Lavender Tea: Does It Fight Cancer Too?

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Lavender is an herb in the mint family native to the Mediterranean region.

It has a subtle floral flavor and is often used in decorations for its lovely color and perfume for its scent.

And, it’s often touted as a relaxant that helps you get a restful sleep, for skin health, and to help digest food.

But is there more to this herbal tea than meets the eye?

Does it have cancer-fighting properties too?

Keep reading to find out!

What Is Lavender?

Lavender is a perennial herb of over 30 species in the mint family, commonly grown for their fragrant leaves and flowers.  

The most common type of lavender is called English lavender, or Lavandula Angustifolia.

And strange as it may seem, it’s native to the Mediterranean region, not England. 

But lavender has been used for fragrance since the time of the Roman Empire.  

Lavender is derived from the Latin verb “to wash ” because the Ancient Romans liked to use it in their baths.  

Today, essential lavender oil is often used in soaps, aromatherapy, beauty products, and air fresheners.

Furthermore, it’s used in cooking and green tea, and its pharmaceutical properties are used as raw material for drugs.

Most notable are its abilities to reduce anxiety and inflammation, and induce sleep.

Can You Eat Lavender?

Yes, you can eat the flowers, buds, and leaves of lavender.

It’s best to just use the flower buds for tea and they’re often sold in loose lavender tea or lavender tea bags.

But besides tea, lavender is often used in Mediterranean cuisine to flavor dishes and desserts.

And you can also add it to smoothies.

What Is Lavender Tea?

Lavender tea is made by steeping dried or fresh lavender buds in hot water.

Using the flower buds assures that you get a nice taste and a good amount of natural essential oils in your tea.

Lavender Tea Taste

Once you’ve made a cup of lavender tea, you’ll notice its mild, floral, very pleasant slightly sweet taste.

People also describe the tea as having a hint of mint and earthiness.

But really, it’s delicious!

Lavender Tea Recipe

When brewing lavender herbal teas at home, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Let 4 cups of filtered water come to a boil
  2. Place 1/4 cup of fresh or 2 tbsp dried lavender buds in the water
  3. Let it simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes
  4. Strain out the petals
  5. Add honey, lemon, or milk per your preference
  6. Enjoy hot or cool over ice

To mix up your herbal teas, try adding 1 cup of mint leaves, or ¼ cup of chamomile buds.

Lavender Tea Price

The price of lavender tea will vary based on products and stores.

A lavender tea near me search will usually pull up local pure lavender buds and green and black tea mixes.

If you order lavender tea Walmart style in the United States you can find tea bags for $4-5 for a pack of 16. 

Which, at about $0.25-0.30 per tea bag is pretty affordable, especially if you can find it locally or with free shipping.

And for contactless shopping with your device, there’s always American Express Apple Pay.

Lavender Tea Nutrition

Lavender tea is largely calorie-free unless you add honey, sugar, milk, or other dress-ups that have calories.

Its flowers are packed with antioxidants such as the flavonoid anthocyanin also found in purple cabbage.

But lavender flowers also contain other antioxidants such as the flavonoid tannin, the phenolic acid coumarin, and the mineral zinc.

All and all, antioxidants help fight inflammation, chronic diseases, and cancer.

In addition, lavender contains phytosterols, magnesium, and calcium.

Together, they help lower cholesterol and are important for heart health and strong bones.

But lavender is primarily grown for its essential oil content, which has over 300 bioactive components.

The most common are the terpenoids linalool, linalyl acetate, terpinen-4-ol, lavandulol, eucalyptol, and camphor.

However, not all types of lavender have the same amount of terpenoids.  

Depending on the species, location, climate, growing condition, and extraction method, the yield varies.

All and all, terpenoids act as antioxidants and can help fight cancer, inflammation, and infection.

Next, we’ll talk about lavender tea benefits and side effects in more detail.

Lavender Tea Benefits

Lavender has been used for centuries for its calming properties, to heal wounds, for migraine pain, and to reduce muscle spasms.

However, many studies aren’t of good enough quality to determine the benefits of lavender tea. 

Some claims are backed by just one study of lesser quality describing its properties.

So, below, we’ll look at areas with better evidence including stress, sleep, and the immune system.

Lowers Stress and Anxiety

Stress has been a natural occurrence throughout human existence, and it’s become a big concern in modern times.

It’s a natural response to worry and a small dose can help us get things done.

However, higher levels of constant stress can cause anxiety, depression, and chronic diseases.

Recent studies show that lavender essential oil has a calming effect on the nervous system.

Thus, showing promise to help lower stress, anxiety, and depression

Furthermore, the sedative effect of lavender is believed to be due to its plant component linalool.

Similar to antidepressants, linalool appears to affect receptors in certain areas of the brain that govern anxiety.

More specifically, the amygdala and hippocampus of the limbic system.

Because of positive results from recent systematic reviews, linalool is getting more attention.  

As a direct result, linalool is approved for the treatment of restlessness and anxiety in Germany.

Improves Sleep

Lavender has been used as a sleep aid for centuries.

The calming and relaxing effect of lavender can help you fall asleep and have better quality sleep.

Linalool, in particular, acts as a natural sedative that helps you stay asleep.

Some research further suggests that it could help post-partum mothers and college students sleep.

Boosts the Immune System

Lavender is packed with antioxidants such as flavonoids, phenolic acids, terpenoids, and minerals such as zinc. 

And they all work to neutralize free radicals that can harm our bodies.

Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause errors in our DNA which increases the risk of cancer.

Thus, antioxidants are:

  • Protecting cells from damage
  • Lowering oxidative stress
  • Boosting the immune system
  • Protecting against chronic diseases

But the plant compounds linalool and linalyl acetate also have anti inflammatory properties.

That is, they help lower inflammation in the body which in turn helps fight cancer.

Furthermore, in cell studies, linalool was found to be toxic to and promote death of cervical cancer cells.

And cell studies can be important for future drug development.  

Lavender Tea Side Effects

Lavender is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA for most adults and side effects are rare.

They may however cause headaches in some people.

You might also be allergic to lavender and application on the skin can cause irritation.

Who Should Avoid Lavender?

Lavender may be unsafe for children, and there’s no safety information for pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Furthermore, it’s best to avoid lavender if you are taking sedatives or anti-anxiety drugs that are nervous system depressants.

And, stop using lavender at least 2 weeks before having surgery.

Lastly, check with your healthcare provider if you have any health problems, such as a heart condition.

What is Chamomile?

Chamomile is a flowering herb in the Asteraceae family that also includes sunflowers and lettuce.

Cup of chamomile tea with lavender benefits and bunch of flowers on wooden outdoor table.
Chamomile tea with lavender benefits. Photo credit: Yornella Binni | Unsplash.

Chamomile tea is high in antioxidants and is prepared the same way as lavender tea.

Just like lavender, chamomile is considered safe for most people.

However, according to WebMD, some groups should avoid it, such as:

  • Young children
  • Those with an allergy
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • Those with liver or kidney disease
  • People on blood thinners or with pending surgical procedures

Chamomile Lavender Tea Benefits

Lavender chamomile tea benefits include promoting relaxation, lowering stress and anxiety, and helping insomnia and depression.

In addition, chamomile with lavender tea benefits include soothing an upset stomach and boosting your immune function.

Chamomile also has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties and may lower high blood pressure.

However, similarly to lavender, studies show health properties and health benefits and clear clinical guidelines. 

So, use lavender and chamomile moderately until more standardized research informs us otherwise.

Your Questions Answered

Can You Drink Lavender Tea Everyday?

Yes, unless you’re not on the list of groups that need to avoid lavender tea, drinking lavender tea every day appears safe.

However, moderation is key, meaning stay with one cup.

Benefits of lavender tea in the morning include reducing stress, which can set you up for a more productive calmer day. 

However, some people may be sensitive to the compounds in lavender.

Thus, if you notice any side effects such as an upset stomach, hold off on the lavender.

Does Lavender Tea Actually Make You Sleepy?

Some of the benefits of lavender tea before bed include helping you relax and feel calm.

And, calm nerves can help improve sleep.

While it can make some people sleepy, it doesn’t seem to affect others.

So, for a natural way to get stress relief before bed, a cup of lavender tea at night might just do the trick.

For lasting sleep issues, always see your healthcare provider.

Is there a Connection Between Lavender and Estrogen Positive Breast Cancer?

Well, there is a connection.

However, it was previous reported that lavender acts like or disrupts estrogen in the body increasing the risk for breast cancer.

However, newer research reports otherwise.

Recent research found that lavender seems to be anti-estrogenic, meaning it doesn’t seem to mimic or disrupt estrogen.

This is good news for people trying to avoid estrogen to lower their risk of ER+ breast cancer.  

In the future, lavender might become one more tool in the tool chest used to prevent and treat breast cancer.

Final Thoughts

Lavender is a perennial herb of over 30 species in the mint family, commonly grown for their fragrant leaves and flowers. 

Lavender tea is made by steeping fresh or dried lavender buds in hot water which releases its essential oils.

Its flowers are packed with antioxidants such as the flavonoid anthocyanin that gives it its beautiful purple color.

But lavender flowers also contain other antioxidants such as the flavonoid tannin, the phenolic acid coumarin, and the mineral zinc.

But lavender is primarily grown for its essential oil content, which has over 300 bioactive components.

All and all, terpenoids act as antioxidants and can help fight cancer, inflammation, and infection.

Lavender and benefits of chamomile lavender tea alike seem to lower stress, improve sleep, and boost the immune system.

However, studies show health properties and not specific product dosages that prevent disease. 

DISCLAIMER

These general suggestions are for educational purposes only and do not constitute nutritional or medical advice. Consult your healthcare provider for individual advice. All rights reserved.

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