Lavender is one of those cure-all plants — always good for what ails you and an immediate go to for the modern healer as well as new mothers in search of natural remedies for their children. It has a reputation for being the OG calming and anxiety reducing go-to for herbalists as well as your mother, grandmother and great-grandmother when it comes natural healing. It’s not just an old-wives tale–this stuff works! It’s invigorating, has a pleasant aroma and is a nervine relaxer — meaning it immediately calms you in times of undue stress (and if you’re living as modern a life as we are, when is stress not on the table?) We are our own best healers and as human beings we intuitively know how helpful essential oils can be, and if you really think about it, I’m sure you’ve already been using lavender in your daily life for years. How many times have you had a scrape, burn or bite and someone has suggested you use some lavender oil to prevent infection? And what about if you’re feeling anxious or out-of-sorts and felt the pull of lavender oil to put on your temples? And how extremely lovely is the scent of anything and everything lavender that you wished you had limitless access to it at any given time? We love it in baking, too and the lavender infused cookies from from Maman NYC are a go-to.

These gorgeous images of travel blogger Veronica Pototska in the lavender fields of Moldova, which you can read all about here, inspired us to write about some of the countless medicinal uses of lavender. If you’re only going to invest in one essential oil or research plant healing–this is the one to get. How incredible does she look in our Gypsy Dress surrounded by the beautiful purple healing plants? We took one look at this photo and could almost smell how gorgeous that field must be to lounge and picnic in, odds are it would send anyone into the most restful sleep of their lives (lavender is one of the most effective natural sedatives). In this day and age, it can be all too easy to forget how very powerful plants and herbs can be — and often, medicine in pill form is simply a synthetic replica of the molecular makeup of a plant.

Photo courtesy of Veronica Pototska

Lavender can stabilize one’s mood, improve sleep and soothe frantic nerves. It can also kill bacteria on skin or in the air (if using a diffuser), relieve pain and speed would healing. It’s an antimicrobial agent, and in essential oil form it has antibiotic and antiviral activity. We love Mountain Rose Herbs for all our essential oils needs — they’re USDA certified Organic and are the real deal: you know that the extracts are from the actual plant and not synthetic (which can have all the bad-for-you chemicals that you don’t want). If you are using pure lavender essential oil,, add 1-2 drops of water to dilute it (otherwise it will be too strong and may burn–beware!), or take 1/3 teaspoon of olive oil and inhale or add to a diffuser. We love this one from Poscoverage – it’s eco-friendly and has different color settings depending on your mood.

Photo courtesy of Veronica Pototska

3 Practical Uses For Lavender

  1. Sleep Remedy and Anti-Anxietal: Put 2-3 drops on your temples and your wrists. Cover your third-eye point (in the middle of your forehead) and breathe in deeply. You’ll feel noticeably more calm and if you’re having trouble sleeping, it will send you right off to sleep.
  1. Cuts, Scrapes or Burns: Take a cotton swab or add diluted lavender oil directly to the affected area to not only kill bacteria but to help your skin heal more quickly. Add 1-2 times a day.
  2. Eliminate Dandruff: You can either purchase a lavender infused shampoo and conditioner (we like this one from Neal’s Yard Remedies) or just add a few drops directly to the scalp to help get rid of that pesky dry scalp.

Play around with lavender if you find it in its pure form, buy the plant itself and cook with it, make eye pillow with it or stick it in your underwear drawer. Get yourself a tincture and carry it in your handbag, use it as a natural perfume and add a drop to water to settle the stomach. In our experience, adding lavender to your rotation provides endless comfort and an overall sense of calm to an otherwise frenzied life. Who doesn’t want to be a sea of calm in the face of a stressed out world? More is more when it comes to this loving, caretaker of a plant.