It’s midsummer which means we are smack dab in the center of peak season for lavender blooms. This beautiful plant, widely grown in the Mediterranean Mountains and regions of Northern Africa, is something to behold when it reaches maturity. It is aromatic by nature and displays aesthetically pleasing purple flowers that seem too lovely to touch. Just the sight of lavender growing in fields full of straight, colorful rows can do wonders for your mood. But the beauty of lavender is nothing compared to the potential health benefits it boasts.
Naturalists and homeopaths everywhere utilize lavender and its oil derivative to combat several common ailments and afflictions. Try using this fragrant flower to soothe any one of the following conditions!
As an Antiseptic
Fighting off germs is a specialty for the lavender plant. As such, it is advantageous when it comes to wound care. In fact, one study compared closure rates in wounds treated by povidone-iodine, saline solution, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, and lavender oil. Surprisingly, the lavender oil wounds healed faster than those treated by saline solution and povidone-iodine, and just as fast as those treated by transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.
As an Anti-inflammatory
Lavender can be extremely useful in warding off the persistent itching and swelling associated with bug bites. Its anti-inflammatory properties also assist in relieving unpleasant sensations resulting from bee stings and sunburns. As an added bonus, the calming effects of lavender oil can relieve minor pain.
As an Antifungal
Several demonstrations have exhibited the benefits of lavender as an antifungal treatment. Specifically, it excels in combating antifungal-resistant infections. One such study conducted by the Journal of Medical Microbiology suggests that lavender poses a lethal threat to certain strains of fungal cells because it effectively destroys their cell membranes.
If you’ve ever received a professional massage, you know that lavender scent is often placed on pillowcases or in massage oil for soothing purposes. Patients or clients exposed to lavender or lavender oil often report a feeling of relaxation and calmness. The International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice conducted research showing that this versatile plant positively impacted anxiety levels in patients awaiting a dental procedure, and contributed to lower levels of generalized anxiety after 2 weeks of use.
Although these are the most common health benefits of lavender, it has been suggested (though not yet proven in a medical study) that it may also be beneficial in the treatment of PMS, eczema, nausea, and insomnia.
It is important to note that lavender is toxic to humans when ingested in its oil form, so it’s important to adequately research your application method prior to using it as a wellness supplement.
If you’re in the area, be sure to stop by and see Topo Pino’s very first lavender crop this season!
After Airbnb bought Trip4Real in 2016, the travel trend began to shift from sightseeing endeavors to more intimate encounters with local landscapes and cultures. Instead of traveling to enjoy similar home commodities or cuisines in exotic places, travelers began to seek journeys that allowed them to experience life as the locals did and to reflect on their journeys afterward. This change in travel motivation is what spurred the experiential travel trend of 2018: transformational travel.
What is transformational travel?
Transformational travel is any travel experience that promotes personal change through exposure to and engagement with physical or cultural experiences. This type of travel requires a sense of openness and mindfulness that promotes mental, emotional, and/or spiritual reflection. The goal of transformational travel is to leave the experience augmented.
What are the benefits of transformational travel?
For many, transformational travel is a multidimensional experience. While it may begin as a means of disconnecting from stress within travelers’ daily lives, it can renew perspectives of self, others, and the world, leaving travelers with more purpose and passion for life. In addition to fostering the self, transformational travel can also cultivate meaningful relationships with other people and cultures.
What is needed for transformational travel?
Transformational travel requires a significant amount of intention. Travelers have to ask themselves why they are traveling, and what they hope to gain from their time spent traveling. While travelers may find some of the answers along the way, it is valuable to begin with a purpose.
In addition to careful consideration of intention, transformational travel requires an open mind, especially when encountering foreign cultures and experiences. This openness ensures travelers are able to release any inhibitions and allow themselves the opportunity to engage purposefully, which is key for a life-changing experience.
For travel to be transformational, it is important for the travelers to take breaks throughout the trip to reflect on the experiences they have had and the people and cultures they have encountered. Whether this reflection manifests in meditation, prayer, journal keeping, or another art form or mindfulness, it provides travelers the downtime necessary to derive lessons from their experiences. This method allows travelers the opportunity to step away from the trip with a renewed sense of identity, altered perspectives of the world, lessons learned, and cultivated relationships that will carry them further.
Once the trip is over, it is essential travelers make a conscious effort to apply their experiences and lessons to their daily lives. Without this application, travelers risk losing the impact of their trip. Whether travelers apply their experiences and lessons to their own lives or share the fruits of their travels with their family, friends, and communities, this exchange of information proves valuable for contributing to greater growth and transformation.
For many, transformational travel fosters connection and transformation, leaving travelers rejuvenated and with greater senses of purpose.
Interested in exploring more about transformative travel? Consider contacting Caitlin Crowe, co-founder of Topo Pino and official partner of Tentrr, an independent and immersive camping experience.