Most people love the smell of lavender, and they enjoy products that include the unmistakable lavender scent. But you may not know that the benefits of lavender oil extend far beyond its pleasant aroma. Diverse and effective, lavender oil is sometimes referred to a “first-aid kit in a bottle.” That is due to lavender oil’s diverse healing properties. It is analgesic, anti-depressive, anti-fungal, antihistamine, anti-inflammatory, anti-infectious, carminative (smooth muscle relaxing) and sedative.
It enhances immunity by increasing the production of white blood cells and supporting the body’s fight against infection. Lavender has significant antiseptic and antibacterial properties along with a very low toxicity, making it great to “wash out” infection.
Studies have shown the benefits of lavender oil for a variety of nervous and psychological disorders including depression, insomnia, migraine, hysteria, nervous tension and paralysis. It can be used to help relieve epilepsy, convulsions, catalepsy and other nervous conditions like manic depression and nervous exhaustion. Research in Japan demonstrated that lavender aromatherapy helps alleviate premenstrual emotional symptoms.
You can enjoy the benefits of lavender oil by adding it to a hot footbath and relax while your feet soak. The soles of the feet are particularly porous, so lavender reaches your bloodstream very quickly through this application. If you struggle with sleep deprivation add lavender oil to a warm bath before bed or apply topically to your body. To help your baby get to sleep, add lavender oil in carrier oil and massage into a babies back and feet or add a few drops in their bedtime bath.
You might be surprised to learn that lavender oil is very effective in healing burns. The ancient Romans and the Greeks used it for this purpose. Lavender was used extensively to relieve pain and prevent infection during World War I when medical supplies became scarce. When a high-quality therapeutic-grade lavender oil is used, pain relief is almost immediate, and a burn usually heals without scarring.
A common concern with burns is uncontrollable infection. Research is demonstrating the benefits of lavender in the laboratory against bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics (such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus [MRSA]). To treat a minor burn, cool the area by immersing it in running cold water for five minutes and then gently stroke on therapeutic-grade lavender oil.
Do you have skin issues? Lavender can help. It has been shown to help with acne, blemished skin, burns, chapped skin, dry skin and general skin rehabilitation. It is a great astringent for all skin types, and it can help reduce old scars and sunburn lines.
Local allergy sufferers will be glad to learn that lavender is one of several essential oils that aromatherapists recommend to relieve respiratory issues like sinus irritation and infections. For sinusitis, add two drops of lavender and oregano oil to a bowl of near-steaming water and inhale slowly and deeply, with a towel over your head and bowl. You can also use a combination of lemon, peppermint and lavender oil to relieve allergies symptoms.
All of this makes lavender a wonderful oil to add to your healing repertoire and a great oil for beginning users.