Lavender essential oil is in the news daily; it has become the most used essential oil in history. This essential oil (EO) is considered a “must have” oil for your first aid kit, to keep on hand for its versatile use.
There are several kinds of Lavender plants, but Lavandula angustifolia, is steam distilled from the flowers. This process leaves an oil that is floral, sweet and calming aroma.
Where lavender is grown and growing conditions can significantly alter the aroma and the compounds in the plant.
It was used by the Egyptians and the Romans both for religious and medicinal reasons. They added lavender to their bath water, as a perfume, for scenting the air and for mummification.
Benefits of Lavender Essential Oil
- Very well known for relieving anxiety and stress. You can rub some between your palms and cup around the nose and inhale, this way it reaches directly up to the brain. The Brain then sends the message out to the rest of the body to relax.
- Encourages the growth of healthy skin by using diluted lavender tea wraps on wounds.
- Promotes a good night’s sleep, an alternative therapy for those with insomnia.
- Combats high blood pressure, by improving blood circulation in the body therefore lowering blood pressure. This helps decrease risk of heart attacks and arteriosclerosis.
- Stimulates healthy blood sugar balance, more research is needed, but it seems that lavender can help prevent symptoms of diabetes.
- Eliminates nervous tension including, postnatal depression, migraines and PTSD symptoms.
- Helps respiratory issues, like throat infections with Strep, cough, flu, sinus congestion, bronchitis and asthma. Use it in vapor form, inhaling or vaporizer. Or you can massage it on the chest, neck and back.
- Bug repellant either as a preventative before going outside or after by rubbing on bites to sooth irritation and inflammation.
- Helps heal cuts and burns, commonly used to speed up healing and decrease scarring.
- Beneficial for acne and hair care. For young people acne can be embarrassing and uncomfortable, but lavender oil inhibits the bacteria and decreases the scarring as acne heals. Rub over acne sores.
It is a preventative for lice and helps with any hair loss, alopecia, and even male pattern baldness. Just rub onto scalp daily.
Lavender EO is blended into many cosmetics like soaps, lotions, shampoos and cleaners, aromatherapy oils and in perfumes.
Negative Reactions to Essential Oil
Lavender EO may cause allergic reactions in some people with skin sensitivity.
Not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding woman.
Do not ingest or take lavender essential oil internally.
Note: The dried flower of lavender is used in herbal cooking and baking but not the essential oil.
Cindy Burrows, B.S., M.T., Herbalist, is a Natural Health Consultant helping individuals start health programs to improve their life, wellness and happiness. Cindy is a speaker, writer and entrepreneur of several businesses.