This could be your next health and beauty essential…
Most of us will admit to a favourite natural remedy that we use as a cure-all for any number of health and beauty problems. And in many cases, it has been passed down through the generations before us, having originated hundreds of years ago - long before we were born.
Lavender essential oil is one of those time-tested remedies. Its benefits read like a shopping list - it’s a sedative, anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antibacterial, anesthetic, immune boosting and antiviral, amongst others.
But here’s the interesting bit. The many benefits of lavender essential oil are not just part of any old wives’ tale passed on by your mother - they are now supported by thousands of published studies and hundreds of clinical trials.
And the uses of lavender oil are so extensive, it’s no wonder that it is one of the most popular, versatile and effective essential oils out there…
BENEFITS OF LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL
While it is an efficient multi-tasker, the benefits of lavender essential oil mainly address these four concerns:
Lavender oil for anti-anxiety and anti-stress
The most well-known benefit of lavender essential oil is its calming and soothing effect on the central nervous system, so helping improve the quality of sleep and relieve emotional stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia.
Lavender oil as an antioxidant
Free radicals like toxins, pollution and chemicals, are perhaps one of the most widespread and dangerous health risks in our modern society. While your body produces antioxidants to neutralize this threat, the free radical burden can become too high for it to cope, and so it often becomes necessary to supplement the process.
As a natural antioxidant, lavender essential oil helps to prevent or reverse disease-causing oxidative stress by detoxifying the body, and also slows aging by revitalising and nourishing the skin’s texture.
Lavender oil as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic
Lavender essential oil is a proven pain-reliever especially when it comes to easing joint and muscular pain, alleviating headaches and menstrual cramps. It also soothes and calms itchy skin, eczema, allergies, sunburn and bug bites.
Lavender oil as an antibacterial and antimicrobial
With its recognized antibacterial abilities, lavender essential oil can effectively kill acne-causing bacteria, help to heal cuts, burns, wounds and cold sores and also reduce and prevent dandruff.
So, if you thought lavender could only be used to help you sleep better, here’s how you can put this multi-purpose powerhouse remedy to many other uses…
HOW TO USE LAVENDER OIL FOR YOUR SKIN
Due to its potent antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, lavender can be effectively used to treat many skin conditions.
Aging skin and wrinkles
Combine 3–4 drops of lavender oil with ½ teaspoon of a nourishing carrier oil such as coconut or jojoba oil and massage gently into the skin. If you’re looking for a full body treatment, try a lavender infused body lotion or an antioxidant lavender cream to pamper your hands.
Mix 5 drops each of lavender oil and tea tree oil with 2 tbsp. of sweet almond oil or other carrier oil to apply on the affected skin. Or blend 1 drop of lavender oil with 1 drop of argan oil and apply to the pimple directly twice a day.
Mix 1 drop of lavender oil and 1 drop of frankincense oil to ½ tsp of jojoba oil or grapeseed oil and massage gently into affected areas right before bedtime.
Mix 2 drops each of lavender oil and tea tree oil with 1 tbsp. virgin coconut oil or aloe vera. Apply the mixture 2-3 times a day to speed up the healing process and get rid of the rash. You can also massage some lavender hand cream into those dry spots to promote, smoother itch free skin.
Add 1 cup of Epsom salts to your tub as the water runs. Add in 10 drops of lavender oil and then swirl the water to mix well. Soak for at least 15-20 minutes. Or use lavender infused bath salts to cleanse and purify the skin.
Dry chapped lips
Mix 1 drop of lavender oil with 2-3 drops of a carrier oil such as jojoba oil, avocado oil or argan oil. Rub onto your lips, especially when going out in the sun.
Mix 1 drop of lavender essential oil into 10-15 drops of coconut oil. Apply directly to the cold sore to help soothe and treat.
HOW TO USE LAVENDER OIL FOR YOUR HAIR
Lavender essential oil has shown to be not only effective in treating hair loss and but also helps to promote healthy hair growth. As a natural anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal, lavender oil also helps in reducing dandruff and supporting scalp health.
Add 2 drops of lavender oil and 2 drops of tea tree oil to a mild shampoo when you wash your hair. Leave on for 3-5 minutes before rinsing.
Healthy hair growth
For a weekly hot oil treatment, combine 10-15 drops of lavender oil with 1-2 tbsp. of warm coconut oil). A few drops of peppermint essential oil will also help soothe an itchy scalp. Massage the mixture into your scalp, wrap a towel around your head and leave on for an hour. Finally wash your hair with a mild shampoo.
HOW TO USE LAVENDER OIL FOR YOUR WOUNDS
Known for its antibacterial properties, there are numerous studies proving lavender essential oil's ability to accelerate wound healing. By helping the wound to heal quickly and the body to regenerate healthy cells, it’s also been proven effective in treating scars.
As a potent anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, it heals, soothes and calms burns (including sunburn), allergic reactions and even bug bites.
Add ¼ cup aloe juice, 2 tbsp. of a carrier oil such as jojoba oil, 2 tbsp. of distilled water and 10-12 drops of lavender essential oil into a clean spray bottle. Shake well and spray onto the area of the sunburn. Repeat 2-3 times a day for instant cooling relief.
Cuts and wounds
Add 5 drops each of lavender essential oil and tea tree oil to 2 tbsp. of witch hazel and mix well. Using a cotton ball, gently apply to the wound 2 to 3 times a day.
For burn relief, add 5 drops of essential lavender oil to a tablespoon of soothing aloe vera and mix well. Apply liberally to your inflamed skin 3 times a day to help soothe pain and heal quicker.
Itchy skin, bug bites and allergies
Mix 1-2 drops of lavender oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil and apply directly on the affected areas at least twice a day. For stinging pain, add a drop of peppermint oil to numb the pain.
Mix 2 drops of lavender oil with 2 drops of black seed oil. Research suggests that black seed oil prevents scar formation and can help clear up the marks. Apply twice daily.
HOW TO USE LAVENDER OIL TO RELIEVE YOUR PAIN
Owing to its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, research has shown that lavender essential oil is a proven pain-reliever especially when it comes to headaches and muscular and joint pain relief. A recent study has also shown it helps ease menstrual cramps.
Add 2-3 drops of lavender oil and 2 drops of peppermint oil to a carrier oil such as olive oil. Massage the blend into your temples, behind the neck and behind the ears for soothing pain relief. Or use a warming lavender infused neck pillow and a spa mask on your eyes or forehead to help ease the pain. Diffusing lavender or inhaling it directly from the bottle can also help to relieve headaches.
Muscular and joint pain
Mix 3-4 drops of lavender oil with 1 tsp. of a carrier oil such as olive oil or moringa oil (a proven anti-inflammatory excellent to relieve arthritic pain). Rub into painful joints twice daily.
For pain relief from muscular injuries and minor sprains, mix a few drops of lavender oil with some hot water. Soak a towel and use it as a hot compress on the affected area. A heated lavender spa mask can also be used as a compress to help provide pain relief.
Use a lavender infused massage oil or mix 6 drops of lavender oil with 3 tsps of sweet almond oil to massage the stomach with both hands in light rotating movements for 15 minutes.
HOW TO USE LAVENDER OIL FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
For many years, lavender has been used as a natural alternative for people suffering from insomnia or other sleep disorders. And for good reason - disruptive and poor-quality sleep patterns have been proven to have a devastating effect on your overall mind and body health.
However, due to its renowned calming aroma and medicinal properties, inhaling lavender essential oil has also been shown to positively affect the nervous system, helping to alleviate stress and anxiety, reduce depression and fatigue, and increase general mental well-being. In doing so, it can help lower blood pressure and is great for people who suffer from hypertension.
Recent research has shown that lavender oil does more than just improve the mood and beat stress and anxiety - it can actually help to promote brain function, and is a promising natural alternative for those suffering from dementia.
Adding a few drops of lavender oil to a diffuser next to your bed at night can help relax the mind and the body and improve your overall sleep. Or mix a few drops of lavender oil with a carrier oil such as almond oil or jojoba oil and rub onto your temples, back of the neck, and behind the ears. You can also use the same mixture for a massage before bedtime so helping to calm and relax the whole body.
If you’re not comfortable with putting the oil directly onto your skin, use a soothing lavender linen water to spray onto your pillow an hour or so before you go to sleep. Or even easier, tuck a lavender sachet under your pillow.
A warm bath with lavender could just be what you need to completely and fully unwind. Adding a cup of Epsom salts and about 10 drops of lavender oil in a warm bath can help the body detoxify, improve circulation and set the mood for a full night of snooze.
Stress, anxiety and depression
Relax and unwind with a lavender infused heated spa neck pillow and eye mask. Or put 3 drops of lavender oil in your palm and rub it into your temples and behind your ears. You can also diffuse lavender oil at home or at work, inhale it directly from the bottle for immediate relief, or add lavender bath salts to warm bath water to ease anxiety and depression naturally.
To support overall brain health, diffuse it in your surroundings, burn a lavender infused candle, inhale it directly from the bottle or rub a few drops of lavender oil onto the temples and back of neck.
As a natural antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, you can now see that lavender essential oil has many more health and beauty benefits than you would expect – most of which are supported by research.
Well known to enhance sleep, lavender is a true multi-tasker that can also be used to ease anxiety and stress, treat and nourish skin, help heal wounds and burns, relieve pain and promote overall mental health.
Maybe it’s time to think about adding it to your medicine cabinet…
Please check with your doctor before using essential oils to treat any medical concerns.
There's a difference between lavender essential oil or lavender oil, which is simply a perfume. If a label does not clearly state that it is an 'essential oil,' then it is not a pure oil and should not be used as suggested.
Although lavender is one of the gentlest essential oils, please use caution when applying directly on the skin because this can cause irritation. Be sure to patch test on the inside of your arm beforehand.
Lavender essential oil, in contrast to the plant form, can be a gastrointestinal irritant when swallowed in quantities higher than 180 milligrams.