Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender belongs to the plant family Lamiaceae {Liberate). It originally comes from the area around the Mediterranean but is now grown worldwide. It is commercially cultivated in France, Italy, Tasmania, Great Britain and many other countries. Lavender is an evergreen shrub with aromatic leaves and flowers, and it is a great favorite in herb and scented gardens. It has a long history of use – the ancient Romans used it in bathing and it has been used as a disinfectant, an antiseptic and a sedative. The dried flowers of the plant, sewn into a small pouches or bags, make delightful drawer fresheners. Lavender toilet water has been a popular product for many years.

Essential Oil

Essential oil of lavender is obtained by steam distillation from the flowers of the plant. The oil is clear or faintly yellow and has a sweet floral odor that blends well with many other oils. Lavender is one of the most useful oils to have in the home as it is extremely safe and pleasant to use and has many functions.

The actions of lavender on the emotions are gently sedative and relaxing. It is beneficial to those whose low spirits are combined with a feeling of anxiety or vulnerability, imparting a feeling of calm while at the same time strengthening the spirits. It is a soothing addition to a massage blend and can help in the treatment of insomnia. Used in abdominal massage, lavender will help to ease flatulence and the discomfort of trapped wind in the digestive system.

The mild analgesic properties of lavender make it suitable for the treatment of headaches and muscular pain. One of the few essential oils that can be used neat, lavender also has antiseptic properties and can be dabbed directly onto stings and insect bites and will reduce the pain of minor bums, scalds and scrapes, combating infection at the same time. In addition to this, the oil promotes healing and will help to reduce scarring.

When used in bathing, lavender oil is beneficial in the treatment of genito-urinary infections such as thrush and cystitis. In steam inhalations, it can do much to ease spasmodic coughing and will help to fight throat infections and soothe laryngitis.

Skin conditions that can be treated with lavender oil include eczema, acne, psoriasis and athlete’s foot. The oil has a deodorizing and antiseptic effect when used in a mouthwash.

Lavender oil is also an effective insect repellent.

Suitable methods of use

  • Bathing
  • Compresses
  • Hair care
  • Inhalation
  • Massage
  • Skin care
  • Vaporizer/diffuser

Precautions

None. Lavender is extremely safe to use, even on babies and infants. Some aromatherapists recommend that it is avoided in early pregnancy if there is a history of miscarriage but otherwise it is very safe for pregnant women.

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