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Lavender essential oil is steam-distilled from the flowering tops of the lavender bushes Lavandula vera, Lavandula augustifolia and Lavandula officinalis. Lavender oil has a clean, fresh, floral fragrance which blends well with other essential oils. The soothing, healing, antiseptic and anti-viral properties of lavender oil place it among the most popular essential oils. Not only is it frequently found in skin care products and perfumes, lavender essential oil is also useful for a range of ailments, including headaches, insomnia, colds, minor burns, grazes and insect bites.
Lavender Essential Oil for Headaches
Use lavender essential oil in a cold compress to relieve and soothe the pain of headaches. Fill a bowl with very cold water and sprinkle five to six drops of lavender essential oil onto the water’s surface. The oil will spread out in a thin film. Dip a clean flannel lightly into the water and squeeze any excess water out of the cloth. Apply the flannel to your forehead and lie down in dark room. After about five minutes, the compress will reach blood temperature and must be replaced with a fresh, cold compress. Alternatively, rub a couple of drops of lavender essential oil into your temples.
Lavender Oil to Cure Insomnia and Help You Sleep
Lavender oil has a soothing, calming, sedative effect when inhaled, reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation. Add four to eight drops of lavender oil to a warm bath before bed, or place a couple of drops on your pillow to help improve sleep quality. Add lavender essential oil to massage oil and use in a relaxing massage, or place a few drops in a vaporiser to help you wind down.
Lavender Oil for Healing Minor Burns, Grazes, Bites and Stings
Treat minor burns with lavender oil. First, soak the burned body part in ice-cold water and dry the skin, then apply neat lavender oil to the affected area to relieve pain. This promotes healing and may help prevent blisters. Wash minor cuts and grazes with antiseptic to remove dirt, then dab neat lavender oil onto the wounded areas. Add a couple of drops of lavender oil to a bandage or plaster before covering a wound. Neat lavender essential oil also relieves discomfort from insect bites and stings.
Fight Colds and Flu with Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil has anti-viral properties so it may be helpful for treating colds and flu. Used in steam inhalation, lavender oil helps fight infection and relieve symptoms. Half-fill a large bowl with very hot water and add four to five drops of lavender essential oil. Lean over the bowl, covering your head with a towel so the vapours cannot escape. Keep your eyes closed and breathe in deeply through your nose for a few minutes. Steam inhalation may not be suitable for people with severe asthma as steam can irritate the lungs. Add lavender essential oil to a vaporiser to help counteract infections and prevent other people catching cold and flu viruses.
Lavender essential oil is one of the safest essential oils for treating mild conditions at home and one of the few essential oils which can be used neat on the skin. However, if symptoms continue for a long time or become serious, seek medical advice and do not rely on essential oils as a form of medical treatment. Avoid lavender essential oil in early pregnancy.
Farrer-Halls, Gill. The Aromatherapy Bible: The Definitive Guide to Using Essential Oils. Great Britain: Godsfield Press.
Geddes & Grosset. “Aromatherapy.” Alternative Therapies. Scotland: Geddes & Grosset.
University of Maryland Medical Center. “Lavender”.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor for advice.