What is Lavender Essential Oil?
Lavender essential oil, is considered the king of essential oils, thanks to its multiple properties, benefits and applications. It is the only oil indispensable in our home and the first one to use in case of doubt.
The essential oils of Lavandula Officinalis species are obtained by steam distillation of the fresh flowering spikes. Oil quality is assessed by oil chemical composition and by the organoleptic opinion of the flavorists.
As with many other oils, oldest civilizations already used this plant through different procedures to take advantage of its many therapeutic properties, and its magnificent fragrance in perfumes and cosmetics.
An interesting fact, is that modern aromatherapy reborn thanks to lavender. When the French chemist named Rene Maurice Gattefossé burned his hand, and used this essential oil to heal himself.
He was surprised when he got such an amazing result, enough reason that from then on, he focused his whole life in the therapeutic study of essential oils.
Lavender essential oil blends well with rose, geranium, frankincense, vetiver, black pepper, chamomile, clove, cypress, eucalyptus, juniper, lemongrass, mandarin, marjoram, oakmoss, palmarosa, peppermint, ravensara, tea tree, thyme, pine, lemon, tangerine, patchouli, bergamot, sweet orange, cedarwood, neroli, petitgrain, grapefruit, rosemary and clary sage essential oils.
Origin of Lavender
The lavenders Lavandula are a genus of about 25 to 30 species of flowering plants in the mint family Lamiaceae. It is native from the Mediterranean region south to tropical Africa and east to India.
The genus includes annuals, herbaceous plants, subshrubs and small shrubs. The native range extends across the Canary Islands, north and east Africa, south Europe and the Mediterranean, Arabia and India. Because the cultivated forms are planted in gardens worldwide they are occasionally found growing wild as garden escapes.
The king of Essential Oils
Lavender essential oil is the most versatile, therefore, for those who just started in the aromatherapy world, it recommended to start experimenting with this specific oil.
Another reason why we should not exclude it in a homemade and natural medicine cabinet is that any mixture that we make based on essential oils, clays, vegetable oils, etc., it gets improved by adding a few drops of lavender essential oil.
This essence is capable to enhance the effect of all other oils. Therefore, it is advisable to add a few drops of lavender essential oil to any natural treatment that we carry out, always taking into account the basic precautions in the use of essential oils.
Properties of Lavender Essential Oil
- Antiseptic: Excellent oil to fight viruses and bacteria, and therefore with infections of all kinds. It can perfectly be useful to treat skin infections, but also for other infectious problems.
- Sedative: The fame of lavender essential oil as a magnificent relaxant extends to the oldest civilizations, which already used it in baths and inhalations to relieve symptoms of nervousness, depression or insomnia .
- Analgesic: Lavender essential oil can reduce pain and inflammation, especially when it comes to skin conditions, muscle aches or contusions.
- Antispasmodic: Its powerful antispasmodic effect is particularly useful in case of minor infections of the throat and bronchi.
- Anti-inflammatory: Along with the essential oil of tea tree and chamomile, the anti-inflammatory action of lavender essential oil reduces and relieves any symptoms caused by infection, bruising or blood congestion.
- Regenerative: This essence will help us maintain the skin in an optimal state and regenerate any area damaged by burns, skin abnormalities, acne, dermatitis or premature aging.
- Enhancer: Lavender essential oil enhances the effects and properties of all essential oils, so it is advisable to add a few drops to any mixture that we make.
Uses and Benefits of Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender is one of the most useful medicinal plants. Commercially the lavender provides several important essential oils to the fragrance industry including soaps, colognes, perfumes, skin lotions and other cosmetics.
In food manufacturing, lavender essential oil is employed in flavoring beverages, ice cream, candy, baked goods and chewing gum.
Among its best known uses and benefits are:
Wrinkles: Without falling into the error of thinking that a product (whether natural or not) will eliminate wrinkles from our skin, the truth is that lavender essential oil is one of the most revitalizing that exists, and therefore, it contributes to accelerate the process of cellular regeneration and maintain firm tissue.
Acne: If we suffered or we are suffering from acne, lavender essential oil, along with other vegetable oils (rosehip oil) and essential for acne (tea tree essential oil) prone-skin, will help us to disinfect the congested areas, purify the blood and improve lymphatic circulation. Additionally, it will reduce the pain and inflammation caused by this skin condition.
Better if combined with other natural home remedies for acne as well as anti acne masks.
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Wounds and minor burns: Effective for regenerate and disinfect wound or burn, by using a few drops of this essence directly on the damaged area.
Remember that today we know aromatherapy thanks to the miraculous effect that lavender essential oil produced in the French chemist Rene Maurice Gattefossé, father and founder of aromatherapy.
Dermatitis: Dermatitis still, even today, being a quite unpredictable and surprising subject for medical science. Same happens with the emotional change effect in the people who suffer it.
In any case, and without forgetting the medical prescription first of all, lavender essential oil is very safe and exerts powerful calming effect on any type of skin condition.
However, it is always advisable to perform a small test on the forearm or in an undamaged area, and wait a few hours until there is no adverse reaction.
Chickenpox (varicella): Lavender is essential in any effective natural remedy for chickenpox , especially to relieve the itching caused by the vesicles. On the other hand, reduces the time of development of the disease.
Lavender Essential Oil for personal hygiene
Lavender baths: Every time we have a relaxing bath or a homemade spa treatment, we can disinfect the body and clear our mind by adding 10 drops of lavender essential oil into the water.
Its pleasant fragrance will provide peace and joy, and its multiple properties will take effect while you relax listening to pleasant music.
Gynecological infections: Always keeping in mind the medical staff instructions, any gynecological infection heals thanks to the antiseptic action of this magnificent essential oil, by incorporating three or four drops into the bidet water.
Deodorant: Since it has such a pleasant aroma, we can replace our usual deodorant (especially if it contains toxic substances). By blending carrier oils with a few drops of lavender essential oil, we will make our own homemade deodorant.
It will keep its fragrance in our body providing a pleasant sensation of freshness.
For colds and mild bronchitis: By Doing steam baths and inhalations with lavender essential oil, it will help us expectorate and relax the respiratory system in colds and bronchitis .
We can also add a few drops to an environmental humidifier or on the pillow when we go to sleep. It is particularly effective in cases of infantile coughing, when these terrible incessant coughing episodes come into the children.
Calming of the nervous system in children and babies: One of the most effective natural remedies to calm the nervousness of a baby or child, is to add a drop of lavender essential oil on the pillow where they go to sleep.
It is an effective sedative and its pleasant aroma will relax the accumulated agitation during the day.
Lavender Essential Oil Cautions and Warnings
Lavender oil is generally safe. However, there are a few important guidelines to remember when using lavender oil.
Using diluted lavender essential oil topically or in aromatherapy is usually safe for most adults, but not for children.
Applying pure lavender essential oil on the skin (especially open wounds) may also cause irritation so, blending it with a carrier oil is better, such as olive oil or coconut oil. Dissolving it in water also works.
Be careful not to rub lavender essential oil in your eyes and mucous membranes. If this happens, wash it out immediately.
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Lavender oil may also cause allergic reactions in people with sensitive skin, so do a spot test before using it. Simply apply a drop of lavender oil to your arm and see if any reaction occurs.
Special Precautions & Warnings
Children: Apply on the skin, products that contain lavender essential oil, is possibly unsafe for young boys who have not yet reached puberty.
Lavender essential oil seems to have hormone effects that could disrupt the normal hormones in a boy’s body. In some cases, boys may developed abnormal breast growth called gynecomastia.
The safety of lavender oil when used by young girls is not known.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Due to there is not enough reliable information about the safety of consuming lavender if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Surgery: Lavender might slow down the central nervous system. If used simultaneously with anesthesia and other medications given during and after surgery, it might slow down the central nervous system too much.
Stop using lavender at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Side Effects of Lavender Essential Oil
Some people may develop an allergic reaction to lavender oil. There are also instances when people experience side effects such as headaches, nausea, vomiting and chills after inhaling or applying the oil topically.
Where to buy lavender Essential Oil?
Generally, good quality oils, that is, 100% pure and not mixed with other substances, can be found in specialized natural herb stores.
If you can not reach a trusted naturist or herbalist shop near you, we recommend:
Scent Characteristics: Herbaceous, sweet, floral aroma imparting a clean and soothing fragrance.
Our 100% Pure Essential Oils are extracted from the root, bark, wood, seed, fruit, leaf, or flower of a freshly harvested plant.
We source only the finest quality essential oils from highly regarded suppliers and distillers from around the world, many with whom we’ve worked with for decades.
Many of our oils are steam-distilled or cold-pressed, therefore retaining the essential odor, aroma, taste, medicinal, and therapeutic properties of the plant, resulting in a superior quality, and highly concentrated essence. Shop here.
Tips for a better performance and duration of your oils:
- Store them in a dark glass bottle, never plastic, not even when blended with a carrier oil.
- Keep them in cool, dark places, away from sources of heat and light.
- Maintain the container that holds it tightly closed, since they are very volatile and also, their properties would be lost or modified.