9 Proven Benefits of Lavender Essential Oil
When we think of lavender oil it can conjure up memories of our very first aromatherapy massage, as lavender oil is one of the most popular oils on the market. It is not a new oil with evidence of known uses of lavender dating way back to 2500 BCE.
The Egyptians would use lavender oil in the process of mummifying bodies, the Greeks would use to perfume their bodies and the Romans use of lavender for medicinal purposes would be the start of the herbs continued use in medicine.
Today, lavender oil is widely used across the world for a multitude of purposes.
Lavender oil is a pale yellow, yellow green to clear oil in physical appearance and is extracted from the spiky lavender plants flowers by a steaming process. With the scent of a blend of sweet, fresh, floral and herbal fragrances the highly prized lavender flower is classically used in perfumes, soaps, fresheners and beauty products.
Lavender oil is highly versatile due to its delightful scent but its therapeutic properties make it unique due to its calming, relaxing and balance effects.
The primary benefits of lavender oil are as an antiseptic, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and an antibacterial. It is also good for cell regeneration and hair growth. The emotional benefits of lavender oil include being mentally calming, relieving nervous tension and managing stress.
Benefits of lavender oil for the body include:
- Reducing anxiety and emotional stress
- Protect against diabetes symptoms
- Improve brain function
- Heal burns and wounds
- Improve sleep
- Restore skin complexion and reduce acne
- Slow the aging process with its powerful antioxidants
- Relieve pain
- Alleviate headaches
Lavender oil is considered a must have oil due to its versatility and being gentle enough to apply directly to the skin and is perfect for an essential oil user beginner. Even though there is an abundance of evidence already regarding the capabilities of lavender oil, recent studies are evaluating the large range of health benefits lavender oil contains.
Ways to use lavender essential oil
Here’s some ways to put this wonderful essential oil to its many uses:
· For diabetes suffers, apply the oil topically to your neck and chest or add a few drops to your diffuser
· To relieve stress and improve sleep, put in a diffuser by your bed and diffuse the oil while you sleep. Apply 3-5 drops directly to your neck, chest and temples for the same benefits. A bath with 15 drops of lavender oil and a cup of Epsom salts can also improve sleep and relax the body. Mix with chamomile essential oil and magnesium oil for a wonderful combination to help improve sleep and induce a calm, peaceful feeling by rubbing on the back of the neck and wrists
· As a support to the nervous system, diffuse lavender at home, inhale directly from the bottle or apply topically to the temples and back of the neck. Research has shown that lavender oil is a natural treatment for Alzheimer’s disease
· Because of its antimicrobial properties, lavender oil is perfect for burn relief and to heal cuts, scrapes or wounds. Mix 3 to 5 drops of lavender oil with ½ teaspoon of coconut oil and apply the mixture to the area of concern. You can use your fingers or a clean cotton ball
· For skin health, combine 3 to 4 drops of lavender oil with ½ teaspoon of coconut or jojoba oil and massage into the area of concern. You can also add lavender oil to your face or body wash. Mixing lavender oil with frankincense essential oil and applying it to your skin first thing in the morning, right after you shower and right before bed will help reduce inflammation and signs of aging, like dark spots
· To relieve headaches naturally, combine 2 drops of lavender oil with two drops of peppermint oil and rub the mixture into the back of the neck and the temples. Diffusing or inhaling directly from the bottle can also help.
· As a natural painkiller, apply lavender oil topically to the area of concern to assist reduce inflammation and pain intensity, helping to alleviate the symptoms of many health conditions
· As lavender oil assists stimulate the immune system, boost mood, improve sleep and fight stress it can be used as a therapeutic agent for cancer suffers to assist handling stress, nausea, chronic pain and depression associated with the disease. Massaging into the back of the neck, chest, wrists and temples can induce relaxing and calming effects
Lavender oil in the home
Not only does lavender oil have all these wonderful benefits to the body, it is also extremely useful around the home with many more benefits:
· Make your own perfume (without the toxins) by either applying directly to the skin or diluting lavender oil with water or another carrier oil for a more subtle scent
· Use lavender oil around the home as a natural, toxic free air freshener. Either spray it around the home or diffuse
· Use lavender oil to prevent sunburns on the lips and to heal chapped, dried lips. Add a couple of drops to shea butter, jojoba oil, coconut oil or another carrier oil and rub into the lips for protection when heading outside. Use the same method to heal the skin quickly after sunburn
· Spray lavender oil onto your skin and clothes or rub into temples, neck and palms if you are travelling and suffer from motion sickness
· To enhance flavour of food, add a very small amount as the taste is powerful
Lavender oil is completely safe for most people however if you are taking other medications, are pregnant or are using on children, precautions need to be taken.
Should you be taking medication for sleep related disorders or depression, lavender could increase the effectiveness of these medications and would best not be mixed with these medications.
Check with your doctor before using lavender oil if pregnant as it can have a relaxing effect on muscles and can affect hormone levels.
Only use essential oils on your baby or child if directed by a specialist. If you must use lavender on your child, then dilute heavily with carrier oil before application. It is advisable to carry out a patch test, to ensure that lavender oil has no adverse effects on your skin. Keep out of rich of the eyes, ears and nose.
Due to the high levels of antioxidants in lavender oils, its best to keep internal use to a minimum, particularly if you have a sensitive digestive system.
Yet again, we see the amazing health benefits and uses in the home of another essential oil in lavender. This oil is yet another essential for any beginner or long term user of essential oils.
DR AXE, '10 Lavender Oil Benefits for Major and Minor Ailments' https://draxe.com/lavender-oil-benefits/
ORGANIC FACTS, 2017 '13 Surprising Benefits of Lavender Essential Oil' https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-lavender-essential-oil.html
DOTERRA, 'Lavender Oil Uses and Benefits' https://www.doterra.com/US/en/blog/spotlight-lavender-oil
MIND BODY GREEN, 2013, '13 Uses for Lavender essential Oil: The Only Oil You'll Ever Need' https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7769/13-uses-for-lavender-oil-the-only-essential-oil-youll-need.html
ALTERNATIVE DAILY, 2017, '7 Benefits of Lavender Oil For The Skin' https://www.thealternativedaily.com/benefits-of-lavender-oil-for-skin/
MERCOLA, 2016, 'Love Lavender? Try Lavender Oil' https://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/lavender-oil.aspx