The use of lavender oil dates back to before Egyptian times, where they used it to soak bandages for mummification. Nowadays, the benefits of lavender are more related to relaxation, health and wellbeing. As one of the more common essential oils, lavender is beneficial for the body and the mind. So, we’re bringing you our top 5 lavender oil uses.
What is Lavender Oil?
Lavender oil is one of the most popular essential oils, not only for its health benefits, but also for its scent. Lavandula angustifolia oil, known as the ‘true lavender oil’, has a typical sweet lavender scent. But what is lavender good for? The properties of lavender include being antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antifungal.
As well as an oil, it can be used fresh or dried, directly on the skin, or in a tea. But before you use lavender oil on skin, do a patch test to ensure you don’t have a sensitivity to it.
Top 5 Uses for Lavender Oil
Relaxation / Sleep Aid
If you’ve ever visited a spa, you will know that essential lavender oil is used for relaxation. From inhaling the scent to massaging it into your skin, research shows that the benefits of lavender oil include lowering your heart rate and blood pressure.
But did you know that you can also use lavender oil for sleep? To create your own lavender sleep aid spray, add a few drops of lavender oil to a bottle filled with equal parts rubbing alcohol and distilled water. Alternatively, you could put a pouch of dried lavender under your pillow for a night of lavender relaxation.
But take note, lavender oil alone with not send you to sleep. You need to wind down before bedtime. Turn off your phone, TV and any other artificial light sources at least an hour before you go to sleep. Try using the lavender with calming background music.
Headache / Anxiety Relief
High on the list of health-based lavender uses is headache relief. Rub lavender oil on your temples, forehead and wrists to alleviate that persistent headache. As many headaches are due to tension and stress, the relaxation effects of lavender will also relieve the pain.
Anxiety relief is also one of the well-known lavender oil benefits. A few drops in you bath will help you to settle down after a long day. If you need anxiety relief on-the-go, add lavender oil to your moisturiser, or simply carry a vial in your bag. For added lavender benefits, use the oil when you are feeling calm so you begin to associate the scent with that feeling.
Lavender oil’s antioxidant properties make it a great skincare option for those of you with sensitive skin. Lavender is one of the top beauty herbs on the market; you can find it in cleansers, toners and moisturisers. But what about lavender oil skin benefits?
Tea tree oil has always been the favourite essential oil to clear up acne and blemishes. But some find it too harsh for their skin. Instead, mix two drops of lavender oil to one drop of tea tree oil for a gentler solution. You can apply this directly to spots and blemishes.
Lavender essential oil benefits don’t stop there. You can also use lavender oil for skin irritation. As it is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antifungal, you can use it on stings, burns and skin conditions, including eczema.
Travel / Motion Sickness
One of the little-known uses of lavender oil is to relieve motion sickness. There are many over-the-counter and prescription medications used to ease travel sickness. There are also many home remedies, including eating ginger biscuits or sipping peppermint tea. While these all have varying degrees of success, it always helps to have something simple on hand when you’re feeling nauseous.
Aromatherapy is not only used to relax your mind, but also it can settle your stomach. Lavender oil, peppermint oil and ginger oil are the three essential oils that can be very effective in relieving motion sickness. As each person has a slightly different reaction to aromatherapy, you may find that just one, or a combination of the three, will do the trick.
When looking for uses for lavender oil, you may not think of adding it to your food. But recently, many are turning to natural essences to replace synthetic flavours in their recipes. Lavender oil is in the same flavour family as rosemary and thyme, so it can be combined with, or replace, either in a recipe. If you’re looking for savoury dishes, lavender works well with rosemary on roast beef, pork or chicken.
Lavender drops work well in sweet recipes, such as scones or cookies. But you can add lavender oil to any dessert that you think would benefit from a floral taste. Many people also claim that lavender infused in milk will soothe a sore throat.
When cooking with any essential oil, make sure that you are using a 100% pure oil (Lavandula angustifolia oil) that is safe to eat. Also, essential oil lavender is much stronger than fresh or dried lavender, so you only need a couple of drops.
Tips on How to Use Lavender Oil
- Whether you are using lavender for sleep or health, it can be used in different ways – directly on the skin, in a diffuser or mist spray, or even in food or drink.
- Buy organic lavender oil or pure lavender oil for the best benefits.
- It is usually safe to use undiluted lavender oil. But do always do a patch test before using new essential oils.
- Try blending lavender oil with other essential oils to create your desired effect. It works well with sweet orange, lemongrass and pine.
So That’s Our Top Lavender Oil Uses…
We’ve given you the health benefits of lavender and some of the best ways to use it. So, if you’re having trouble sleeping, or need something to soothe that insect bite, you can choose a natural remedy. Also, now you know which essential oil to request on your next spa day.
Read more great articles on women’s health.