Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is probably one of the most useful essential oils you can have.There have been numerous studies carried out on it as it’s a great oil for the skin, but is also well known for its calming and relaxing effects. A University of Miami study in 1998 found that lavender reduced depression and improved cognitive performance.(1) While a Japanese study from 2001 found that lavender reduced stress and increased alertness (2)
Lavender should be in every family’s first aid kit. Its properties have been listed as: analgesic, anticoagulant, anti-convulsive, anti-depressant, anti-fungal, anti-histamine, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-mutagenic, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, anti-toxic, anti-tumoral, cardiotonic, regenerative and sedative.(3) One of my favourite stories regarding lavender, is that of the scientist René Gatefossé. When he severely burned his arm in a lab accident, he quickly grabbed a vat that contained lavender oil. Not only did he reduce the pain, but he discovered lavender’s ability to regenerate skin tissue and speed the healing of a wound. Lavender is one of the few essential oils today, to be listed in the British pharmacopoeia.
Make sure you are using true Lavender and not one that has been extended with lavandin or a synthetic linalool and linalyl acetate (See my post from 28th May – Why you should only use therapeutic grade essential oils ).
Blend classification: Enhancer, modifier and equalizer
Blends well with: most oils but particularly the citrus oils (orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit and tangerine), chamomile, clary sage and geranium.
Scent type: Middle note, floral scent.
Frequency: 118 MHz
Here are some ideas on how you can use lavender:
- Rub lavender oil on your temples and neck when you have a mild headache.
- Rub 2 drops of lavender oil on your palms and skim on your pillow to help you sleep.
- If the smell of lavender oil is too overpowering try rubbing it on the soles of your feet to get the same calming effect.
- Rub a drop of lavender oil between your palms and inhale deeply to help alleviate hay fever symptoms.
- Put a drop of lavender oil on an insect bite or bee sting, to stop itching and bring down the swelling.
- Put 2-3 drops of lavender oil on a minor burn to reduce pain, help the skin repair itself and minimize scar tissue.
- Rub lavender oil on dry or chapped skin or chapped/sunburned lips.
- Drop lavender oil on a cut to stop the bleeding, clean the wound and prevent bacteria from getting in.
- Mix several drops of lavender oil with a vegetable oil like almond oil or jojoba and use topically on eczema and dermatitis.
- Put a drop of lavender oil on a cold sore.
- Apply 2-3 drops of lavender oil to a rash to stop the itching and heal the skin.
- Place a drop of lavender oil on the end of the tongue or around the naval or behind the ears to alleviate motion sickness.
- To stop a nosebleed, put a drop of lavender oil on a tissue and wrap it around a small bit of ice. Then push this under the middle of the top lip to the base of the nose and keep there for as long as is comfortable or until the bleeding stops (don’t freeze the lip or gum).
- Rub a drop of lavender oil over the bridge of the nose to unblock tear ducts.
- Rub 2 – 4 drops of lavender oil over the armpit area as an alternative to deodorant.
- Rub several drops of lavender oil into the scalp to help eliminate dandruff.
- Place a few drops of lavender oil on a cotton ball and place in your linen closet or wardrobe, to repel moths and insects.
- Place a drop of lavender oil in your water fountain to scent the air, kill bacteria and prolong the time between cleanings.
- Place a few drops of lavender oil on a wet cloth and throw into the dryer, which will deodorize and freshen your laundry.
- Diffuse the lavender in your workspace, office or clinic to create a calming environment.(see also my post Setting the mood…Essential oils for happy customers and productive staff )
Disclaimer: Please remember that anything discussed here does not constitute medical advice and cannot substitute for appropriate medical care. Where essential oils are mentioned, it’s recommended you use only pure, unadulterated therapeutic grade essential oils and follow the safety directions of the manufacturer.
(1) Diego MA, et al. Aromatherapy positively affects mood, EEG patterns of alertness and math computations. International Journal of Neuroscience. 1998 Dec;96(3-4):217-24.
(2) Motomura N, et al. Reduction of mental stress with lavender odorant. Perceptual and Motor Skills. 2001 Dec;93(3):713-8.
(3) Higley, Connie and Alan. Reference Guide to Essential Oils (12th edition), Spanish Fork, Utah: Abundant Health, 2010