Lavender essential oil hardly needs an introduction, but we thought it was high time to shine the spotlight on this most loved oil. Lavender is arguably the queen of the essential oils, and probably the most popular and well used essential oil around the world. It is also the most widely used oil in aromatherapy.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is interestingly, actually a part of the mint family, and is native to the Mediterranean. Lavender is an evergreen shrub with purple blossoms, and is a hardy plant that loves full sun. The essential oil is steam distilled from the lavender heads and flowers. Lavender oil has a potent floral, herbaceous scent that most would describe as ‘classic’.
Lavender oil can be traced back to the Ancient Egyptians and Greeks, who used it as a perfume, in their baths for relaxation, as well as in cooking as a flavouring. Lavender’s name actually comes from the Latin word lavare meaning ‘to wash’, in reference to its use in personal hygiene in those days.
Components Of Lavender That Make It So Good
Linalool - induces sleep and is a relaxant, also antimicrobial and anti inflammatory
Linalyl acetate - reduces hypertension, antioxidant
Ocimene - decongestant
Geraniol - antimicrobial, anti inflammatory
As well as smelling good, these chemicals have physical benefits which make lavender so effective.
(Topical only - never ingest essential oils)
Lavender essential oil has been extensively studied and scientifically reviewed, so there is lots of literature on its medicinal and other uses.
It has been found to be a powerful antiseptic and excellent anti inflammatory.
Lavender is active against various types of fungi and bacteria; it is an excellent antimicrobial.
Lavender assists in wound healing, including burns, cuts and scrapes and insect stings. It is an analgesic (pain killer) too.
There are benefits from both the psychological effects of the aroma and the physical effects from inhaling the chemical compounds.
Lavender is much loved in skincare and has various benefits for the skin. It is also suitable for all skin types.
Adding lavender to skincare products may help to suppress the aging effects of sunlight on the skin, and is good in after-sun care.
It also helps take away redness, and is soothing on inflamed, red, itching or irritated skin.
Lavender can help with blemish reduction, supports aging skin and assists with scarring.
Lavender is the aromatherapists’ favourite essential oil and has been used for hundreds of years to benefit the mind and body.
Studies have found that the effects of essential oils on the limbic system leads to enkephalin, endorphin and serotonin release.
Lavender oil has a sedative effect and promotes restful sleep. It is good for headaches and insomnia, and promotes feelings of calm, helping with nervous tension and anxiety.
It also has relaxing, antidepressant and calming properties.
Lavender is a popular addition in perfumes, and the lavender scent is a favourite!
It is great as an air freshener and linen freshener.
Lavender can also be used as an effective insecticide.
How To Use Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender is the most versatile essential oil, so you can use it in just about anything. Here are some great ways to incorporate it into your lifestyle:
Add 4 drops lavender essential oil + 1 cup Epsom salts to your bath water for a relaxing spa-like bath.
Add a drop of lavender to your pillow or bedding to transport yourself to dreamland.
Add to lotions and creams, hair care products, body products, etc.
Use in massage therapy, blended with carrier oils.
Add to a burner or diffuser to diffuse the healing scent into your air space.
Lavender can be applied topically to the skin, but although it is one of the least irritating essential oils, it is always best to do a patch test first and dilute it in a carrier oil.
Lavender essential oil is safe for children and babies. It is also safe for pets, although we recommend that you consult your vet first and apply diluted in a carrier oil.
Lavender essential oil is simply a must-have in your home!
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