Yes, yes, yes — we’ve heard it before: Lavender essential oil is ‘a medicine chest in a bottle’. But we’re not using it yet….why not? It seems many of us are being drawn to natural health and medicine, yet are afraid to dive in. We’re not quite convinced, or we still think the best medicine HAS to have unpronounceable names, and come from secret laboratories in Switzerland. Well, here’s some news: Lavender is real medicine. It works, it works well, it’s cheap, it’s readily available, and it’s easy to use. And it might just open up a whole new world of health for you (or your family, or friends). Some studies have shown the single most important factor regarding the efficacy of a treatment is whether the patient believes in it or not. Give Lavender a try — once you do, it might be hard to ignore the world of natural medicine any longer.
The overall action of Lavender oil is both calming and regenerating. It’s a profound effect, as our bodies need to be relieved of stress in order to heal, and lead healthy lives in general. The sweet smell alone bestows calm on folks of all ages; from the little ones all wound up when it’s time for bed, to the wizened generation whom may be recovering from illness or loss. It has done the same for lab rats, hamsters and mice in many university studies. And this effect may be the most simple to produce, too. For personal use, you only need to inhale deeply from a bottle, or dab a couple drops on your wrists to get a little whiff of the scent now and then. There are several styles of essential oil diffusers available which release aroma into the air. Almost every one will work for stress reduction; it just takes a hint of Lavender in the air to have its effect.
Another favorite stress reduction technique is the Lavender bath: just add 20-30 drops of Lavender to an already drawn bath for a soak. If one needs to unwind before they make it home from work, small diffusers are available that plug into the cigarette lighter of a car. A few drops placed on the pad can really go a long way to relieving the tensions of the day while still in the evening commute!
Associated with its calming effect is Lavender’s ability to improve sleep. One headline proclaimed ‘Lavender Beats Valium’ in sleep studies. If you or your children have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, Lavender can be a profoundly effective home remedy. For a really simple method, sprinkle just a drop or two (really just a little as too much can actually be a stimulant for some folks) on the bed sheet, on-top-of, or under the pillow before bed. It’s especially nice to fall asleep to a hint of Lavender, and catch another whiff if one wakes again in the middle of the night. For some, it works well to utilize a diffuser set to run on low all night long, or one on a timer that cycles on for a minute or two every hour. Think about how the scent is relaxing your whole body; using lavender regularly this way may continually improve the aroma’s effectiveness as a sleep aid over time.
Lavender essential oil is a surprisingly effective wound healer. We sometimes think a product needs to be more medicinal smelling, or sting at least a little bit to work, but it was actually Lavender that began the modern ‘medicinal’ aromatherapy revolution. Dr. Rena Maurice Gattafosse, a French scientist, burned his hand in a laboratory accident; he thrust it immediately into the closest vat of liquid, which happened to be filled with Lavender essential oil. He recovered from his injury so quickly that he was inspired to write the first book on the medical use of essential oils, coining the term ‘Aromatherapy’ as the title.
As you can guess, Lavender works exceptionally well on burns. It can be used neat, undiluted, on any burn where the skin is unbroken; it will bring quick pain relief and speed healing. Lavender is considered anti-septic, anti-inflammatory and regenerative, so virtually all cuts, bruises and scrapes will also respond well. You can use in combination with Helichrysum for burns and bruises (Helichrysum is a powerful anti-inflammatory/regenerative/pain reliever as well), or with Tea Tree for a stronger, yet still soothing anti-bacterial formula (a 50/50 mix of Lavender and Tea Tree can replace any sort of topical anti-bacterial formula used under band-aids and small dressings). Lavender can work well on a sunburn, at a 10% dilution in water dabbed over the area. A drop of lavender on a bug bite or sting is also highly effective, and is useful for many itchy and irritated skin conditions as well.
Lavender’s antiseptic properties make it an excellent natural household disinfectant. Sprinkle baking soda and Lavender in place of chlorine-based cleansers and scrub away! Add a little lemon essential oil too for greater potency, and a very uplifting scent. Lavender and Lemon can be added to a bucket of water (use about 30 drops of each) for larger surfaces and floors.
Getting a nice, sweet Lavender essential oil is important when using it for stress reduction and as a sleep aid. Some Lavender’s are labeled ‘high-elevation’; this is because the plant produces a higher concentration of the more floral components of the oil when grown in mountainous regions. The most lovely aromatically are typically from France — these oils might be higher-priced, but are worth it for these uses, especially as you only need a little at a time. If buying the oil for antiseptic and anti-inflammation, a medium quality oil can be acceptable. Looking for a real bargain is likely to be counterproductive, as a mass-produced poor quality oil will not have the same stress-relieving therapeutic effects no matter how much you use. The finer the oil, the less you’re likely to need in any application — and the more likely you and your family will make a lifelong friend with Lavender.
About the Author Robert W. Stevens | The author has been a contributor of aromatherapy articles and information around the internet. The author’s sites contain information for beginning and advanced aromatherapists alike. More information on quality therapeutic grade essential oils and therapeutic essential oil blends are available at the Ananda Apothecary. | Article Source: Useful Tips and Home Remedies with Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender Essential Oil –
Do You Realise How Versatile It Is?
Lavender is one of the most versatile of essential oils: if you’re starting in aromatherapy, this is without a doubt, the one you get first! It can be used in caring for many ills, for skin care, as a good nervous sedative, a muscle relaxant, an anti-inflammatory useful in case of rheumatism, and it constitutes an ally of choice for a difficult digestive system.
Properties and Cosmetic Applications
Lavender essential oil solves (almost) all the small problems of the skin. It is healing, promotes tissue regeneration, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, soothing and a regulator of sebum (the oily/waxy matter secreted from the skin). It is, therefore, recommended in the treatment of acne, blotches, stretch marks, wounds and burns, scars, ulcers, pressure sores, psoriasis, eczema, insect bites, itching, allergies, dandruff, and even to eradicate lice. For skin care, apply 2 to 3 drops direct on the injured, irritated or infected area.
Lavender essential oil is powerful for anti-stress. It calms anxieties and nervousness, its natural sedative properties promote sleep (try it if you suffer from insomnia), it is soothing in cases of excessive irritability or tachycardia, it relieves migraines (by reducing the blood pressure) and improves depressive states.
For all of these, there are several solutions:
• Dispersion into the atmosphere, using a diffuser: its floral scent mixed with the air makes this method particularly pleasant, for a feeling of “zen” (its perfect also for eradicating tobacco smells).
• Massage: dilute with vegetable oil (1 part of essential oil to 10 parts of vegetable oil), and apply to the solar plexus, foot arches, or along the spine.
• Aromatic bath: 10 drops mixed with a foam bath, bath salts or simply to a spoonful of milk; dilute in hot water.
Digestions difficulties, flatulence, nausea, digestive spasms… lavender essential oil fights against all of these predicaments: it is a powerful antispasmodic; it increases the secretion of gastric juice in the stomach; and it improves intestinal mobility. Note that it can also eliminate intestinal parasites. The dose is 2 drops swallowed with a spoonful of vegetable oil or honey, or half a spoonful of sugar, 3 times per day.
Muscle Pain, Tendon and Joints
Lavender essential oil is an excellent muscle relaxant, is anti-inflammatory and soothes pain: it is, therefore, useful for cramps and also rheumatism. The best method is to massage into the effected area, slightly diluted (2 to 4 drops of essential oil to a spoonful of vegetable oil). You can also opt for an aromatic bath as described above.
Respiratory and Urinary Disorders
Thanks to its antiseptic properties (anti-bacterial and particularly antiviral), it is useful in treating infections: respiratory infections (bronchitis, coughing, pharyngitis, laryngitis, and some tonsillitis) as well as the cystitis. It also loosens and breaks up mucus, which promotes expectoration (or spitting) and the clearing of the respiratory tract. In these cases, swallow 2 drops of essential oil of lavender 3 times per day.
We cannot refer to lavender without saying a word on its culinary applications! It delicately perfumes crème brulee and custard, fruit salads, biscuits and ice creams… a few drops are enough to make you think you are breathing air from the South of France… Try mixing it with yoghurt beaten with a little water and a spoonful of honey, or in compote of figs, to accompany a white meat or foie gras.
As with all essential oils, large doses and prolonged treatments are to be avoided. The lavender essential oil is also prohibited during the first quarter of pregnancy, and for babies less than three months old, (in contrast, it can be used after three months).
Well I hope you find this article informative and maybe even a little surprising as to how versatile this wonderful essential oil can be.
by Ken P Shaw | For more information on Lavender oil and its uses visit
Lavender Close-up by Kecia O’Sullivan
Article Source: Lavender Essential Oil – Do You Realise How Versatile It Is