Lavender is one of the most versatile herbs in the world. This essential oil, created from lavender flowers, has endless therapeutic uses. There are a total of 39 different varieties of lavender found in nature. Out of these, only one can be used to produce therapeutic grade lavender essential oil.
The name of the plant comes from a Latin term “lavare”, which means “to cleanse”. Lavender has a calming and soothing aroma. The scent of lavender has been used in making perfumes and cosmetics. The various health benefits of this oil are becoming increasingly clear as more research is being conducted.
Most people prefer using essential oils in a blend rather than just one. In some cases, the blends actually enhance the therapeutic benefits of the individual oil. Lavender blends well with other floral oils such as Neroli and Jasmine. If you want to create an aromatherapy blend, focus on the scents. Floral notes will blend particularly well with spicy, citrus and woodsy aromas.
When using lavender oil for health, ensure your oils are high-grade ones (usually labeled therapeutic or pharmaceutical). These are the most effective and best for all kinds of therapy. But be careful to buy from a reputed manufacturer, because most sellers will often label low-grade oils as high-quality.
Keep in mind that some tips will call for “neat” usage. This means the essential oil is supposed to be used without diluting it with other oils. A couple of the remedies listed below involve using lavender essential oil as a massage oil. Since essential oils cannot be used directly onto the skin, dilute it using a carrier oil. A word of warning though, lavender essential oil is not safe to use for pregnant women or nursing mothers.
- Minor skin irritations
High quality lavender essential oil has a soothing effect on minor skin irritation. It gently accelerates the natural healing process of the skin. However, use on broken or bruised skin is not recommended.
Dabbing a few drops of lavender oil on the infected area will heal the infection within a few days. It is one of the best all-natural remedies for ringworm. If you don’t want to use harmful synthetic drugs on your child’s skin, try all-natural lavender oil.
- As an acne treatment
Lavender essential oil for acne treatment is a popular way of dealing with acne. Lavender oil is a strong astringent and antiseptic. It can help get rid of the bacteria which causes acne. Apply a little lavender oil directly for severe cases, if your acne is mild then dilute the lavender oil with a carrier oil such as olive, jojoba, or sweet almond. Always do a patch test first to make sure that you don’t suffer from any allergic reactions.
- Tension relieving massage oil
Lavender oil calms and soothes the nerves. It is an excellent ointment when used for massage. It helps relieve muscular strain and soreness. A deep-tissue massage with lavender oil will lower your stress levels.
- Other kinds of skin blemishes
- As an anti-anxiety treatment
Unresolved fears are the root cause of anxiety. Extreme anxiety can have a crippling effect on the mind and body. What exactly happens during an attack? The brain has a learned response to unfamiliar circumstance and then triggers an overwhelming feeling of fear. The association between fear and anxious feelings can be broken by using lavender oil as a relaxation therapy.
- Helping kids prepare for bedtime
Children benefit from a predictable and calm routine. The consistency of routine helps them feel in control. Adding lavender oil into the daily bedtime routine will help kids fall asleep faster. Rub a couple of drops of lavender oil on the soles of their feet, the soothing scent of lavender will waft up to their noses and put them to sleep. The oil has a calming effect and helps the kids wind down and get a good night’s rest.
- Bed-time relaxation and sleep disorder treatment
With the hectic pace of modern life, people often suffer from insomnia. Low-quality sleep or inadequate hours of sleep can stress you out. You will feel unproductive and lazy all day long. Sleep disturbances vary in intensity but lavender oils are helpful for even severe disorders.
Use a diffuser to spread the aroma of lavender through the air of your bedroom. This creates a restful and calm atmosphere which will put you to sleep. Getting enough sleep will give you tons of energy the next day. Sleep apnea sufferers can also improve the quality of sleep by using lavender oil inside their CPAP masks.
- Cleansing and soothing common cuts
A French chemist, René-Maurice Gattefossé, discovered the amazing healing effects of lavender oil in 1910. He later studied essential oils in detail and went on to treat soldiers injured in World War I. The oil kills germs which are responsible for slowing down the healing process.
Lavender stimulates the flow of blood throughout the body. If applied on and around the bruised area, it will make the pain go away and reduce tenderness.
- Fixing minor burns
This benefit was also discovered by René-Maurice Gattefossé. It is common to get small burns when performing normal everyday tasks around the house. Minor burns will heal much faster if a few drops of lavender oil are applied on them. Lavender oil helps the skin heal without causing much scarring.
- Relief for insect bites
Insect bites are a nuisance and most bites often end up making the surrounding area irritated and swollen. Rub a few drops of lavender oil to accelerate the natural healing process. The minor itching and burning sensation will also go away.
- Safe and natural insect repellent
Man-made insect repellents are laden with chemicals and toxins. They are not just harmful for you but also the environment. Lavender essential oil is an all-natural substitute which does not have any side effects.
- 14. Nourishing and hydrating lip balm
The sun and wind can damage the delicate skin of your lips. Use a lip balm or salve to protect them. Chapped lips often become cracked and painful, apply lavender oil to heal them. The oil not only promotes healing but also gently moisturizes the lips. Dry and chapped lips will be a thing of the past once you start using lavender oil.
- Hand moisturizer in winter
Lavender essential oil hits the trifecta of skincare. It has anti-bacterial properties, relieves pain, and also helps moisturize skin. Hands often become dry and chapped during winter. Expensive creams are often greasy and contain chemicals which are harmful for you if absorbed into the skin. Apply lavender oil on your hands if they become extremely dry.
- Eczema relief and dermatitis
Skin conditions such as dermatitis and eczema can cause inflammation and dryness. Using lavender essential oil on dry patches caused by eczema will provide relief. Lavender oil can be safely used for children as well. However, do a patch test first to make sure the child does not have any major allergic reactions.
- Repelling insects and moths
Moths and other flying insects hate the scent of lavender. You can place a cotton ball soaked in lavender oil inside closets and drawers to get rid of those nasty bugs.
Put a few drops of lavender oil to a dryer sheet or a thin cloth. Pop it in with the dried linens for a wonderfully relaxing aroma.
- Children’s toys and play area
Add a few drops of lavender oil to your child’s favorite stuffed animal or pillow. The kids will get a good night’s sleep and wake up feeling refreshed.
- Relaxed social settings
Set a relaxed mood for social settings by diffusing lavender oil in the sitting area.
- A day-spa therapy
Day-spas can create an atmosphere of balance and tranquility by diffusing lavender oil into therapy areas. It also cleans the air and provides a refreshing sense of calm.
Lavender tea is a great drink to help you unwind. Had a rough day at work? Soothe away your mental stress with a warm cup of lavender-infused tea. Lavender oil also helps digestion. Drink lavender tea after a meal or just before going to bed to feel relaxed. Caffeinated teas usually mess up your sleep cycle. A mix of lavender and chamomile is the perfect bed-time tea.
- Cooking with lavender oil
Lavender as a flavoring can be as versatile as vanilla. A few drops in your fruit breads or cakes will lend a wonderfully rich aroma. The oil is strong so make sure you use only a small amount. Experiment to find the perfect balance of flavors.
- Relief from sunburn
Lavender has endless uses when it comes to skincare. If you have been out in the sun for too long and have unfortunately been subjected to painful sunburn, reach for a bottle of lavender oil instead of medication. Put a few drops of lavender essential oil in a spray bottle filled with water. Gently spray this over the sunburnt areas. The traditional home remedy for sunburn is aloe vera gel, a few drops of lavender oil will also improve this remedy.
- Reduce painful acid reflux
Acid reflux can be uncomfortable and painful. Most of the times GERD and IBS are accompanied with muscle spasms which make you feel miserable. If you are suffering from this problem, lavender essential oil is an excellent remedy. Place a few drops of lavender oil on your tongue and you will feel the muscles relaxing. The acid reflux will also settle down quickly.
- Soothe earaches
Though an earache is a common ailment, it can be very distressful. If you or your child has an earache, use a warm compress to massage the area around the ears. Lavender oil can also be used for massages. You can also add the oil to the warm compress. Be sure to gently go over the neck and jawline as well. This will reduce inflammation and help with the pain.
- Treat respiratory infections
Anyone with respiratory infections needs a germ-free environment. Use lavender essential oil in a vaporizer to help keep the air clean and free of germs. Lavender will promote healing and soothe respiratory symptoms.
- Soothe a sore throat or cough
Lavender oil is a natural anti-inflammatory agent. If you are suffering from a nasty cough or sore throat, lavender will calm the itchiness and inflammation. A minor infection can often make your throat hurt, especially in winter. The cold dry air makes your throat hurt every time you breathe. Cure this by gently massaging the neck and nasal area with lavender oil. If your nasal passages are blocked, dab a few drops near the nostrils. As you inhale the scent, you will feel a lot calmer and your nasal passages will open up.
Lavender essential oil is a must-have for anyone who is trying to live a more holistic and natural life. Living a healthy life means finding a way to reduce the use of manmade chemicals in our daily lives. Essential oils are natural and provide immense health benefits. Since they have been extracted from nature they don’t have any harmful side-effects.
Though this is quite an extensive list, we have still not been able to cover all the uses of this wonderful oil. It you want to read more, let us know and we will be happy to find some tried and tested remedies.