Lavender means “to wash” in Latin. Lavender essential oil is probably the most widely used essential oil and is a must to have in your collection.
Lavender oil has many uses for treating the skin. It naturally reduces inflammation, lessens pain, and cleans the surface of the skin. You can use lavender oil on your face, legs, and hands.
If you experience any side effects from using the oil, such as a skin rash, stop use and talk to a doctor.
Used medicinally, lavender essential oil has been found to eliminate harmful bacteria (due to it’s anti-septic qualities). It is also known for its analgesic (pain relieving) qualities and due to its anti-spasmodic qualities is useful in relieving muscle spasms. It is also well known for its soothing of inflamed skin especially when resulting from a venomous, itchy bug bite, promoting speedy healing of irritated and scarred skin, and to relieve muscle tension when used in a massage. I have also used lavender and tea tree essential oil mixed with a carrier oil (or with water in a spray bottle) as a bug repellant and found it to be quite effective.
Lavender essential oil has anti-septic, anti-inflammatory, deodorant, relieving, and soothing qualities. It also has cytophylactic properties which are especially beneficial in skin care for aging and mature skin. Cytophylactic means that the oils stimulate the generation of new cells, which will aid in preserving the health of the skin. Oils with cytophylactic properties are also used for treatments of burns. Lavender essential oil is also effective on acne-prone skin and improves the look and feel of skin that is subject to eczema and psoriasis. In hair care, Lavender is known to be an anti-septic that effectively eliminates lice (even more effective when blended with tea tree essential oil), nits, and dandruff when rubbed into the scalp.
Lavender essential oil also has cicatrisant properties which means it is skin-healing, wound healing or cell regenerative. When an essential oil has these properties, we know that it will usually be gentle on the skin (when properly diluted) and useful in topical preparations. It works on a cellular level to help repair damage to the skin and stimulate healthy new skin cell growth.
When used in aromatherapy, it is known to reduce stress by relaxing the brain waves, which is also said to reduce cortisol levels that contribute to the stress hormone. As cortisol leads to lower immunity, lavender would accordingly support the immune system by helping relieve feelings of stress that can weaken health. Lavender is believed to help balance hormones, to reduce feelings of nervous tension, and based on empirical evidence, has worked to reduce feelings of depression for some individuals. Due to its calming and relaxing properties, it can work as a sleep aid for those suffering from insomnia. The fragrance is inhaled and scent receptors in the brain’s emotional powerhouse process the smell as calming, allowing the brain and body to relax. Similarly, a few drops smoothed onto a pillow may promote faster onset of deeper sleep with a decreased number of sleep disturbances. Its ability to reduce emotional stress such as anxiety and its potency in alleviating headaches also extends to its ability to reduce feelings of motion sickness and to improve the mood. It is believed that Lavender can reduce symptoms of hay fever when inhaled deeply.
For PMS – Lavender essential oil is an often-studied oil that has been linked to a number of health benefits, including improved sleep & lowered pain levels. Since many women suffer from menstrual cramps, insomnia, and overall aches & pains, it is a go-to oil during PMS.
Migraines can also be a serious problem when hormones shift during menstruation and inhaling lavender essential oil has been found in at least one scientific controlled study to be an effective and safe treatment option to help manage migraines.
Application: Massage 2% - 3% lavender oil dilution with your favourite carrier oil to the back of your neck, on your temples, and anywhere else you experience pain and discomfort.
Candida – Lavender and tea tree essential oils work synergistically to combat fungal infections, but don’t discount lavender by itself, because it is quite potent! Similar to the study evaluating yogurt & honey, another article published in 2015 compared the use of lavender essential oil to clotrimazole (an anti-fungal cream) on vaginal candidiasis. Interestingly, during the first forty-eight hours of applying both treatments, clotrimazole had a greater effect than the lavender essential oil on candid in vitro, but after 48 hours the results were the same. Natural therapies are not always the fastest solution, but they end up getting the job done as well as the medical alternative if they have enough time.
As it is one of the safest essential oils to use, why not try incorporating lavender into your diet to help battle candida internally? This can be particularly helpful if you suffer from sugar addiction and crave chocolate. Make your own chocolate at home with cacao which is rich in magnesium and add a touch of lavender essential oil!
Menopause – the shifting hormones of menopause can cause feelings of anxiety and problems with sleep. Lavender has long been known to promote feelings of relaxation while lifting mood, and for promoting better sleep with people dealing with insomnia. Lavender aromatherapy will be a welcome addition to your nighttime routine during your change of life to help improve sleep and relaxation. You can also use lavender to soothe menopause related vaginal pain and soreness that can accompany vaginal dryness – something we don’t hear too much about, but which can be quite irritating for women who are sexually active or who sit down a lot at work.
Application – use a cold compress mixed with 1% lavender oil dilution to reduce discomfort in the perineum during menopause.