LATIN/BOTANICAL NAME: Lavandula angustifolia
BOTANICAL FAMILY: Labiatae or Lamiaceae
PLANT DESCRIPTION: Lavender is a sub-shrub of evergreen with lance shaped leaves.
PART of the PLANT UTILIZED: The flower
ORIGIN: Bulgaria and France
OIL CHARACTERISTICS: Sweet floral smell with an undertone of herbaceous or woody. It usually has no color although sometimes may appear a very pale yellow.
EXTRACTION METHOD: Steam Distilled
Lavender Essential Oil has been used and utilized for thousands of years for its amazing medicinal and therapeutic properties. The use of lavender traces back to ancient Greece. From Greece, it has spread throughout the rest of the world. For so many years the biggest producer of Lavender was England but now the largest producers of Lavender are from France. At present the cultivation of Lavender is practiced worldwide in countries such as China, Spain, Italy, France and most of Europe.
The literal meaning of Lavender is “to wash” and its complex chemical composition provides numerous benefits for our body. Through various studies, Lavender essential oil exhibits great potential healing properties that promote overall health and general well-being. This is one of the potentials that makes Lavender essential oil valuable in many ways. Since ancient times, Lavender oil has been used for various applications from skin care, healing burns and wounds, scalp and hair treatments, to psychological and mental therapy. The versatility of lavender makes it one of the most popular and most used essential oils today.
Therapeutic Properties and Uses
In aromatherapy, Lavender Essential Oil is used in massage, as a compress, in the bath, sitz baths, ointments, and skin care. It is also used through inhalation which can be done directly or with a diffuser, vaporizer, or steam.
Lavender Essential Oil has the following therapeutic actions: analgesic, anti-convulsive, antidepressant, antimicrobial, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, cholagogue, cicatrizant, decongestant, deodorant, diuretic, emmenagogue, fungicide, insecticide, nervine, parasiticide, rubefacient, sedative, stimulant, tonic, vermifuge, and vulnerary.
Based on its applications and therapeutic actions, the following are some of the many uses of it:
Digestive System – Lavender due to some of its therapeutic actions has been helpful for the relief of stomach discomfort such as gas pain, colic, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting and helps to support and enhance the function of the intestines. Massaging lavender oil directly on the tummy and the lower back can really provide relief.
Immune System – Lavender’s anti fungal properties has been helpful for those with athlete’s foot. Just soak the feet in lukewarm water with a few drops of lavender oil to assist in controlling the fungus and to relieve the pain and tension associated with athlete’s foot.
Muscular-Skeletal System – Due to its anti-rheumatic properties Lavender essential oil is effective in relieving joint pains. It is best used by massaging the oil on the affected area, which provides quick pain relief, stiffness and a decrease in inflammation.
Nervous System -Lavender essential oil has helped many manage stress and soothe headaches which are caused by stress helping to ease away tension. This calming and relaxing oil is commonly used in the bath or massage. Not only does it help with stress, it also may be effective in enforcing positive emotions. The use of lavender essential to calm the nerves and to relax the mind can greatly improve the quality of your sleep. If you are suffering from a sleep disorder called insomnia or if you find it hard to fall asleep spraying your pillow with a lavender mist, dabbing lavender behind your ears, or using a sachet in your pillow case may help put you back to sleeping mode. This oil is great to keep the body and mind relax thus promoting better sleep quality.
Respiratory System -Lavender has helped many individuals suffering with congestion from the common cold and flu which can cause discomfort. One way to use lavender for help with congestion is to breathe in its vapors through steam or diffuse it. Congestion leading to clogged sinus passages is often an underlying cause of migraines.
Skin Care – Lavender oil has many skin healing properties. It is soothing to wounds and burns and its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties are good in preventing infections. Lavender is also used for eczema and acne for these same properties, which makes lavender oil valuable in treating skin ailments. Due to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, applying lavender essential on the areas affected by bee stings, bed bugs or mosquitoes can provide great relief. Not only will it help with controlling inflammation, it will also help with itching. Lavender has also been effective in Preventing Hair Loss. In a recent study conducted by the University of Maryland it was proven that the daily use of Lavender essential oil on the scalp had shown great improvement in hair growth after several months of use. Rubbing the lavender essential oil directly on the scalp, strengthens the hair roots thus preventing further hair loss.
Considerations and Safety Information
- Keep all essential oils in a dark bottle and away from sunlight.
- Essential Oils should be used with caution by those who are pregnant or nursing and those who suffer with a serious medical condition.
- Essential oils should not be taken internally unless directed by a trained aromatherapist.
- Always use caution when using essential oils with children.
- Essential oils should not be applied topically without being diluted, although Lavender often is.
Important Notice: The information presented above is ONLY intended for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. The data in this article is not complete and there is no guarantee of its accuracy.