Lavender Essential Oil
Originates from Mediterranean countries and all over Europe including England.
The essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of the flower of the plant.
Lavender is a perennial plant that grows to heights of between 3 to 7 feet. Nearly all the Lavender essential oil available comes from plantations with the highest quality oils coming from France and Bulgaria. French lavender is found mostly in the Provence region and is harvested in late July and August. The flowers are picked and then left to dry in the sun for two days.
Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, balancing, cooling, detoxifying, fungicidal, hypotensive, relaxing, sedative & tonic.
Modern day aromatherapists use Lavender to treat many different physical symptoms. It’s excellent for treating burns and will help the skin to recover quickly as well as lessening the appearance of any scarring. These same properties also make it great for soothing sunburn.
It can also balance the production of sebum in oily skin, is a soothing antiseptic for insect bites and stings and can be very helpful in cases of dermatitis and psoriasis. It’s also thought to help lower high blood pressure and is a calming oil that is great for stress-related conditions such as palpitations.
Those who struggle with their breathing may find that Lavender can ease bronchitis, laryngitis and relax laboured breathing. It’s also antiviral and so can help to ward off flue and colds.
Lavender can also sooth and relieve muscular aches, strains and pains through massage application as well as soothing the problems caused by rheumatism.
One advantage of introducing essential oils to your routine is not only the physical benefits but the mental boosts they can also offer. Lavender is perhaps the greatest example of this holistic approach as it’s a wonderfully calming oil.
It can help to balance the emotions and may be especially useful during times of depression. A stress relieving oil which can help reduce insomnia, anxiety and tension. Also good to sniff or burn after a shock as well as being beneficial to those suffering from headaches or migraines.
There have been some interesting studies carried out in the effects of Lavender over the years.
One study showed that workers who sniffed Lavender at the beginning of their lunch breaks returned to work with more energy than a control group who hadn't inhaled any Lavender. The study suggested that because the group that had sniffed Lavender had been able to relax more deeply during their lunch hour they were less likely to suffer the post lunch slump that affects so many people.
Further studies show that massage with Lavender Oil can be hugely beneficial to those suffering from sleep disorders such as insomnia. Results showed improved sleep, a more stable mood and increased brain capacity the next day as well as reduction in anxiety.
It also appears that Lavender may be useful in controlling post-operative pain. A group of patients were given oxygen infused with Lavender and reported higher satisfaction with the pain relief provided compared to another group who were given just plain oxygen.
In Germany Lavender Flowers in tea have been approved as a suitable treatment for insomnia, restlessness and stomach complications caused by nervous conditions.
It’s effective when burned or vaporised. Physically it can help in relieving stress, can fight airborne bacteria and viruses and may also assist in relieving headaches and migraines. It can alleviate laboured breathing and may ease the symptoms of bronchitis and laryngitis. Mentally it’s one of the oils most commonly used in stress relief, to calm and balance the emotions and to relax.
When used in massage Lavender Oil can promote cell growth and rapid healing for scars, stretch marks and burns as well as balancing sebum production to combat greasy or oily skin. It is an antiseptic so great for gently soothing insect bites, stings and minor wounds. It may also be of benefit to people suffering with dermatitis and psoriasis.
When used neat (see safety advice below), Lavender can fight bacterial infections such as Athlete’s Foot and cold sores. It can help to prevent infection in blisters as well as soothe them.
Lavender is one of the oldest known ingredients in perfumery and is used extensively by big name brands in skincare, haircare and beauty creams and products.
Organic version also available.
You may find that Lavender blends particularly well with cedarwood, clary sage, geranium, pine, nutmeg and all the citrus oils but it will blend happily with pretty much any oil you care to try it with.