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Lavender and the Pursuit of Happiness

June 14th, 2007 | By: Kelly Curtis

We are constantly searching for good health and the pursuit of happiness. We crave the latest gadget, try the newest exercise trend and look for the cure-all drug, hoping they will make us healthy and happy. Sometimes, the simplest things in life can fulfill our pursuit of happiness and help us achieve good health. Flowers have always been a powerful influence in human health and happiness. In pursuing happiness, what could be easier than surrounding yourself with flowers?

Many believe the pursuit of happiness can only be achieved if one or more of the senses are involved. The Romans recognized that flowers had a therapeutic quality, both medicinally and spiritually. For centuries, lavender, particularly English lavender has been known to have medicinal, aromatic and culinary qualities. In their pursuit of happiness, the Romans used lavender in their bathing rituals, for cooking and as perfume for their linens and person. They also used it to maintain good health; realizing it had a calming influence and was a natural antiseptic.

In your quest for the pursuit of happiness and good health, take a look at lavender and it’s therapeutic qualities. A sweetly -scented tonic herb with many medicinal qualities, common or English lavender (Lavendula augustifolia) is an aromatic perennial plant popular in most herb gardens. English lavender has been used internally to relieve indigestion, depression, anxiety, exhaustion, irritability, tension headaches, migraines and bronchial complaints. Sunburns, rheumatism, muscular pain, skin complaints and insect bites have all been relieved externally with lavender. Although a lavender plant can become woody in nature and must be rotated every four years, the flowers and it’s oil can be easily harvested. As a result, English lavender is often used for calming and relaxing aromatherapy and high-quality perfumes.

The pursuit of happiness may be a constitutional right in the United States, but how can it be achieved? Start by removing the depression, anxiety and irritability in your life. Invest in lavender oil and create your own house of lavender aromatherapy, where an exquisitely-sweet, calming wave envelopes you as you walk through the door. Housework becomes enjoyable as the sweet smell of English lavender wafts through the air. Lavender oil used in aromatherapy triggers a comforting zone in the brain, removing the stresses of the day. With the stress and anxiety of the day gone, you’ll enjoy spending time with your family or taking a walk with your dog. Make sure the lavender oil is ready when you sit down to pay bills. A little calming aromatherapy will ease the anxiety of paying those bills.

Nervous tension, muscle aches and insomnia are detrimental to our good health, but lavender can send them far away. Step into a hot bath with lavender bath salts and within minutes, the nervous tension is washed away. The Latin meaning of lavender is “to wash” and wash away is just what lavender bath salt does – it washes away tension. The warmth of the bath and scent of English lavender opens the mind and relaxes the muscles. Often, happiness is found with an open mind and a relaxed body.

Aromatic qualities are great attributes, but who can resist something that appeals to our sense of taste? English lavender is a culinary experience that can turn the ordinary, into a work of art. Crystallized lavender flowers on a cake give the eyes something to feast on before the taste buds get their share. A soothing cup of lavender tea melts all your tension. The pursuit of happiness is achieved when every aspect of life becomes interesting. Taste buds are launched into a world of culinary interest when lavender flowers and oil are added to ordinary jams, ice creams and vinegars.

Sometimes the pursuit of happiness is more than our internal happiness; it is also the ability to spread happiness to others. Flowers have been an instrument in spreading happiness to others throughout the ages. In centuries past, lavender was given to newlyweds for good luck. It is known as the flower of devotion, and has been called the “love” herb because of its fresh clean scent and insect-repellent properties. Think about all the ways lavender can help you spread happiness to others. Give good luck to a newlywed couple with a lavender plant for their new home. Show your devotion on Valentine’s Day by burning lavender scented candles accompanied with a bouquet of lavender roses. Send a friend a spa basket filled with lavender bath products and a vase of iris. Loving your life and those in it is what the pursuit of happiness is all about. Good health is likely to follow when you have achieved the pursuit of happiness.

In your pursuit, visit your local florist. Many florists carry lavender aromatherapy products, lavender oils, lavender bath salts and spa products, as well as potted lavender plants. Florists caring gourmet food products often have lavender jams, teas and cakes. So, pursue happiness through your local florist who is ready to help you with your lavender needs and gifts.

Contributor: Jamie Jamison Adams

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