Lavender essential oil (Lavandula angustifolia) is derived from the flowers and leaves of the Lavender herb. It is considered one of the most versatile of all essential oils and has many therapeutic and beauty benefits. The birth of Aromatherapy science can also be attributed to this wonderful oil. It is believed that Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, the Father of modern Aromatherapy, discovered the healing benefits of various essential oils thanks to Lavender oil. He happened to burn his finger accidentally while working in his lab one day and without thinking dipped it in a jar of Lavender oil. Rene was pleasantly surprised to get immediate relief from the pain and thus was born his curiosity to study the compounds of various plant based essential oils.
Let us study some of the healing benefits of Lavender oil.
The term Lavender has been derived from Latin Lavando and the verb ‘lavare’ which means to bathe. Ancient Greeks and Romans used this herb and its flowers extensively to make their bath waters more fragrant. The first medicinal use of Lavandula plant can be traced back to as early as 40-90 AD. In Rome and Egypt, this oil was a standard in medicine as well as cooking. Its wide range of capabilities shows that the oil has withstood the test of time and has inspired generations, eras and cultures.
Lavender oil is a potent antioxidant meaning that it can fight free radicals created by stress, toxins, pollutants and chemicals. These culprits are even known to cause cancer and cellular damage. In a 2012 study in China, researchers found that mice treated with lavender oil showed enhanced antioxidant enzyme levels and a later study in Romania also noted similar activity in rats that were made to inhale lavender oil.
A 2014, 15-day study on diabetic rats proved that lavender oil inhalation treatment protected the affected rodents from hallmarks of diabetes including increased weight, depletion of antioxidants, high levels of blood glucose, and liver and kidney dysfunction.
As per a report in 2013, published in the International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice, researchers gave gelatin capsules filled with Lavender oil to test subjects. The results were astounding in that the patients showed fewer sleep disturbances, reduced anxiety levels and improved quality of life. The report also talked about fewer drug interactions, side effects and withdrawal symptoms among addicts.
Hundreds of published studies have documented the antibacterial and antifungal properties of Lavender oil and its use in treating and preventing infections. Scientists from South Africa tested various blends of Lavender and other essential oils and found these synergistic combinations extremely powerful against microbes and pathogens. The study especially highlights the antimicrobial activity of lavender cinnamon and lavender orange oils.
When mixed with soothing carriers like coconut oil, olive oil or aloe gel, at a ratio of 12 drops of oil per 1 ounce carrier, the essential oil of lavender showed protection against sunburn, dry skin, scrapes, cuts and minor sores. Studies also show that hypoallergenic activity can also be mitigated with the use of the oil.
One British study examined the effects of Lavender aromatherapy on critical care patients. At the end of the study, researchers concluded that patients who were administered aromatherapy for 15 days continuously slept better and had lower anxiety levels. The study went on to recommend aromatherapy with Lavender oil to cardiac patients in ICUs. Other studies have also showed that exposure to Lavender oil just before bedtime results in increase in percentage of sleep time spent in the Slow Wave Sleep Stage, which is essential to deep, restful and nourishing sleep.
Add a few drops of the oil to running water while filling a tub and soak in it to soothe aching muscles. In the shower, add a capful of lavender oil to a tumbler of water and pour it over your hair and face. This will alleviate dandruff and acne and also open your sinuses. You can also add it to a foot bath to relieve cracked heels, toenail fungus and other skin infections.
Add lavender oil to a diffuser or burn it using a tea light candle to make your entire home smell fresh. Inhaling the vapors of pure lavender oil will help you sleep better, reduce anxiety and melt away stress. Use this remedy during cold and flu season to ward off microbes and germs.
Spray a bit of pure lavender oil on a handkerchief and sniff away throughout the day to melt away anxiety, stress and also alleviate colds and sinus infections. Also, spray it directly on sunburns, ringworm, cuts, burns, scabies, rashes, mites, acne, insect bites or stings, animal bites, etc. to soothe away pain and prevent infections. Spray the oil on bedding, mattresses, pet beds, etc. to keep away fleas, flies, ticks and bed bugs.
Add a few drops of lavender oil to cold or hot water. Soak a cloth in it and squeeze away the excess water. Press the cloth down on the skin where you experience pain, sprain, insect bites or cuts, etc. A cold compress is best for muscular sprains while warm compresses can soothe away cramps, swellings, headaches etc.
Our products that contain organic essential lavender oil:
Lavender Oil: A Beginner's Guide Revealing the Power of Lavender Oil by Jeannie Lambert
The Benefits of Natural and Essential Oils Quick Guide: Health/Cooking/Beauty by Tamikio L. Reardon
The Healing Power of Essential Oils: Soothe Inflammation, Boost Mood by Eric Zielinski, D.C
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