Lavender essential oil is extracted from lavender flowers. These flowers are also used whole in potpourri. The highly aromatic essential oil is often used in household and personal care products such as cleaners, air fresheners, shampoo, soap, and lotion.
In fact, the common name of the lavender plant or lavandula is derived from the Latin “lavare,” meaning “to wash.”
Apart from its cleaning and purifying uses, lavender also has many medicinal uses. In both standard and alternative medicine, lavender oil is prized for its calming effect and its antiseptic and antifungal properties.
In this article, we will discuss the many uses and health benefits of lavender oil and provide some easy tips to help you make everyday use of this powerful essential oil. Read on to learn more.
- 8 Uses For Lavender Oil Around The House
- How Is The Lavender Essential Oil Used In Medicine & Personal Care?
- Many Benefits Of Lavender Oil In Aromatherapy
- 22 Simple Ways To Use Lavender Every Day
- Techniques to Try
- Is It Safe To Ingest?
- Proceed with Caution
- Possible Side Effects
- Possible Drug Interactions
- Oil of Lavender Simplifies Essential Oil Use
8 Uses For Lavender Oil Around The House
Because this popular essential oil packs such powerful deodorizing, antiseptic, antiviral, antibiotic, and insect repellent properties, it is a great addition to your green living arsenal. It can be used to make a variety of natural cleaning and freshening products for the home. [source]
Here are eight quick, easy ideas for you to try:
#1 – Sanitizing Surface Spray
Add lavender essential oil to plain, white vinegar at a rate of 6 drops per ounce. Decant into a spray bottle and use to clean and disinfect countertops, sinks, and other tough surfaces. Don’t use this spray on wood or leather surfaces as the vinegar tends to damage and stain these porous materials.
#2 – Scented Dish Soap
Add lavender oil to unscented dish soap or plain liquid castile soap at a rate of 6 drops per ounce to make a delightfully scented, antibacterial dish soap. Your dishes will be sparkling clean, and you can enjoy lavender aromatherapy as you work.
#3 – Lavender Laundry Soap
Your scented liquid castile soap can double as a laundry soap, or add lavender oil to unscented commercial laundry detergent for a fresh, bright scent.
#4 – Reusable Dryer Sachets
Use dried lavender to make scented sachets to toss into your dryer. You’ll need dried lavender leaves and flowers, plain cotton cloth, and the ability to do a little simple sewing.
When your sachets begin to lose their scent, you can recharge them by sprinkling them with a little lavender essential oil. You can also use this oil to scent wool dryer balls.
#5 – Scented Ironing Spray
Add the oil to distilled water at a rate of a couple of drops per ounce. Decant the mixture into a spray bottle and use it to dampen clothing and linens as you iron.
#6 – Stain Remover
Pure lavender oil is quite handy for removing small stains from cloth and from a variety of surfaces. It is effective for removing grease, oil, tar, nail polish, paint, and the like.
#7 – Pest Repellent
Repel ants, cockroaches, earwigs, and other creepy crawlers by soaking cotton balls with oil of lavender and placing these repellent balls strategically around, in, and under your kitchen cabinets.
Soak cotton balls with the oil and tuck into closets and drawers to repel moths, roaches, silverfish, and other pests. Replace or recharge monthly.
#8 – Freshen Up
Use cotton balls soaked with lavender essential oil to help deodorize stuffy items and areas. For example, they can really help freshen your workout shoes or keep off-season shoes and boots fresh and pest-free in storage.
How Is The Lavender Essential Oil Used In Medicine & Personal Care?
Lavender oil imparts many health benefits. Some benefits of lavender oil areare:
- Lavender oil is an excellent disinfectant for the skin and scalp.
- It is beneficial for respiratory problems.
- It can help improve blood circulation.
- This essential oil has analgesic properties.
- It can help heal wounds.
- It is natural anti-inflammatory.
- The lavender oil can help relieve pain.
- It calms the nerves.
- It smells good.
The lavender essential oil is used in a variety of aromatic applications. In aromatherapy, it is used alone or in conjunction with other essential oils, such as:
- Clary Sage
- Tea Tree Oil
- Jojoba Oil
…and more to create an assortment of personal care and medicinal products.
The versatility of the lavender essential oil is quite surprising and impressive. In addition to uses in aromatherapy to treat agitation, anxiety, insomnia, stress, pain, and respiratory ailments, lavender oil also has several topical applications.
It has been found effective in treating many different conditions of the scalp and hair. For example, it is often used to treat hair loss. It is also effective as an ingredient in preparations intended to treat head lice.
Its relaxing qualities make it an excellent choice as a supportive product for integrative medical procedures such as chiropractic treatment, acupuncture, and massage therapy.
Because of its antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties, it is an excellent addition to soothing salves and creams intended to treat rashes, acne breakouts, ringworm, and bug bites.
Many Benefits Of Lavender Oil In Aromatherapy
In aromatherapy, this oil is invaluable in promoting a calm effect. It is also useful in treating headaches and helping relieve exhaustion. The scent of lavender helps slow central nervous system activity. This can help bring about a sense of peace and well-being. Adding calming lavender treatments to your daily routine can help soothe your nerves and lift your spirits.
Because of its calming qualities, lavender essential oil can be used in aromatherapy to treat:
- Nervous exhaustion
- Nervous tension
- Emotional stress
The scent of lavender helps stimulate mental activity. Practicing deep breathing enhanced with oil of lavender before and during test taking can help you cope with test anxiety and focus on the task at hand.
Aromatherapy with oil of lavender calms the nerves, lowers blood pressure levels, helps regulate heart rate, and stimulates better blood circulation. All-in-all, enhancing your atmosphere with this delightfully scented oil can help your cardiovascular system function at optimum levels. This means more nutrition and oxygen delivered to all parts of your body for enhanced muscle strength, greater mental acuity, and better overall good health.
22 Simple Ways To Use Lavender Every Day
This versatile oil is a must-have in every household. It makes a valuable addition to your medicine chest, your dressing table, and your cleaning supplies cabinet! Here are just a few of the many ways you can use oil of lavender.
#1 – Sleep Well
If you suffer from insomnia, you may find that tucking a sachet of lavender flowers into your pillowcase will help calm your nerves and bring you a restful night’s sleep. You can enhance the scent of the sachet by adding a few drops of oil of lavender.
If lavender flowers are not available to you, a dozen drops of lavender on a handkerchief held near your nose can help soothe your nerves and encourage a good night sleep.
Lavender oil, together with a good cooling pillow and a firm mattress, is so effective as a sleep aid that many people have been able to replace over-the-counter and prescription sleep medications with a cup of lavender tea and a bit of aromatherapy at bedtime.
#2 – Total Relaxation
Massage with a natural oil infused with lavender oil is remarkably relaxing and can help calm your nerves for a good night’s sleep. If you are experiencing a great deal of stress, a massage with lavender-infused oil can provide some much-needed rest and relaxation.
#3 – Calm Your Nerves & Soothe Your Tummy
Organic Tea made with lavender flowers is also calming and can soothe an upset stomach. Purchase prepared tea or steep a teaspoonful of dried lavender flowers in a cup of hot water for about 10 minutes. Strain, sweeten to taste, and enjoy.
#4 – Aid Digestion
When used correctly, lavender oil can help increase food mobility in the intestines. Furthermore, it can stimulate the production of bile and gastric juices for better digestion. It’s one of the most effective natural remedies for problems such as:
- Stomach pain
Before taking lavender essential oil internally, talk with your doctor to determine just the right amount for you.
#5 – Relieve Nausea Or Motion Sickness
Treat motion sickness or nausea by placing a drop of the oil on the tip of your tongue. It may also be helpful to place a drop behind each ear and/or at the base of your navel.
#6 – Help With Hair Loss
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease in which the body wages war against the hair follicles. The result is hair loss. Both studies and anecdotal evidence indicate that massaging the scalp with lavender oil every day can help reverse this process and stimulates new hair growth if practiced consistently. It takes about 7 months of daily scalp massage with lavender oil to promote significant hair regrowth.
#7 – Fight Fungal Infections
Topically applied, lavender oil has been shown to be effective against candidiasis and tinea (fungal infections). It is also useful in treating skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema.
#8 – Soothe Aching Joints & Muscles
Used in conjunction with Epsom salts in the bath, this powerful essential oil can help relieve pain in the muscles and joints while delivering a delightful dose of relaxing aromatherapy.
#9 – Relieve Pain
Add lavender essential oil to heating rubs or make your own rub using oil of lavender, coconut oil, or olive oil and a warming essential oil such as clove oil, oil of peppermint, or oil of cinnamon. Use 6 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil. Massage this mixture into sore joints and muscles for natural healing and pain relief.
When added to the oxygen supplement used during surgery, lavender oil can help reduce post-operative pain.
#10 – Treat Head Lice
Head lice can be effectively treated with a mixture of neem oil and lavender oil. Mix at a rate of one ounce of neem oil to 6 drops of lavender oil. See our neem oil article for full instructions. (CLICK!)
#11 – Repel Pests
In addition to treating head lice, lavender essential oil is quite effective at repelling pests such as flies, midges, and mosquitoes. Apply to exposed skin to keep midges and mosquitoes away.
#12 – Soothe Bug Bites
If you are bitten by a mosquito or other stinging insect, dab a few drops of the oil directly onto the insect bites to reduce inflammation and itching, and help promote faster healing.
#13 – Treat Minor Injuries
The oil can be used full strength or mixed with a carrier such as olive oil, coconut oil, neem oil, or aloe vera gel to treat problems such as:
- Minor cuts and scrapes
- Minor burns
Treat minor cuts and scrapes by washing the injury immediately and using oil of lavender as an antiseptic treatment. If you do not have access to water, just apply a few drops of oil immediately to help prevent infection.
Treat minor burns by applying a few drops of straight lavender oil to the burn immediately. This can help prevent blistering, pain, and scarring.
#14 – Treat Acne
Dermatologists say that lavender essential oil can be incredibly valuable in treating acne. Its antiseptic properties help combat the bacterial infection, while its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce redness, swelling, and pain. Its calming properties help soothe the nerves and manage post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety that often accompany this taxing condition.
Treating acne with healthy oils instead of excessively drying chemical products will help reduce sebum production because the skin will not be constantly struggling to replace lost oils. Lavender oil can be added to healthy oils for oil cleansing. It can also be used full strength as a spot treatment for existing blemishes.
#15 – Everyday Skin Care
Even if you do not have a skin condition such as eczema, psoriasis, acne and other kinds of skin irritations, this healthy essential oil can work wonders for your skin. Add a few drops to your nightly moisturizer to impart natural anti-inflammatory properties and to help fight wrinkles and other signs of aging.
#16 – Breathe Easier
Lavender oil applied topically, placed in a diffuser and/or added to a pot of steaming water can be helpful in treating problems such as:
- Whooping cough
- Throat infections
- Sinus congestion
For topical application, apply the oil full strength or combined with a carrier oil as desired to your back, chest, and throat.
Use a cool mist diffuser to diffuse the oil into the air of your room at 15-minute intervals on an hourly basis.
Add the oil at a rate of 6 drops per cup of water to a pot of recently boiled water. Position your face over the steam and drape a towel over your head to inhale the scented steam in a concentrated form.
These treatments can help combat bacteria and viruses, loosen phlegm, relieve congestion and coughing, and soothe sore and dry nasal passages and airways.
#17 – Boost Your Immune System
When you make lavender oil a part of your daily life, you will naturally boost your immunity to numerous illnesses. The antiviral and antibacterial properties of the oil help your body defend itself against several illnesses including colds and flu.
#18 – Relieve A Nosebleed
Enhance nosebleed treatment by adding a few drops of lavender oil to the cloth you use to make your icepack. Wrap an ice cube or small handful of ice chips in a cotton cloth and dispense 3-4 drops of lavender oil on the cloth. Hold this firmly on your upper lip under your nose and rest comfortably with your head back until the bleeding stops.
#19 – Soothe Chapped Lips
Make a soothing lip balm by adding 6 drops of lavender oil to an ounce of coconut oil. Keep this mixture in a small tub with a tightly-fitted lid to use daily and/or as a treatment for chapped lips.
#20 – Manage Dandruff
Treat and prevent dandruff with regular scalp massages using lavender essential oil. Adding a few drops to your shampoo or conditioner will also help with dandruff. If you use the no-poo method, add the oil to the baking soda you will use as your wash and to the vinegar you will use as your rinse.
#21 – Heal Cold Sores
Get relief from the pain of cold sores and promote quick healing by treating with full strength lavender oil. Apply the oil with a cotton swab up to 4 times daily.
#22 – Soothe the Savage Beast
Do not use this oil for treatment of animals without first consulting a professional, with one exception. If you are an equestrian dealing with an anxious horse, mule, or donkey, a dozen drops of lavender oil rubbed between your palms and then gently stroked and massaged over the animal’s nose can work wonders.
Of course, if your equine is too dangerous to approach or tends to bite, you should not do this, but if he or she can be safely handled, add lavender to your regular grooming routine. This practice will instill the idea that the scent of lavender signals calming. This can be very useful when preparing for a visit from the vet or farrier, or simply as a regular part of training. For use with other types of animals, consult your veterinarian.
Techniques to Try
#1 – Cupping
For anxiety, pain, headache, or to clear your nasal passages and/or lift your spirits, use “cupping” anywhere and anytime. Just keep a vial of lavender oil in your purse or pocket, and when you need a quiet moment, shake half a dozen drops into the palm of your hand.
Rub your palms together and cup your hands over your mouth and nose. Inhale deeply for relief of anxiety, respiratory distress, allergy symptoms, or just bad smells.
You can use this technique at work, on public transport, or anywhere else you like. It is also a great practice at bedtime to help enhance sleep.
#2 – Scenting
Use the oil in all your personal care products (6 drops per ounce) and/or wear it as a scent. Dabbing a few drops behind your ears, on your throat, and at pressure points can surround you with a relaxing, pain-relieving scent all day long.
As a bonus, your calming scent will calm others around you and may even help enhance your interactions throughout your day.
#3 – Here Are Some General Guidelines For Use By Adults:
- One drop should be sufficient if you use full-strength for a small injury or blemish.
- If mixing with a carrier product (oil, aloe vera gel or existing personal care product), 6 drops per ounce should be about right.
- If mixing with water for inhalation, one or two drops per cup of water should suffice.
Is It Safe To Ingest?
Lavender essential oil is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for oral consumption by the FDA, but there is still some controversy regarding this topic. Some sources say it is safe to use internally in small doses. Others say taking it orally is not safe at all and that you should avoid contact with open wounds and mucous membranes.
The problem with ingesting essential oils is that they are almost unbelievably concentrated, so it is very easy to overdo. It often takes 200 pounds or more of the raw plant to produce only a single pound of the concentrated oil. [source]
In such strong concentrations, the antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of these oils can have negative impacts on the balance of friendly fauna in your system and on your organs in general if you ingest too much or take an oil internally for an extended period.
The lavandin essential oil, an extract coming from lavandin or lavandin grosso, a hybrid of true lavender and spike lavender. Lavandin can also serve as an aromatherapy agent, but it usually comes as ingredients to solutions that can cure skin irritation and other types of inflammation. However, because lavandin oil carries stronger properties compared to the true lavender essential oil, you should not use lavandin for skin care.
Anecdotal evidence indicates that use of small amounts (a few drops) occasionally is not harmful and can be helpful. Remember that it is always best to err on the side of caution. Think of lavender essential oil and all essential oils as you would medicine and consult a professional before ingesting.
Proceed with Caution
It is important that you understand that essential oils are natural medicines. They are concentrated and can cause adverse side effects if used incorrectly (or even if used correctly). Always begin by using the smallest amount of the oil possible. Increase gradually to get the desired effect.
Do not mix oils willy-nilly. Always follow recipes carefully and consult with a professional before mixing more than two types of oil
Don’t use the oil on children without first consulting a pediatrician. There are some aromatherapy applications that can be safely used on or around children, but you should be aware that exposure to lavender has been shown to cause development of breast tissue in boys and early puberty in girls. This is because the oil can mimic the hormone estrogen.
For this reason, you should avoid using lavender essential oil in treatments for children and do not purchase the commercially prepared bath products, shampoos, baby oil, etc. that contain lavender. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should not use lavender oil or personal care products that contain lavender.
If you have a chronic condition, such as diabetes, discuss use of essential oils with your doctor before adding them to your personal care routine. For asthma, ask your doctor if you can use essential oils and discuss the various types of oils with him or her.
Before using any essential oil, perform a patch test to be certain you are not allergic. Always proceed with caution so that any negative reaction you may have can be small and contained at the outset.
Possible Side Effects
If you experience a negative reaction to lavender, it may take the form of:
- Increased appetite
- Difficult breathing
- Blurred vision
- Burning eyes
It is important to note that these reactions are mostly associated with internal use of the oil; however, if you experience any adverse side effects (even from external use), you should stop using the oil immediately and (when used topically) wash it off your skin.
Possible Drug Interactions
Because true lavender essential oil does have a calming effect and can act as a pain reliever, it may interact negatively with prescription or over-the-counter medications intended for these effects of lavender. If you are currently taking a prescription medication for hypertension, depression, or pain, talk with your doctor before adding lavender oil to your health care routine. If you are using an over-the-counter product for these purposes, try substituting lavender oil, but don’t use the two together.
Oil of Lavender Simplifies Essential Oil Use
If you’ve always wanted to use essential oils but feel daunted by the prospect of studying up on them, lavender oil is the oil for you. It is the most versatile of all the essential oils, and it comes in handy for numerous uses in personal care, first aid, and around the house.
As an antiseptic, analgesic, and mood-lifting pleasant scent, lavender essential oil simply can’t be beaten. Be warned, though! It may be considered a “gateway oil!” Once you’ve dabbled in essential oils with this powerhouse, you may find yourself inspired to learn more about all the other fascinating and useful essential oils.