Every year, millions of prescriptions are written for anti-anxiety medications, making them one of the most commonly prescribed drugs (1). But these medications don’t always work, come with too many side effects and are often highly addictive. As a result, more and more people are turning to natural remedies to control their anxiety and headaches instead.
Fortunately, this lavender lemonade recipe has gained much recognition for helping people deal with chronic, painful headaches, migraines and anxiety. The lavender plant is a beautiful blooming plant (with lavender flowers – hence the name), that has been found to treat anxiety, fungal infections, hair loss, and wounds. It is also an effective anti-inflammatory, and therefore helps relieve nasty headaches and migraines.
The Benefits of Lavender Lemonade
Lavender has been found effective for a variety of different health ailments, it’s most notable benefit being anxiety relief. Lavender works as a sedative, antidepressant, anti-anxiety, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant and calming agent.
A review article in the International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice looked at how effective Silexan (a lavender-oil based pill) might be for patients with anxiety disorders. The team found that Silvan had an anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) effect on patients with generalized or subsyndromal anxiety within 2 weeks (2).
Researchers have also found that the mere scent of lavender can help lower anxiety in individuals undergoing dental work (which can be quite the anxiety-ridden experience, if you’ve ever made a trip to the dentist) (3).
The researchers measured dental anxiety levels of 340 adult patients during their wait at the dentist’s waiting room for their appointment. Half the patients were exposed to lavender scent, while the other half were not. The team found that individuals exposed to lavender reported lower levels of anxiety compared to the other patients.
Dr. Kritsidima, who conducted the study, concluded, “Our findings suggest that lavender could certainly be used as an effective ‘on-the-spot’ anxiety reduction in dentists’ waiting rooms.”
Another study out of Florida found that lavender oil was effective at reducing anxiety and lowering pulse rates in nursing students who underwent a stressful test (4).
Headache and Migraine Relief
According to researchers, utilizing lavender both topically and aromatically (for example, breathing in the scent) affects the limbic system, because of linalool and linalyl acetate. These compounds are absorbed quickly through the skin when applied topically, and are thought to cause central nervous system depression. Therefore, lavender is an effective aid against headaches caused by anxiety disorders or other related conditions.
Lavender helps relieve feelings of restlessness and disturbed sleep, both of which are major contributors of headaches and migraine attacks. It is also known to regulate serotonin levels in the body, which helps to minimize pain in the nervous system that can lead to migraine attacks (5).
The Power of Hydration
Headaches are also largely caused by dehydration. If you’re also experiencing a dry, sticky mouth, sleepiness, decreased urine output and constipation (in addition to your headaches), you’re probably not getting enough fluids (6, 7).
Hydrating yourself with this simple lavender lemonade recipe could be exactly what your body needs to restore balance and eliminate your painful headache.
Lavender Lemonade Recipe
Ingredients: (makes about 6-7 servings)
– 1 cup pure maple syrup or raw, unpasteurized honey
– 7 cups pure water
– 1/4 cup dried, organic, culinary lavender
– 8 lemons, peeled and juiced
– optional: 1/4 cup purple cabbage juice (to get the purple colour)
1. Pour 1/2 of the water into a pan, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
2. Once the water has cooled off, and is warm not boiling, add the maple syrup/honey, and dried lavender, and let steep for approximately 30 minutes.
3. Strain mixture and pour into large bowl.
4. Add lemon juice, cabbage juice if you want a purple tint, and the remaining water. Stir well.
5. Refrigerate in mason jars, and drink 1-2 cups daily. This recipe should last 1 week.