The most popular of the essential oils, lavender essential oil is slowly emerging as a very important ingredient in many products, starting from the perfume you use to ease those jaded nerves to new treatments of cancer. Not only does it give off a very pleasant odor, but it also has numerous beneficial properties. Lavender has been in use for more than 2,500 years now across civilisations as perfumes, as preventives of bad luck, for preserving mental health and many such things.
What does lavender essential oil do
The uses of lavender oil are increasing with each passing day. Here are some of them:
1. How to use lavender oil for soothing your nerves
The smell of lavender oil is very soothing and has been traditionally used for its calming effects. Just rub 2-3 drops of the oil in your cupped palms before inhaling the smell. The fumes, on reaching the emotional warehouse of the brain known as the amygdale gland, would sooth the nerves, calming your mind. To sooth the nerves of your body, rub the oil on the nervous hotspots like your feet, the temples, wrists and anywhere else you feel like for an immediate calming effect.
This is also very beneficial when you are travelling, especially for work, or in crowded situations, which put a lot of strain on the nerves. You can even rub a tiny amount of the oil on your clothes for that purpose.
2. How to use lavender essential oil for sleep?
This is so effective in inducing sleep that it is becoming wildly popular as an alternative treatment for insomnia, especially in elderly patients. It also does away with many of the side-effects of modern medicine. Just add a few drops on your pillow to speed up the process.
3. Beauty benefits of lavender essential oil
• Prepare a natural scrub by adding 5-8 drops of lavender oil to a baby food jar full of oatmeal. Wash your face with it by adding some water to it. It goes a long way in deep cleansing your face, preventing acnes and giving a healthy glow to your skin.
• Add some coconut oil, lavender essential oil and some Epsom salt to a small bowl. Mix well with a spoon. Store the mixture in a tight-lidded container until it is ready to use. With this scrub, you can enjoy the boosting effects of magnesium through the salt, the moisturizing effects of coconut oil, and the soothing effects of lavender all at once.
4. As a perfume
As many of the chemicals used in the artificial perfumes could be toxic, you can make your own citrus lavender perfume. It is slightly complicated, but the advantages offered by the ingredients, especially lavender, make it worth the effort. You will need 2 tbsp of beeswax, 2 tbsp of a carrier oil like sweet almond or jojoba oil, 48 drops of essential oils (12 each of lemon, orange, bergamot and lavender) and an old tin of around ½ oz. Melt the beeswax and blend all the essential oils separately. To 2 tbsps of beeswax add 2 tbsp of the carrier oil and stir the whole thing on the burner till they mix perfectly. Add the essential oils very quickly after taking the mixture off the burner. Then pour the whole thing into the container, again very quickly, and keep it covered for 10 minutes. Once everything is set, your perfume is ready for use.
5. Blood circulation
Lavender oil is very good for improving blood circulation in your body, as some researches suggest. There is increased utilization of oxygen by the organs, leading to strengthening of muscles. Brain activities too get a boost. It also leads to the improvement of skin, making it bright and flushed.
Aromatherapy with lavender oil has been found to have beneficial effects on coronary circulation, as well as lowering blood pressure and in treating hypertension. It prevents heart attacks and atherosclerosis which result due to poor blood circulation.
6. Skin care
In addition to improving the condition of the skin by improving blood circulation, lavender oil happens to be a great antiseptic and antibacterial agent. It is very effective against a multitude of skin problems like acne, wrinkles, psoriasis, etc. As it helps form scar tissues, it hastens healing of wounds, burns and cuts.
You can prepare an after-sun ointment in your home itself. For this you will need half a cup of witch hazel, 2 tablespoons of pure aloe vera gel, 10 drops of lavender and peppermint essential oils each and a spray bottle of at least 4 oz capacity. Combine all these together and mix well before pouring it into the spray bottle and giving it a nice shake. Apply it generously over the sunburnt skin and be careful not to spray into the eyes. If you have very sensitive skin, you can do with a little less of the peppermint oil, at least in the beginning.
Its natural anti-inflammatory properties can reduce itching, swelling and redness. It can also be used in treating insect bites and itchy skin.
To treat dermatitis or eczema, add a bit of lavender oil on chamomile and apply it over the affected areas.
Regularly using lavender essential oil acts as a safeguard against a lot of diseases due to its antibacterial and antiviral properties. It can defend the body against diseases like typhoid, diphtheria and tuberculosis.
8. Can fight against cancer
A mixture of lavender with other essential oils have been found to act as a preventive against breast cancer in mice, which could mean that it may have the power to battle carcinogens. However, it is yet to be seen whether this works for humans as well.
9. Stops nosebleed
Put a drop of lavender oil on a tissue before wrapping it around a small cube of ice. Push the thing under the middle of the top lip to the base of the nose. Hold it as long as the bleeding lasts, or as long as you feel comfortable. However, take care not to freeze the lip or your gum.
10. Stomach care
• Improves digestion
Using this oil on a regular basis is very healthy for your stomach as it makes your intestines more mobile and increases the production of bile and gastric juices. Thus, it helps in treating indigestion, flatulence, stomach pain, colic, vomiting, and diarrhea. However, take care not to ingest this oil directly as that may cause severe health complications like blurred vision, difficulty in breathing, vomiting and the like.
• Nausea or motion sickness
Just put a drop of lavender oil on your tongue to instantly get rid of nausea or motion sickness. It will also work if you put some oil behind your earlobes, or on your navel.
11. Lavender essential oil for aches
Lavender oil is helpful in treating pain occurring due to a wide range of causes- muscle problems, rheumatism, sprains, sore and tense muscles, lumbago, back ache.
• To get rid of joint pains, get a regular massage with the oil.
• It is also very helpful in postoperative pain relief, as has been shown by a study in which patients who had lavender essential oil vapor mixed to their oxygen experienced much less pain as compared to those who had plain oxygen administered to them.
• Adding some lavender oil to your bath water can go a long way in relaxing your muscles and nerves and relieving you of the pain and the stress.
• Adding a few drops of lavender oil to coconut oil and rubbing the mixture on your temples relieves your headache quickly.
12. The Oil Helps In Increasing Urine Flow
If you have problems with urination, lavender oil can come to your rescue as it has been known to stimulate urine production. Also, it restores hormonal balance and reduces cystitis, the inflammation of the urinary bladder. It helps in reducing the cramps that come along with such disorders.
13. Respiratory disorders
Lavender oil is very effective against respiratory disorders like throat infections, flu, cough, sinus issues, laryngitis, tonsillitis, bronchitis, whooping cough, and asthma. Applying it on the skin of the neck, back and chest or inhaling the fumes is equally effective. The fumes loosen the phlegm and help relieve the congestion. It also has many antibacterial properties which help in treating respiratory tract infection. Because of these properties, lavender is nowadays used with many inhalers and vaporizers.
14. Lavender oil for acne
Acne is caused when there is improper secretion of sebum due to dirt or oils closing the pores. The bacteria feeds on this accumulated sebum, causing red, raised sores, especially on the face. It becomes very important to get a proper treatment done for the acnes as they tend to appear in cycles, and can result in permanent scarring if left untreated for long.
Add 1 or 2 drops of lavender oil to your face wash before applying it. You can even add the oil to your skin cream or other ointments. Not only does it help get rid of those ugly and painful acnes in both teenagers and adults, but it also prevents future breakouts.
15. Lavender essential oil for hair growth
• Patients with alopecia, an autoimmune disease in which the body acts against its own hair follicles, have shown considerable improvement when treated with lavender oil. According to a study conducted by the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (NMCD), hair growth can increase up to 44% in patients with alopecia areata when applied for seven months.
• For treating dandruff, add 3 drops of lavender oil to ½ cup coconut oil in a glass jar (lavender oil has been known to break down plastic). Massage it on your scalp. It will help you to get rid of dandruff flakes, itching in the scalp, and is very effective against alopecia.
• Lavender oil has been found to be beneficial against lice, lice eggs and nits.
• Lavender oil is also used as a preventive measure against male pattern baldness.
• Just some drops of oil to some water in a spray can and shake it well. Apply it on your hair to tame the frizz and make your hair shiny. This goes a long way in making you feel fresh, especially during the hot season.
Precautions You Need to Take While Using Lavender Oil
• This oil should not be used by pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers.
• People suffering from diabetes should stay away from this oil as well.
• Those who have very sensitive skin or are prone to allergies may want to avoid it, as it can cause nausea, vomiting, rashes, etc.
• Process this oil suitably before consuming it, as it should never be directly ingested.
Lavender essential oil is very easy to procure over the counter, or to prepare at home for that matter. However, never start using it without first consulting your physician because it may cause side-effects, being a very strong oil. Also, different people need it in different measures for different purposes.