When I initially became interested in essential oils lavender was my first candidate, and I couldn’t have made a better choice. Not only does lavender oil smell divine, but it contains amazing benefits that help keep insects away, clear acne, cure insomnia, and even subdue muscle pain.
Lavender oil is extracted from the flowers of the lavender plant through steam distillation. The flowers are fragrant, and have been used in potpourri for centuries. Lavender is often used in perfumes, aromatherapy, lotion, gels, and soaps.
In her classic work Physica, legendary healer and Doctor of the Church, Saint Hildegard von Bingen said this about lavender:
“It is not effective for a person to eat, but it does have a strong odor. If a person with many lice frequently smells lavender, they will die. Its odors clears the eyes [since it possesses the power of the strongest aromas and the usefulness of the most bitter ones. It curbs very many evil things and, because of it, malign spirits are terrified.]” [p.25]
Lavender’s aroma is quite strong for many types of bugs including mosquitoes, midges, and moths. Apply some lavender oil on exposed skin when outside to avoid bites. However, if you do happen to get bit, the oil has an anti-inflammatory quality that helps reduce itching, pain, and irritation caused by the bug bite.
Easily one of my favorite benefits of this oil. Lavender is a common, and recommended alternative treatment for a sleepless night, and insomnia. Let’s face it, the sleeping pills we often find in our local pharmacies don’t work. I learned that the hard way. In fact, they actually keep you wide awake and nowhere near drowsy, adding more to your frustration.
Many studies have revealed an increase in sleep regularity when modern sleep medication is replaced with a few drops of lavender on pillows. Deciding to try it out for myself on one occasion, I added a few drops to my pillow at bedtime. The clean, calm aroma relaxed my mind and body, and within minutes I was fast asleep like a baby. The lavender worked, and I had a great night’s rest!
Lavender oil is one of the most favorable essential oils for acne treatment, according to aromatherapists and dermatologists. Both teens and adults are susceptible to acne due to hormonal manipulations. Breakouts occur due to bacterial infection near the sebum gland. When sebum cannot properly secrete from the sebum glands it begins to build up thus causing breakouts and irritation to skin.
Lavender oil inhibits the bacteria that causes the initial infections, helping to regulate some of the over-excretion of sebum by hormone changes, and reducing signs of scarring after acne has healed.
You can add a small amount of lavender oil to your favorite skin creams or ointments to help relieve and heal acne-prone skin. You can also dab a little of the oil directly on the pimple. However, if you’re looking to treat a larger area then it’s recommended to mix lavender with a carrier oil such as coconut or jojoba oil before applying to skin.
Calms & Relaxes
Stressed out? This oil is fantastic for treating nervousness and anxiety. It also treats migraines, headaches, sadness, emotional stress, and nervous tension. Restlessness and nervous exhaustion takes flight due to lavender’s refreshing aroma, while at the same time increasing mental activity.
This oil has an impact on the autonomic nervous system, thus the reason why it’s often used to treat insomnia, and as a means to regulate heart-rate variability.
You can use lavender oil to treat lice, lice eggs, and nits. It’s also useful in treating hair loss, particularly those who suffer from alopecia, by rubbing lavender oil regularly on the scalp. Alopecia is an autoimmune disease where the body rejects its own hair follicles. Furthermore, lavender oil is also recommended as a preventative step for male pattern baldness.
Containing antiseptic and anti-fungal properties, lavender oil is great for skin. It can be used to treat a variety of skin issues such as psoriasis, acne, and other inflammatory conditions. It could even help reduce wrinkles. Lavender is commonly used to help speed up the healing of cuts, burns, wounds, and sunburn since it improves the formation of scar tissues. You could also mix lavender with chamomile to help treat eczema.
Known as an excellent curative for many types of aches and sores including rheumatism, tense muscles, sprains, backaches, joint pain, and lumbago. By massaging the affected area regularly with lavender oil you can procure relief for all your pains.
The oil can improve the body’s blood circulation. The inhalation of lavender has valuable effects on coronary circulation as well as lower blood pressure, and treat hypertension. This promotes muscle strength and health, boost mental activity, healthy glow to skin, increase oxygenation in organs, and protects the body from heart attacks and arteriosclerosis.
Lavender oil contains antibacterial and antiviral qualities that make it ideal for protecting the body against a variety of diseases by its regular use.
Treats Respiratory Problems
Its been extensively used to treat throat infections, flu, cough, cold, asthma, sinus congestion, bronchitis, whooping cough, laryngitis, and tonsillitis. Lavender oil can be used either through a diffuser or applied onto back, neck, and chest. The oil helps loosen and eliminate phlegm, and relieve congestion while also speeding the recovery process.
A Word of Caution:
Like many essential oils, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid the use of lavender oil. This oil may cause allergic reactions to individuals with unusually sensitive skin. Excessive use of lavender oil may cause nausea, vomiting, and headaches so please use in moderation.
Lavender oil blends well with other essential oils such as cedarwood, pine, clary sage, geranium, and nutmeg.