Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender is one of the most well-known essential oils in aromatherapy circles. It is also present in a number of cleaning products and commercial air freshener aerosols. There are also quite a few different health benefits in addition to the fragrances. People who use it for aromatherapy find that it helps to calm the patients mind and purify them so that they feel completely refreshed when they leave. You can get some of the same benefit by using lavender essential oil in your own home as well. Lavender oil can be used in nearly all of the common ways that you use essential oils.
The Basics about Lavender Essential Oil
The flowers that lavender essential oil is made from have an incredibly good aroma and lavender can mix very easily with different fragrances; the word lavender comes from a Roman root a Latin root that means to wash because the smell of lavender simply evokes feelings of clean. Lavender is used in all sorts of things to do with aromatherapy or air freshening – such as making potpourri, perfumes, scented soaps, skin creams and air fresheners that either come in an aerosol can or are part of a commercial air freshener. Lavender is definitely an essential oil that you should keep available.
How is Lavender Essential Oil Manufactured?
There are a couple of different ways that you can make lavender essential oil. The normal process of creating true essential oil for lavender is with the same steam distillation process the most essential oils are made with. But if you don’t have access to essential oil but have lavender, you can soak the buds in olive oil to make a workable essential oil. Of course, there are all sorts of complicated factors involved when making actual essential oil and you get a much better product if you get from a professional manufacturer.
Types of Lavender Essential Oil
There are four basic types of Lavender that are used to make essential oils. The first is called true lavender. It is the species of lavender that is most often used to make essential oil. It can be found in the Mediterranean and has been used by ancient Greece for thousands of years. The scientific name for this type of lavender is Lavandula angustifolia. Another type of lavender is called Lavandula stoechas and it was used by the ancient Romans in order to add fragrance to their baths. However, this is not true lavender and so it looks different and smells little bit different. The third type of lavender is spike lavender, and it has been used for several hundred years in Britain to cure headaches, colic and a few other conditions. Finally there is Lavandin, which is a cross between spike lavender and true lavender.
How to Use Lavender Essential Oil
You can use lavender essential oil in several different ways. Many people use it neat, or by itself with no dilution, but you want to make sure that you know what you are doing and that you only use a few drops. For example, burns can be treated with this method. You can also use it with an essential oil diffuser to make your room smell amazing and reap the aromatherapy benefits of lavender. In addition, you can use it by adding a few drops to a washcloth and inhaling it that way, or by putting some on your pillow before you go to sleep.
Composition of Lavender Essential Oil
Each one of the four species of lavender has a slightly different composition. Some of the chemical components they have in common, but others are unique to that species. Here are some of the chemical components of the lavender species used to make essential oil.
Aromatic Description of Lavender Essential Oil
When it comes to using lavender essential oil for aromatherapy, you might be wondering what lavender smells like. Of course, there are going to be some variations in the different types of lavender that are out there but most people would describe the lavender smell as a very floral smell. With some types of lavender there is also a distinct smell of pine as well.
Precautions & Side Effects of Lavender Essential Oil
Avoid lavender essential oil if you have diabetes. Also people that have sensitive skin may have an allergic reaction and you should test a patch of skin beforehand. There have also been reports of nausea and vomiting by some people who have used an excessive amount of lavender essential oil as well as headaches. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you should never ingest lavender essential oil. If you apply it topically, it should be diluted in a carrier oil, or only a couple drops. As always, essential oils good practices are not to use them on children or when you’re pregnant or nursing
Attributes of Lavender Essential Oil
|analgesic||Reduces pain in muscles and joints|
|anti-arthritic||Reduces arthritis symptoms|
|antibiotic||X||Keeps biotic infections from developing|
|antidepressant||Helps to alleviate depression|
|antiemetic||Prevents nausea and vomiting|
|anti-galactogogue||Reduces milk supply in the body|
|antifungal||Kills harmful fungal life forms|
|antimicrobial||Kills microbial life forms that cause disease|
|anti-neuralgic||X||Counteracts nerve pain|
|anti-rheumatic||Counteracts pain from rheumatism|
|antiseborrhoeic||Keeps the body from making an unhealthy amount of sebum|
|antiseptic||Prevents growth of organisms which cause disease|
|antispasmodic||Prevents spasms from occurring|
|antiviral||Kills viral agents|
|aphrodisiac||Increases sexual desires|
|astringent||Causes skin tissue to contract – to counter lines and wrinkles|
|bactericidal||X||Kills bacterial agents|
|carminative||Prevents formation of gas in the GI tract|
|cholagogue||Assists with the discharge of bile|
|cicatrisant||Assists in the formation of healthy scar tissue|
|circulatory||X||Promotes healthy circulatory system function|
|decongestant||Reduces or eliminates congestions of nasal cavities|
|deodorant||Eliminates and prevents body odor|
|depurative||Helps to detoxify the body|
|Digestive||Helps with the digestion of food|
|diuretic||Removes excess water from the body|
|expectorant||Loosens mucous and helps clear it from the body|
|emenagogue||Promotes healthy menstrual discharge|
|febrifuge||Aids in the reduction of fever|
|hepatic||Promotes healthy liver function|
|hypotensive||Helps to lower blood pressure|
|Insecticide||X||Kills certain types of insects or pests|
|muscle relaxant||Relaxes tight muscles and prevents muscle spasms|
|nervine||X||Reduces anxiety and calms the nerves|
|sedative||Aids in calming or induces sleepiness|
|stimulant||Increases physiological or nervous system activity|
|stomachic||Aids in a healthy appetite or digestion|
|sudorific||Promotes or aids in activation of sweat glands|
|tonic||Tones the skin or muscles|
|vermifuge||Kills parasitic worms|
|vulnerary||Promotes rapid healing of wounds|
What is Lavender Essential Oil Primarily Used For?
There are number of uses that lavender oil has. One of the major benefits of this essential oils that it is really good for the nervous system. That doesn’t just mean that it helps to relieve anxiety, it is also an effective treatment for insomnia and helps with treating all sorts of headaches including migraines. In addition, lavender essential oil helps to fight infections and even treat acne, both by the same mechanism. Like a few other essential oils, lavender is also very effective in relieving pain because it is an anti-inflammatory. This property also helps with other conditions which are caused by inflammation such as bug bites.
Other Uses for Lavender Essential Oils
There’s actually a huge list of specific conditions that lavender essential oil can treat. For example, it is effective in treating leucorrhoea. It also makes an excellent insect repellent and many aroma therapists considered a staple that they can use in their practice by itself or to mix with other fragrances.
Recommended Combinations Involving Lavender Essential Oil
- black pepper
- clary sage
- clove, cypress
- tea tree
The Final Word on Lavender Essential Oil
There are not that many essential oils out there that are as versatile as lavender. This oil can be combined with several others, to create great fragrance combinations, and it is useful in treating a number of illnesses and diseases. It is simply one of the best essential oils available to keep in your collection for just about any purpose – from aromatherapy or use as an air freshener, to the mental and physical benefits.