I love the scent of lavender (la lavanda). Although I can find the plants readily enough at the viveria (plant nursery), I was surprised at how little it is used in traditional Mexican remedies.
Lavandula angustifolia is native to the Middle East and India. It was brought to Spain by the Arabs in the seventh century. The Spanish brought it to Mexico in the 1500s along with a host of other medicinal herbs.
There are several lavender fields that are open to the public in Mexico. One is not so very far from where I live in Mineral de Pozos, Guanajuato and the other is in Rancho San Martín, Puebla. Since we are heading to San Miguel de Allende later this year, we’ll have to see if we can stop and smell the lavender on the trip.
The properties of lavender are fairly well known. It is antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic and antispasmodic. Used as a wash on wounds, it can reduce the chances of infection. Applied as a rub, it is useful in the treatment of headaches, muscle pain, and cramps. Mixed with vegetable oil, lavender essential oil makes an excellent natural bug repellent.
In Mexico, the leaves are brewed in a tea for indigestion. Lavender scent has been shown to increase appetite and ingesting lavender has properties that protect against the development of gastric ulcers.
The soothing scent has been shown to reduce tension and elevate mood. It improves sleep quality and reduces chronic pain. Massaging the scalp with a combination of thyme, rosemary, lavender, and cedarwood has been helpful in the treatment of alopecia areata.
I have to admit that I’m not overly fond of lavender tea because it tastes too astringent to me. That is until I had the most delightful natural tea mix. It contained jamaica (Hibiscus sabdariffa), Flor de Azahar (citrus Aurantium), Flor de Tila (Ternstoemia lineata), Flor de Manita (Chiranthodendron pentadactylon), Hojas de Naranjo (Citrus aurantium), Melisa (Cedronella Mexicana), Manzanilla (Matricaria chamomilla) Pasiflora, (Passiflora Ciliata), Limon, (citrus medica), Yoloxochitl (Talauna Mexicana), Rosa de Castilla (Rosa centifolia) and Lavanda (Lavandula angustifolia). It was absolute heaven in a cup of tea!
Some of these herbs, I’ve already done some research about, while others wait to be explored. I’m quite excited about it and hope to be able to source my own tea blend with these herbs in the future.
Learn how other herbs are used traditionally in Mexico!