like.
Here are some tips for cooking with lavender along with a recipe for lemon lavender pound cake. Try a slice with a cup of lavender tea for a double dose of goodness.