Lavender Tea Health Benefits, Side Effects, and How to Brew
Lavender is one of the most beloved fragrances in the world. From lavender essential oil to lavender soaps and teas, this vibrant purple flower makes a statement. It's known for its calming effects, making it the perfect bedtime tea.
Lavender tea offers a delicate flavor and aromatic fragrance that boasts extensive health benefits. Unearth the beauty of this floral plant and find out how drinking a cuppa of lavender can boost your health.
What is Lavender Tea?
Lavender tea is made from the fresh or dried buds of the lavender flower known as Lavandula angustifolia. It is a type of tea known as an herbal tea or tisane. This plant is native to the Mediterranean region including southern Europe and northern Africa.
Today, the lavender plant is cultivated in the United States and many other countries across the globe. It's commonly found in household gardens and the buds can be used to brew homemade lavender tea. Lavender is also frequently used in body care products, cosmetics, and beauty products thanks to its soothing scent. It's commonly used in beauty products to prevent hair loss, even skin complexion, and boost cellular health.
Lavender tea boasts a distinctive flavor and aromatic fragrance. Lavender tea features hints of rosemary and mint. Some blends offer a smoky or woody flavor while others tend to be more floral and sweet. Lavender tea can also have hints of green apple, rose, and earthy notes similar to those found in green tea.
Lavender Tea Health Benefits
1. Improves Sleep
The most well known health benefit of lavender tea is its ability to induce calm. The relaxing effects of lavender tea can help improve sleep and may be used to treat sleep disorders. According to national institutes of health in the USA including the CDC, an estimated 70 million people suffer from some type of sleep disorder. Lack of sleep has further been correlated with a host of other health problems.
Drinking lavender tea before bed can help you achieve more restful sleep. According to multiple scientific studies, lavender tea helps calm brain function by triggering chemical reactions in the nervous system. Lavender tea boosts the production of dopamine and reduces the stress hormone known as cortisol. One such study found that lavender increases the percentage of deep slow-wave sleep, which is considered the restorative sleep phase.
2. Reduces Inflammation
Lavender tea boasts anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce inflammation and prevent a host of serious ailments. Reducing inflammation can prevent heart attacks by reducing the risk of blood clots caused by inflamed arteries. Lavender tea can also help alleviate pain by reducing inflammation of the muscles and joints. The soothing scent of lavender can also minimize muscle spasms.
3. Boost Immune Health
Lavender tea contains high amounts of antioxidants and antibacterial compounds that can help fend off the common cold and flu. According to Natural Food Series, lavender tea contains vitamin C, calcium, and magnesium. These nutrients support immune health and make it easier for the human body to fight off bacterial, fungal, and viral infections.
4. Detoxifies the Body
When you drink lavender tea, antioxidants work to eliminate toxins that can cause harmful side effects. These antioxidants work to eliminate free radicals that are caused by pollution, excessive drinking, and smoking. Free radicals wreak havoc on human cells and cause them to mutate or degrade through a process known as oxidative stress. Free radicals have been linked to an increased risk of certain types of cancer and may accelerate the aging process.
5. Supports Digestive Health
Lavender tea can help soothe digestive issues ranging from diarrhea to nausea and stomach cramps. The anti-inflammatory properties of lavender help soothe irritated stomach muscles, eliminating stomach pain. These same antispasmodic effects can help relieve indigestion, gas, and bloating.
The scent of lavender is also powerful in streamlining digestive processes. The fragrance of lavender stimulates the production of bile, which helps the body breakdown foods more efficiently. The calming aroma of lavender can also treat nausea by triggering chemical reactions in the brain.
6. Aids Respiratory Health
Lavender tea can help people who suffer from breathing problems by opening up airways. The anti-inflammatory properties of lavender soothe inflamed muscles in the throat and chest, making it easier to breathe. The antibacterial properties of lavender tea also help to eliminate bacteria that can cause chest colds and congestion.
Side Effects of Lavender Tea
Lavender tea has very few side effects, most of which can be avoided by following usage guidelines. There are still a few things to keep in mind when drinking lavender tea.
Lavender has been associated with gynecomastia—a growth in breast tissue—in prepubescent males. Ending the use of lavender typically reverses this side effect. Experts recommend limiting lavender tea consumption for males who haven't undergone puberty.
Pregnant women should be careful when drinking lavender tea due to its ability to mimic the estrogen hormone. It's always best to consult your physician before consuming herbal teas when pregnant or breastfeeding.
People who are allergic to lavender flowers or similar flowering plants should avoid drinking lavender tea. People who are sensitive to these flowers may develop an allergic reaction that includes difficulty breathing, skin rash, and throat irritation.
Some websites recommend brewing lavender tea using lavender oil. Essential oils should be consumed under the guidance of a licensed aromatherapist to avoid negative side effects. That's because lavender essential oils are extremely concentrated and can contain multiple pounds of flower buds in just a single drop. We recommend sticking to brewing lavender tea using dried or fresh flower buds to ensure proper dosage.
Tips For How to Brew Lavender Tea
Lavender tea can be made using tea bags or loose flowers. The flower buds can be fresh from your garden or dried for added shelf life.
We always recommend using loose tea blends rather than tea bags. Loose teas offer fresher flavor and tend to contain better quality flowers and buds than tea bag varieties.
There are a few things to keep in mind when brewing lavender tea using flowers from your garden. It's best to cultivate them using organic methods to avoid contamination with chemicals and harsh fertilizers.
These chemicals can find their way into your tea and cause negative side effects. It's also a good idea to grow lavender flowers away from main roads and other potential environmental contaminants.
Basic Lavender Tea Recipe
- 8 oz spring or filtered water
- 2 tablespoons fresh lavender buds or dried lavender flowers
- Tea pincer or infuser
1. Bring water to a rolling boil in a large saucepan.
2. Place the fresh lavender flowers in a tea infuser basket or tea pincer and place in a tea cup.
3. Pour the boiling water into the cup.
4. Steep the lavender flowers in the hot water for 8 to 10 minutes. The longer you steep, the stronger the flavor will become.
5. Remove the tea infuser or strain the loose flowers using a fine mesh strainer.
6. Enjoy as is or add flavorings such as honey, sugar, or lemon.
Relax With Lavender Tea
Drinking lavender tea is a great way to induce relaxation and unwind after a tough day. It's packed with healthy compounds that can boost your immune system and alleviate pain by reducing inflammation.
Drink lavender tea from flowers in your own garden or opt for pre-dried batches from your favorite tea seller. However you choose to brew, you're sure to love the delicate floral flavor and the soothing aroma of this herbal tea.