If you’re new to aromatherapy, lavender oil may well be the first essential oil that you invest in. Widely used and known to be one of the safest essential oils, the healing benefits of lavender are not a new discovery. Lavender essential oil has been used in healing for more than 2500 years, and in modern times it’s used for anti-microbial, antioxidant and sedative properties.
One of the most impactful benefits of lavender essential oil is its ability to fight free radicals, dangerous toxins and chemicals, and bacterial and viral infections in the body. Studies have shown that lavender is a powerful antioxidant with antibacterial and antiviral properties. Lavender is also well-known for sedative and stress-relieving properties, and the essential oil appears in many bath preparations, pillow mists and commercial products aimed at people with insomnia.
What to use Lavender Essential Oil for
One of the multi-taskers of the aromatherapy world, lavender essential oil can help to alleviate stress and anxiety, balance sleep patterns and help with insomnia. It can also help boost mental clarity, improve cognitive function and memory.
There has been plenty of research into the stress relieving properties of lavender essential oil, many of which point to it being a potent support for sleep and relaxation. One 2014 study found that lavender essential oil was almost 1.5 times more effective at helping people fall asleep and stay asleep than prescription medications for insomnia. Combined with better sleep hygiene, lavender oil also improved self-reported sleep quality for college students. Another study of the relaxation effects of lavender reported that lavender essential oil reduced cortisol levels in healthy men, as well as potentially improving coronary circulation.
Lavendar essential oil is also well know for its healing properties of minor burns and small cuts. Adults can apply 1-2 drops of Lavendar directly to a minor burn or cut. For children all oils should be diluted with a carrior oil.
Lavender essential oil is best used as an inhalation, on its own or as part of a blend. It can also be applied topically, mixed with a carrier oil. Lavender oil isn’t considered to be phototoxic.
Safety and Precautions
Lavender is one of the safest essential oils and can be used safely on most people, but it’s not recommended for use on women who are pregnant or nursing.
Because of its sedative properties, it’s also not recommended that lavender is combined with sedative medication, as this cab cause drowsiness.
Lavender essential oil should not be taken internally, as it can be toxic if ingested. If swallowed, seek medical advice, especially if you notice any of the following:
- abdominal pain or cramp
- nausea and/or vomiting
- Vision problems
- Problems with breathing.
Lavender is mentioned in the Bible – especially in the ‘Song of Solomon’. It is one of the holy herbs used in the Holy Essence.
In Europe, Queen Elizabeth I loved lavender so much that she added it to baths and made a tea from it to relieve her migraines. In fact, she was so fond of lavender that she told English farmers to grow fields of it.