Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)A sweetly scented fragrance, with a wealth of health benefits. Lavender oil should be a staple in all homes. Use this oil to calm the senses, ease relaxation and balance oil production in the skin.
What does Lavender oil smell like
Lavender is a beautifully scented aromatic herb with a sweet floral note. Lavender essence is described as having a dry, camphorous and hay-like fragrance
Where does Lavender oil originate from
Native to West Africa, Asia and the Mediterranean, the Lavender plant is a shrub-like perennial with purplish, bluish flowers. The flowers give off the majority of the scent however the stalks can also be used to cultivate oil, but in this scenario the scent would not be as prominent as in a good quality Lavender oil that derives from the blossoms.
What are the properties of Lavender oil
The oil has been commonly associated with its relaxation properties, which is why is used to calm the senses and aid in restful sleep. The ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Romans knew about the healing quality of Lavender and used it for antiseptic, and healing purposes as well as in perfumes. From helping problem to skin to pain relief, Lavender lives up to its name of being an ‘essential’ oil. Use it to get relief from the following ailments:
- Acne & oily skin
- Eczema, and psoriasis
- Analgesic (pain relief)
- Sedative for sleep disorders & insomnia
- Tension headaches
- Joint stiffness
- Healing of minor wounds and Burns
- Insect bites and stings
- Preventing dandruff
- Preventing Head lice
How to use Lavender oil
The inhalation of this oil will have a instant calming effect. For a quick relaxation boost drop some of the oil into the palm on your hand, rub your hands together to distribute the oil, cup your hands around your nose and take a deep breath inwards to experience an instantaneous feeling of calmness. You can rub the oil on your temples, or feet or anywhere on your skin to give an additional natural uplift. Massaging areas of your body is important for self care and helping with mindfulness and the addition of Lavender oil will make this process even more exquisite. Using Lavender in this way can help relieve stress and tension and headaches.
To promote deep sleep add a few drops directly on your pillow. If your pillows are particularly fancy, drop the oil onto a piece of tissue paper and place it close to your head while you sleep. If you have a spray atomiser dilute Lavender oil in water and spray your room for an additional way to induce sleep. If your insomnia is particularly bad,or if you are suffering with anxiety, depression or exhaustion, have a bath infused with a few drops of Lavender oil before bed time and rub the oil neat on the soles of your feet, before naturally drifting off to sleep. In addition to this try to reduce screen time in an evening to get on top of your sleepless nights and negative emotions. Create a cut off time a couple of hours before bed, turn off your TV and devices and get some whole hearted ‘me time’. Use this time for self massage, reading a book or writing a journal. Try this for a minimum of a week while cutting out alcohol and other stimulants to get the most benefit from this treatment.
The antibacterial qualities of Lavender oil are beneficial for people who are suffering from skin ailments. The oil is light and won’t clog pores like other thick creams which may cause further irritation. If you have psoriasis, eczema, acne or oily skin, use a few drops mixed with a light base oil, such as coconut oil to gently soothe the skin. If you have a serious skin condition it is always worth seeing your Doctor to get a medical diagnosis, however using Lavender as a complementary medicine alongside your prescription is a completely natural way of helping improve your healing time. As Lavender oil also reduces scarring it is a great addition to any skin care routine, whether it is to treat a single pimple, a full on breakout or to soothe the irritation that comes with psoriasis or eczema.
For wounds and scars it is important to act quickly by applying Lavender oil to the area to get the most benefits. It has been shown in studies that the antioxidant properties within the oil help to heal wounds quicker than having no treatment at all. Apply regularly to small burns, acne scars and wounds to improve healing times and the appearance of irritated skin.
Use Lavender oil as a scalp massage treatment to keep dandruff and head lice at bay and get the additional benefits of deep conditioned shiny hair in the process. Add 10 drops of lavender oil to 5mls of extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil. Massage into your scalp and cover your head with a plastic cap and towel for a couple of hours before washing. For a deeper treatment leave on overnight, to realise the maximum benefits.
Lavender oil recipes
Migraine Blend for Oil Burner and Diffusers
If you suffer from migraines or tension headaches, this blend will help you to relax and will ease any tension and discomfort. Simply mix the following oils together, then add to a burner or a diffuser and allow the fragrance to fill the room and clear your mind.
- 5 drops of Lavender oil
- 5 drops of Peppermint oil
- 5 drops of Lemongrass oil
Pore-Reducing Lavender Face Mask
Witch Hazel is a fantastic oil that cleanses the skin and reduces the appearance of large pores through its astringent properties, while the balancing effect of lavender oil helps to manage oil production.
Firstly whip together the Witch Hazel and Bentonite clay into a paste. Lightly beat the egg in a separate bowl, and blend with the Lavender and thyme oil before combining with the paste. Apply to the skin, leave for 10 minutes and wash off thoroughly for refreshed and balanced skin.
- 2 teaspoons Bentonite clay
- 2 teaspoons Witch Hazel
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 drops Lavender essential oil
- 1 drop Thyme essential oil
Oils to compliment Lavender oil
- Clary sage
Anything to note
Lavender essential oil is one of a few oils that can be used directly on the skin, however if you knowingly have sensitive skin, it is always prudent to use Lavender oil with caution. There is no harm in diluting Lavender in a carrier oil first. The benefits will be watered down but the blend will still be beneficial. You can play with the dilution until you find the right consistency for your skin type. If you have a serious condition is it always best to see your doctor for a diagnosis before using essential oils topically.
Do not use essential oils if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Store in a cool, dark place and keep out of reach of children. Do not ingest,For reference, the following study has details on how Lavender has been proven to reduce wound healing time, although at Primal Story, we don’t condone the use of animal testing.