Lavender Oil

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Your Guide to Using Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is a versatile product that is very popular because of its invigorating and refreshing aroma. This essential oil is used to treat a variety of physical ailments. It is also widely used for skin and hair care due to its beneficial properties. Incense is infused with lavender oil for use in aromatherapy.

credit: hans/pixabay.com
credit: hans/pixabay.com

 

What is Lavender Oil?

How is lavender oil made and where does it come from?

Lavender oil is made from the flowers of the lavender plant which is cultivated in several areas around the world. Primary producers of lavender oil are found in France as well as in the Mediterranean region. The scientific name for lavender is Lavandula angustifolia.

credit: littlepinkstars/flickr.com
credit: littlepinkstars/flickr.com

The lavender plant resembles a short, stocky bush with green foliage and leaves and fragrant purple flowers. The essential oil of the lavender is obtained using the process of steam distillation. After the flowers of the lavender plant are harvested, they are steamed and pressed to extract the essential oil.

 

How is Lavender Oil Used?

Lavender oil has many beneficial healing properties that are very useful for treating physical ailments. The essential oil is also very good when used to care for the skin and hair. The refreshing scent of lavender oil also makes it very appealing for use in aromatherapy.

The unique fragrance of lavender oil is sometimes used in cooking to make bakery products, salad dressings, and desserts. It can be found in shampoos as well as perfumes and after shave products. Incense and candles are yet another way to enjoy the intense and delightful scent of lavender.

Lavender oil can be used to sooth the discomfort of sunburn. It is also effective when used as a bug repellant. Lavender oil helps promote a more restful night of sleep by alleviating insomnia. Lavender oil can be applied to the body and consumed for its health benefits.

 

Beneficial Properties of Lavender Oil

Lavender oil has very effective therapeutic qualities that make it excellent for alleviating a variety of common every day health conditions. This oil works wonders when used as part of a daily grooming routine. Lavender oil is also popular for a variety of uses in the household.

Treatment of Physical Health Ailments within the Body

Properties and benefits of lavender oil when used to alleviate health ailments include:

  • Protective antioxidant 

Harmful free radicals within the body can be effectively eliminated with the use of lavender oil. This essential oil can rid the system of toxins that can damage the immune system and cause illness.

  • Alleviates anxiety

 The soothing aroma of lavender oil can calm the senses and reduce anxiety. This essential oil relaxes the nervous system, which can produce a tranquil effect and reduce levels of tension.

  • Eliminates depression

Depression and sadness can be reduced and alleviated with the essential oil of lavender. It has positive properties that are effective for eliminating the negativity that results from stress and tension.

  • Effective anti-microbial

The strong cleansing properties of lavender oil are effective for killing harmful microbes. This essential oil eliminates fungus and rids the body of harmful bacteria that can lead to infection.

  • Relieves insomnia

The relaxing and soothing qualities of lavender oil make it ideal for using as a sleep aid to combat insomnia. Suggested use includes inhaling the scent with a diffuser or applying the oil topically to the skin for more restful sleep.

  • Relieves nausea

The refreshing scent of lavender oil can be beneficial for alleviating nausea. The properties of this essential oil are effective when applied to the skin or when burning incense infused with lavender.  

  • Relieves motion sickness 

The symptoms of travel sickness can be effectively relieved with lavender oil. Its soothing properties are good for aiding an upset stomach, which often accompanies motion sickness during travel.

  • Improves blood circulation

A soothing massage treatment with lavender oil is very effective for improving blood circulation within the body. This essential oil is also good for reducing high blood pressure.

  • Antifungal properties

The antiseptic qualities of lavender oil are used to eliminate bacteria, microbes, and fungus on the skin. It is effective for preventing infection in common skin conditions and respiratory ailments.

  • Soothes indigestion 

As a digestive aid, lavender oil is widely recognized for its effective properties in alleviating stomach ailments. This essential oil is excellent for relieving the discomfort of indigestion, gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

  • Relieves headaches 

The properties of lavender oil have been shown to be very effective for treating headaches. The benefits of this essential oil are excellent for relieving the pain associated with migraine and tension headaches.  

  • Reduces stress 

The soothing qualities of lavender oil are very good for reducing stress and calming tension levels in the body. Suggested use includes aromatherapy where the calming scent is inhaled or applying the essential oil topically to the skin.

  • Antispasmodic properties 

The properties of lavender oil include beneficial qualities that are effective for alleviating spasms. This essential oil relaxes the body’s muscles and produces a sedative effect on the nervous system.

  • Pain reliever 

The essential oil of lavender is excellent when used as a pain reliever. It can alleviate pain associated with muscular soreness, stiff joints, and back pain. Applying lavender oil to the affected area provides soothing relief.

  • Urinary tract 

Using the lavender oil can benefit the urinary tract since it is effective for stimulating the production and flow of urine. This essential oil can help to maintain hormone levels and alleviate inflammation within the bladder.

  • Respiratory ailments

A variety of respiratory ailments including asthma, bronchitis, sinus infections, colds, and coughs can effectively be treated with lavender oil. It is very beneficial when used with a vaporizer or diffuser for inhaling the cleansing aroma.

 

Lavender Oil’s Beneficial Uses for Skin and Hair Care

Additional benefits and properties of lavender oil for care of the skin and hair include:

  • Acne treatment

The antimicrobial and antiseptic properties of lavender oil make it beneficial for treating acne and skin blemishes. It effectively reduces bacteria that form on the skin, which can lead to common skin conditions such as acne.

  • Essential hair care

Lavender oil is recognized as being effective for treating the condition of hair loss known as alopecia areata. It is excellent for promoting hair growth with regular use. You can apply this essential oil directly to the scalp for its full benefits.  

  • Daily skin care

Lavender oil has antiseptic qualities, which makes it excellent for daily skin care use. Applying this essential oil will effectively eliminate bacteria on the skin. It can be used to treat a variety of skin ailments such as rashes, psoriasis, and eczema.

  • Soothing lip balm

When mixed with carrier oils such as jojoba, shea butter, or coconut, lavender oil makes a very soothing lip balm. It moisturizes and heals chapped lips and provides protection from the drying heat of the sun.

  • Natural insect repellant 

For repelling annoying bugs, the invigorating scent of lavender oil is an all-natural alternative to using toxic chemicals. Most insect repellants contain harsh insecticides that are harmful to the body. Simply spray on the skin and say goodbye to bugs.

  • Antibacterial properties

The antiseptic qualities of lavender oil are effective for eliminating bacteria and also preventing its growth. It is effective for keeping wounds and cuts clean and free from infection.

  • Heals burns

When applied topically to minor burns on the skin, lavender oil will keep the affected area clean and help it heal much faster. The essential oil is also good for soothing the discomfort associated with minor burns.

  • Soothes sunburn 

The healing properties of lavender oil are effective for treating the discomfort of sunburn. Lavender oil helps damaged, sunburned skin heal faster. It alleviates the dry flaking that can occur when spending too much time under the harsh rays of the sun.

  • Strengthens the mind

Lavender oil is very beneficial when used to enhance the mood and promote healthy brain function. The antioxidant properties of this essential oil are effective for eliminating negative emotions, lifting the spirits, and clearing the mind.

 

Other Surprising Uses for Lavender Oil

The effective qualities of lavender oil are widely used in a variety of other surprising ways. The intensely wonderful aroma of lavender oil is very popular in women’s perfume and men’s cologne and aftershave products. It can be mixed with an unscented lotion or applied directly to the skin to enjoy the fragrance.

As a delightful air freshener, lavender oil can be dispersed into the air with diffusers, incense, or mixed with water and stored in a spray bottle. It is a wonderful earth-friendly product that contains none of the harsh chemicals and by-products commonly found in household air sprays.

credit: stockunlimited
credit: stockunlimited

Lavender oil is a favorite among cooks who enjoy infusing a variety of foods for a unique culinary experience. When used as a flavor enhancer in cooking, you can add the essential oil to breads, desserts, herbals teas and salad dressings.

The essential oil of lavender is often used in aromatherapy. The scent of lavender is cleansing and refreshing. It uplifts the spirits and removes impurities and negativities within the environment. Lavender oil produces a sense of relaxation and tranquility while calming the senses.

 

Potential Side Effects When Using Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is very beneficial and is generally safe when used with care and in moderation. Because it is very popular and found in many consumer products, side effects are not common. Minor reactions can occur if you have sensitive skin or allergies to certain products when applying or consuming them.

A useful way to determine if you may be sensitive to essential oils such as lavender is by testing a small amount of the product on your skin. Try dabbing a little lavender oil on your wrist or arm area to test for skin irritation. If the skin area is clear of irritation, you should be fine to use it elsewhere on your body.

Some food products may have lavender oil added because of its unusual fragrance and flavor. Unlike allergies to nuts and shellfish, reactions to lavender oil are not likely to occur when consumed unless you ingest a very large amount.  

Precautions given by holistic health practitioners and other medical care providers include use of lavender oil by pregnant and nursing women. If you are unsure of any potential side effects, it is suggested that you contact your doctor for guidance before using lavender oil.

 

Why it is Important to Buy Quality Essential Oils

Since essential oils such as lavender are very concentrated, packaged in small bottles, and tend to be expensive, it is important to look for quality and purity. Just as the saying goes with other types of consumer products, not all things are created equal.

This means that some companies may take shortcuts and dilute or adulterate essential oils during the manufacturing process to save money. If you buy one of these products, you are paying money for a weak, watered down version of the more expensive, recognized brands.

There are steps you can take to help ensure that you get pure essential oil. You need to do a little research and separate the quality products from the inferior ones to really get your money’s worth. One way to do this is by reading online customer reviews that rate satisfaction levels with the product.

Happy customers that are satisfied with the performance of an essential oil such as lavender will give high marks to their favorite brands. When you shop online you can also save money by comparing prices and getting good deals when essential oils are on sale at discounted prices.

You can ensure a long shelf life for your essential oil of lavender by storing it properly. Keep essential oils away from direct sunlight and heat sources. The best place to store lavender oil is within your kitchen cabinet where it is cool and dark. Taking care of your essential oil will make it last longer.

Lavender essential oil blends easily well with most oils (especially citrus oils), clary sage, cedarwood, nutmeg, pine, and geranium.

 

Sources

  1. Ehrlich, Steven, NMD. (2011). Aromatherapy – What is Aromatherapy? What are Essential Oils?
  2. Ehrlich, Steven, NMD. (2014). Lavender oil – Overview
  3. Halcon, Linda, PhD. (2013). Are Essential Oils Safe? University of Minnesota – Center for Spirituality & Healing.
  4. Halcon, Linda, PhD. (2013). How Do I Choose and Use Essential Oils? University of Minnesota – Center for Spirituality & Healing.
  5. Halcon, Linda, PhD. (2013). How Do I Determine the Quality of Essential Oils? University of Minnesota – Center for Spirituality & Healing.
  6. National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA). (2016). Approved Standards for Professional Aromatherapy Education. 
  7. National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA). (2016). Exploring Aromatherapy – Safety Information. 
  8. U.S. National Library of Medicine – PubMed Health. (2016). About Essential Oils.
  9. U.S. National Library of Medicine – PubMed Health. (2016). About Essential Oils and Aromatherapy.
  10. WebMD. (2016). Finding a Vitamin or Supplement – Lavender. 
  11. http://articles.mercola.com/herbs-spices/lavender.aspx
  12. http://www.sustainablebabysteps.com/pure-lavender-oil.html
  13. http://essentialoils.co.za/essential-oils/lavender.htm

2 COMMENTS

  1. Love the entire article!! Thanks, I had just purchased essential oils and was reading up on carrier oils and came across this great overview!

    • Thank you so much! Stay connected by following us on our social media accounts just search Healthy3d. Enjoy your oily journey. 🙂

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