Lavender: Uses & Benefits

Lavender is one of the most versatile and widely essential oils. Adored for its beauty and prized aromatic quality, the aroma is fresh, sweet, soft, and floral. It's soothing, balancing, antibacterial and antiseptic properties make it a useful tool in the first aid kit.
Lavender will enliven you when your energy is low, and settle you down when life is hectic.

Energetics

Rasa (taste): Katu (pungent)
Virya (energy): Anusha (neither heating or cooling)
Vipaka (post-digestive effect): Katu (pungent)
Gunas (quality): Ruksha (dry), Laghu (light), Tikshna (penetrating)
Dosha: PK-
Karma (action):Little stimulating.

Indications

Activates Crown Chakra

At the crown of the head is the cerebral cortex, known in the yogic tradition as “Sahawara Chakra.” When this lotus flower at the top of your spine stalk unfolds its petals, the memory of wholeness is restored and integrated into your personality. Keen awareness and alertness is created.
Once this connection to higher self is established and the srotas (channels) are cleansed, karmic blockages that prevent evolutionary progress are removed.

Balances Emotions

Lavender can be universally applied to balance emotions. It helps when patterns of depression and insomnia that manifest due to disconnection from consciousness. Fear and anxiety dissipate because your loose your attachment to specific outcomes and you trust the way the universe unfolds. (Balances Prana Vata and Sadhaka Pitta).
The effects of lavender oil have been studied on human emotional states, on our autonomic nervous system and even on our brain's electrical activity.
It tunes our thalamus to improve alpha brain waves, which becomes destroyed by modern toxins like non-native electromagnetic fields (nnEMF), blue light at night and poor sleep.
Fine Tuning Our Biological Clocks
Lavender supercharges energy metabolic pathways in cells that directly balance your biological clocks. It effectively excites electrons which send frequencies to further fin-tune the thalamus (which digests sensory stimuli and is a prime seat of consciousness).

Things to Know About Using Lavender

  • Make sure you use lavender that is grown outside in the sun, not indoors (hydroponic). The beneficial element of phosphorus in lavender is very active when photosynthesised with sunlight. Know your source.
  • Lavender needs to be mature (over 3 years old.) The best lavender is 8-10 years old, grown in a strong UV geography.

Using Lavender

Put a few drops on your pillow for a restful night (very effective for kids bed tremors), use for aromatherapy or add to a massage oil for self-abhyanga for muscle relief, skin support to calm the nervous system. Its uses are endless and it blends with so many oils.
Lavandula angusifolia is the real lavender. Good for Vata. The hybrid is stimulant for Kapha.

Dylan's Favourite Lavender Sources

Lavender essential oils from Amrita and Rare Earth Oils.

References:

  • Ayurvedic properties have been decided by yukti (intellect) by tasting and feeling the plant as well as discussion with Vaidyas and fellow Ayurvedic scholars

Golden Milk Elixir

Just like grandma used to cook up for you with love and foresight. This nightly sleep aid and anabolic tonic holds great wisdom, incorporating one of the most nourishing foods: cows milk, with the intelligence of natures herbs and spices. You’ll sleep like a baby and super charge overnight.

Dreaming of a Good Night’s Sleep?

This Ayurvedic remedy will reduce your stress to allow you to switch off and gain a more restful and undisturbed sleep.

Supersede the Stress

Insomnia, which can increase the risk of most degenerative diseases(1) is mostly caused by stress. When we are under stress, cortisol levels (stress fighting hormones) do not decrease, rather they keep us revved up throughout the night and we don’t have the energy to calm them back down.

Modern science has once again proved ancient wisdom by showing milk has certain peptides that lower cortisol and support sleep by 50%. The improvements of sleep are remarkable:

  • Promotes deeper sleep (3)
  • Supports more restorative sleep (3)
  • Provides relaxation at the level needed for sleep (4)
  • Calms anxiety (4)
  • Improves numerous stress markers (5)
  • These peptides further support digestion, emotional state, cognitive function and even cardiovascular function. (6)

Interestingly, these peptides in milk activate GABA receptors.(4) Pharmaceutical drugs that are widely used as sedatives for stress, anxiety, and sleep target these same GABA receptors!(7)

Ojas Building

Even if you sleep well, this night-time tonic will not only upgrade your sleep to be more deep and restful, but also build your Ojas.

Ojas (OH-jas) is considered to be the most refined by-product of digestion, said to reside in the heart. Ayurveda considers ojas to be a bio-celestial substance that is our vital essence.

Our vitality, immunity, vigour, skin, sleep, digestion, spirituality and physical strength are all directly influenced by our reserve of ojas.

Ojas builds our inner silence. It Increases the ability to genetically connect with the circadian rhythms allowing the body to resonate with the rhythms and thrive. If your body is under stress, emergency alarm bells will keep ringing (flight or fight response/sympathetic nervous system) disconnecting you from the genetic ability to hear these rhythms.

Building ojas is an art. Yoga, pranayama breathing exercises, meditation, spending time in nature, sleeping at the right times, laughing, showing love and affection and giving to others, spending time being creative, relaxing, and doing things that make you happy all build ojas.

Perhaps one of the best ways to consistently build ojas is to eat a diet of fresh, unprocessed whole foods in the appropriate season.
Further, there are certain foods and herbs in Ayurveda that are great ojas-builders. These were traditionally blended with warm milk and taken before bed as a sleep aid and an ojas-builder.

 

Ayurveda’s Super Sleep Recipe:

  • Boil 3/4 cup of unhamogensied cows milk + 3/4 cup of water + 2 strands of saffron + 1 chopped date + 3 crushed and peeled almonds. Boil till it reduces to approximately 1 cup or till it fully foams up.
  • After the milk has boiled. Add:
  • 1/4tsp cardamom powder
  • 1/4tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1/2tsp ghee.
  • 1/4 tsp Ashwagandha powder (optional for more ojas building and calming effect)
  • 1/4 tsp Shatavari powder (optional for more ojas building and calming effect)
  • pinch of Ojo or Samadhi (Raju family herbal preparation)
    (Can modify herbs and spices according to season and body constitution).

Sitr well, then drink and enjoy.

When to Drink It:

  • Have between dinner and sleep - approximately 45-60mins after dinner and 45-60mins before bed.
  • You can even make this your dinner.
  • Drink one cup of the golden milk each night for 3 months to rebuild ojas levels and support sleep patterns.
  • You can also have this in the morning approximately 45 minutes before breakfast or make it your breakfast, (good for people who don’t have an appetite in the morning). It is also a great replacement to coffee.

"But I Don’t Do Dairy"

If you are intolerant to dairy, it is probably indigestion, some weakness and/or your mind getting the better over you by 'accepting' the intolerance. Additionally, most milk is difficult to digest because it is unnecessarily homogenised, pasteurised the wrong way, added chemicals, pesticides, preservatives and anti-biotic’s.

However, drink the right milk and correct your agni, and you may find you can slowly introduce this medicinal lactation back into your diet.

Most places you can find milk that is non-homogenised without all these nasty additives. Getting non-pasturised or vat-pasturised, (heated at low temperature for short time), is a bonus, but the main precept is to drink non-homogenised milk. This has become so popular that mainstream supermarkets in Australia and New Zeland are now selling it. Additionally, most health-food stores will have it.

If you are very sensitive to milk, I suggest first correct agni, then slowly introduce dairy by drinking thin Lassi with lunch.

You may substitute substitute coconut or (freshly made) almond milk. Though you won’t get the benefits of the milk peptides, you’ll still have a vehicle for the ojas-building foods and herbs and some calming benefits from the warmth of the milk.

Take this milk to build some resiliency towards the stress that prevents us from sleeping like we should.

It’s tasty, nourishing and a great way to end the day, plus it’ll send you off with the clouds for the night.

References

(1) Occup Med (Lond). 2010
(2) The Open Sleep Journal. 2009;2:128-32
(3) J Dairy Sci. 2000 Jun
(4) Ther Umsh. 2009
(5) Eur J Nutr. 2005
(6) Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007
(7) FASEB J. 2001