“Put some Lavender on it” is probably a line that my kids will remember forever.
They still roll their eyes at me and to be honest I did the same when I started working as an aromatherapist and most of the formulas that we had to mix before starting the massage included Lavender.
I also thought this is the only oil that the Essential oil Counsellor that I trained under knew back then.
Little did I know back then of the versatility and useful chemical compounds of Lavender essential oil.
So today Lavender is my absolute ‘to go to’ oil and I will explain to you the reason why I will call this my favorite oil.
Lavender has been used for centuries and is still the most commonly used essential oil today. Let’s look at why this is such a versatile oil.
Lavender – Lavandula angustifolia
Lavender oil contains two chemical compounds – Linalyl acetate and linalool.
Linalyl acetate is an ester which gives it the calming character and also the reason why it is safe to use undiluted on the skin in most individuals. Linalyl acetate also gives Lavender its anti- inflammatory and anti-bacterial benefits.
Linalool gives Lavender it sweetness or pleasant smell. Linalool is a monoterpene alcohol or monoterpenol and has been found beneficial through many studies as an anxiolytic or anti – anxiety proponent.
Lavender is a balancing oil and has the ability to restore unbalanced states whether body or mind so that healing can take place.
This oil is a must have in your essential oil collection for the following reasons:
- Promoting restful sleep
Diffuse Lavender oil in your room before you recline for the night or whilst you are sleeping. You can also apply a couple of drops on your temples or back of your neck or chest area before sleeping. The calming properties of Lavender will promote a good night’s rest.
A Lavender bath is refreshing and relaxing and very beneficial for people who struggle to sleep.
- Relaxing benefits
Lavender is very helpful in calming the nervous system and relaxing the mind. Diffuse lavender in a room for a calm atmosphere. Lavender can also be added to bath water with some Epsom salts. Applying some lavender oil to the temple area or underneath the feet is an easy way of dealing with stressful situations or just calming the body and mind if you are tense.
Lavender has a sedative and a tonic effect on the heart and lowers high blood pressure.
Lavender is also very good to use for nervous exhaustion and manic depression.
- Headache relief
Inhaling Lavender oil straight from the bottle or applying Lavender mixed with some Peppermint oil in a roller bottle unto the temple area can bring some headache relief. This is due to the sedative – analgesic qualities of Lavender oil.
- Skin repair and acne prone skin
Lavender oil is very beneficial and effective on cuts and abrasions. The linalool helps with skin rejuvenation and therefor it is such a great skin soother and can be used for skin sensitivities. I would recommend diluting Lavender oil for sensitive skin.
Lavender’s antiseptic qualities make it very useful for acne, boils, eczema, psoriasis and wounds.
Lavender is a very valuable oil in treating acne. It inhibits the bacteria therefor it prevents infection . It is soothing on the skin and helps with scarring. It balances the over production of sebum and stimulates the growth of new cells.
Lavender also calms the nervous system and is an anti-depressant which helps with the emotional side of dealing with acne.
- Calms burns and insect bites
Lavender oil will repel most bugs so apply diluted Lavender oil on the exposed skin when you are outside. When essential oil is mixed with a carrier oil it not only make it safer to use but the essence will stay longer on your skin.
For insect bites you can apply Lavender oil neat unto the bite. Lavender oil will reduce the irritation and itchiness.
Lavender is antiseptic and analgesic and therefor very helpful for burns. It promotes healing and prevents scarring.
- Repel fleas on pets and lice on humans
Lavender oil will suffocate and kill lice but not the nits. Lavender can deter head lice from coming back. Mix about 5 drops of Lavender with carrier oil and rub onto the scalp when the hair is dry. Leave it for a few hours. Putting on a shower cap is a great idea. Since Lavender oil does not get rid of the nits you will have to repeat the process in a few days.
Lavender oil is safe to use on your pets. I will always dilute lavender when using it on pets.
A couple of drops of Lavender in your dog’s bathwater or shampoo will be soothing on their skin as well.
- Respiratory health
Due to Lavender’s antispasmodic nature it is a very useful essential oil to support with asthma and bronchitis. The antiseptic properties make Lavender to be useful for influenza, throat infections and the common cold. It is also a decongestant which will bring some relief when congested and suffering from sinusitis and catarrh.
Lavendula spica varieties such as spike lavender has a more camphorous smell and is particularly more helpful for respiratory issues.
Steam inhalation using a few drops of Lavender in a bowl of very hot water can sooth, attack the bacteria and decongest the nasal passages.
- Calms nervous tummies
Lavender is carminative and stomachic in essence and very helpful with digestive issues that are related to nervous tension such as colic, nausea, vomiting, flatulence and dyspepsia.
- Safe to use on mother and child
Lavender is safe enough for little ones especially treating colic, nervous excitement and irritability. A couple of drops diluted in some coconut oil in their bathwater will calm a fretful baby. Always be very careful that baby doesn’t get some undiluted oil on their hands and rub their eyes .
Lavender is very useful during labor and childbirth. It calms the mother and a warm compress after birth may help to expel the afterbirth.
- Help with PMS
A hot compress with Lavender oil over the tummy area will help with menstrual pain. Diffusing lavender or applying a diluted mix of lavender will help to calm the nervous system and help with the headaches, irritability associated with PMS.
Always use good quality essential oils, preferably organic. One of my favorite companies that I personally get my own oils from is Plant Therapy.