Lavender essential oil, Lavendula officinalis, a member of the aromatic mint family, has been used for thousands of years. The earliest recorded use dates back to ancient Egypt where it was used in the mummification process and its uses ranged from medicinal to religious. Romans added Lavender to their bath water and its name comes from the Latin word “lavare" meaning “to wash.”
Extracted from the flowering tops of the plant, lavender is probably the most versatile of all essential oils. It is a gentle oil, that can be used in a variety of ways, and has many benefits.
People of ancient Rome, Egypt, and Greece added leaves or essential oil of lavender plants to get rid of colds, coughs, and stuffy noses. It is believed that Lavender essential oil helps activate mucus receptors and decrease swelling to ease congestion. Lavender was often used to clean hospital wards before we had antiseptics.
It has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Since bacteria and fungus on the skin often result in inflammation, lavender in a carrier oil can help ease and promote the healing of irritated skin conditions.
Diluted with a carrier oil and used topically, Lavender oil helps moisturize chapped, dry skin. Its antiseptic and antifungal properties may help to reduce itching and swelling caused by insect bites, rashes, or irritated skin conditions. Due to its antimicrobial properties, lavender provides soothing relief to minor burns and cuts and may help acne-prone skin.
Since the plant contains so many different chemical compounds that positively affect your body, it is often considered a jack-of-all-trades for promoting health. These compounds include flavonoids and coumarin, both of which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It also contains linalool which has been shown to reduce anxiety and even blood pressure.
In hair care, lavender helps balance oily or dry hair and scalp, soothes irritated scalp, and stimulates the hair follicles to help foster hair growth. Lavender is often paired with rosemary in hair care formulas. Their synergistic properties are great for hair care.
Aromatherapy Properties: The most well-known attribute of lavender essential oil is its calming effect. It is associated with feelings of contentment, helps improve mood and relieve tension with its soothing, calming, and harmonizing effect on the nerves. It can be helpful for headaches, migraines, nausea, and insomnia. Its floral and woody fragrance is great for stress relief, general relaxation, and possibly even mild pain relief. Lavender can deodorize stale air and help promote relaxed breathing.
Due to its calming and sedative properties, the scent of lavender helps create a serene and relaxing atmosphere that promotes a restful night’s sleep, so end your day with a Lavender scented bath or shower. Many aromatherapists suggest a spritz of Lavender on bed linens or a dab of lavender essential oil (in a carrier oil) on the wrist or the bottoms of your feet for a soothing sleep.
There are studies that have shown that lavender can:
- calm the nervous system and boost the mood which can help with anxiety and depression
- promote a more restful sleep by improving the body’s melatonin levels
- help reduce headache pain as it reduces general pain and inflammation
- ease menstrual pain via aromatherapy or applying it to the abdomen
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing in 2017 investigated the effect of lavender essential oil on the sleep quality and anxiety level of patients in coronary ICU. Their study concluded that Lavender essential oil increased the quality of sleep and reduced the level of anxiety.
Pregnancy and Children: We do not provide information on the safety of essential oils during Pregnancy or for use in Children because the available information is very ambiguous and often contradictory. If you’re interested in using essential oils during pregnancy or with young children please do your own research and consult your doctor, midwife, or health care professional before use.
Precautions: If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, have a medical condition, or have any medical concerns regarding yourself or your family consult a qualified, licensed health professional prior to use. For external use only. Keep away from eyes and mucous membranes. Keep out of reach of children.