Benefits Of Lavender Oil & How To Use It Safely
There are only a few essential oils that evoke a zealous response that individuals have towards aromas, and amongst them is certainly lavender essential oil. Just a little whiff of it can activate numerous sensations in the body. The lavender oil benefits are abundant. It treats a wide array of physical and mental ailments.
Being one of the most versatile essential oils, it has gained immense popularity in recent years. If you are new to essential oils, then it is wise to start with “lavender.” Let’s understand about it in detail.
Its aroma has the power to take you to the land of wonderful blue-violet flowers in seconds. But beyond its rich fragrance, there is much more to unveil about this incredible essential oil.
Since this is one of the most versatile essential oils out there, here is a detailed post that not only highlights its benefits but also the way it is used, the other oils it can blend with, its therapeutic properties, tips to distinguish between a real and fake lavender oil, etc.
So, let’s get started.
- What is lavender oil?
- Scientific name of lavender oil
- History of lavender oil
- Color, Consistency, and Smell of lavender oil
- Properties of lavender oil
- Chemical components of lavender oil
- Uses and Benefits of lavender oil
- What blends with lavender essential oil
- How to use lavender oil
- Side effects of lavender oil
What is Lavender Oil?
Lavender oil is a sweet-smelling, rich, and colorless essential oil, which is obtained from the lavender’s flower spikes through the process of steam distillation.
Lavender plant is a shrubby bush and belongs to the Lamiaceae family. It has spike-shaped greyish green leaves, stiff stems, and purple flowers (1).
For the extraction of lavender essential oil, the plant is harvested in the midsummer. The flowering tops are left to dry for 2 days to maximize the aroma before distillation.
Admired for its relaxing and other therapeutic properties, lavender essential oil has a plethora of uses. Besides being extensively used in aromatherapy and body care, its strong antibacterial properties makes it a great ingredient for homemade deodorants and household cleansers.
Scientific Name of Lavender Oil
The botanical name of lavender is Lavandula angustifolia.
History of Lavender Oil
In the world of aromatherapy and sweet-smelling herbs, “lavender” holds a superior place. In fact, it has been considered as one of the most incredible healing oils for centuries. No wonder, it is still one of the most-bought and popularly-used essential oils today.
However, its benefits weren’t discovered lately. Its history dates back to about 2,500 years ago when the ancient Phoenicians and Egyptians used it for embalming, healing, and making perfumes.
In Egypt, Lavender was used for the mummification process and as a perfume. Romans used it everywhere – for cooking, bathing, perfume, and soaps. They even carried lavender flowers wherever they went.
Besides using as a perfume, the Arabians, Egyptians, and Phoenicians used lavender for mummification as well. The mummies were covered with lavender-dipped attires. In Rome and Greece, it was used for curing multiple ailments.
In the Medieval period, people used to dry their washed clothes on lavender bushes just to get its fragrance. They even used to perfume their shelves, to ward off insects, and treat insect bites.
On the other hand, in the Renaissance and Medieval European times, lavender oil was sprinkled all over the castle floors to disinfect and deodorize the space. Lavender was also used in the seventeenth century during the Great Plague of London.
In fact, people in the olden days tied lavender flowers (in a small cloth bag) around their waists, thinking that it will defend them from Black Death.
Moreover, the Romans used lavender to scent baths, repel insects, treat different ailments, and sometimes, for smoking as well.
Color, Consistency, and Smell of Lavender Oil
- The color of lavender oil is usually colorless. However, it can also range from mild yellow-green to pale yellow.
- The smell of lavender oil is rich, floral, herbaceous, sweet, and yet mildly woodsy, given that the product is of high-quality.
- The consistency of lavender oil is thin and watery. However, it is not soluble in water.
Properties of lavender oil
The therapeutic properties of lavender essential oil include the following:
- Anti-bacterial – Kills many types of bacteria
- Antiviral – Highly effective against some virus species
- Anti-inflammatory – Reduces inflammation topically
- Antiseptic – Prevents infections on cuts and wounds
- Cicatrizant – Heals wounds and sunburns
- Anti-rheumatic – Reduces arthritic pain
- Anxiolytic – Alleviates anxiety attacks and nervousness
- Carminative – Helps the body to pass intestinal gas
- Analgesic – Slight pain reliever
- Anti-depressant – Uplifts mood
- Deodorant – Eliminates foul odour
- Anti-convulsant – Relieves seizures
- Nervine – Beneficial for the nervous system
- Cholagogue – Releases bile from the liver
- Hypotensive – Lowers blood pressure
- Sedative – Relaxes the person physically
- Anti-spasmodic – Helpful for muscular spasms
- Rubefacient – Reduces redness on skin
- Sudorific – Enhances sweat production
- Adaptogen – Increases the ability to fight stress
- Diuretic – Promotes urine release
Chemical Compounds in Lavender Oil
The main chemical compounds of lavender oil are Linalool, Linalyl acetate, Limonene, Lavandulyl acetate, 1,8-cineole, t-p3-ocimene, a-terpineol, terpinen-4-ol, Nerol, Neryl acetate, cis-ocimene, and beta-caryophyllene.
Note: The chemical composition of lavender essential oil varies depending on the place of cultivation and the method of extraction (2).
The chemical compounds found in lavender oil cultivated in Australia include Linalool 39.1%, Linalyl acetate 36.2%, (Z)-b-Ocimene 4.3%, Terpinen-4-ol 3.0%, 3-Octanone 2.9%, b-Caryophyllene 2.6%, Lavandulyl acetate 2.5% and 3-Octanyl acetate 1.8%.
The chemical compound found in essential oil of Bulgarian lavender include Linalyl acetate 46.6%, Linalool 27.1%, (Z)-b-Ocimene 5.5%, Lavandulyl acetate 4.7%, Terpinen-4-ol 4.6%, b-Caryophyllene 4.1%, (E)-b-Farnesene 2.4%, (E)-b-Ocimene 2.2% and 3-Octanyl acetate 1.1%.
Health Benefits of Lavender Oil
If you have just started to use essential oils, then lavender oil is a must-have product in your shelf, as it has some wonderful benefits on your overall health – be it your home, hair, skin, or body – it works amazingly well.
Considering this, here are ten such incredible benefits for you to read and be aware of.
1. Eases psychological & emotional problems
Lavender has been long used as a natural muscle relaxant and stress reliever. According to a research published in the Natural Medicine Journal in 2012, using lavender in aromatherapy calms anxiety by triggering the limbic system – the brain part that controls a human’s emotions.
Apart from this, many studies have demonstrated the positive effects of its floral and fresh aroma (due to linalool and linalyl acetate) in easing and releasing anxiety.
Another research published in the Physiology & Behavior during 2005 demonstrated how lavender scents eased anxiety levels. The test was carried on 200 people, who were waiting for their dental treatments. They diffused the lavender scents throughout the waiting room and checked their mood levels before and after.
The results showed that inhaling the sweet aroma of lavender not only helped in reducing the anxiety levels but also improved mood and secreted some “happy” hormones too.
Again in 2012, another pilot research published in the Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice indicated that an aromatherapy session involving the use of lavender essential oil does a great deal in soothing anxiety, especially in women with high-risk Postpartum Depression (PPD).
The experiment involved 28 women who gave birth before 18 months, and the researchers discovered that women who were involved in a 15-minute-long aromatherapy session two times a week and for 4 weeks consistently were able to alleviate depression apart from lowering their anxiety levels whereas the ones who did not indulge in lavender-oil-based aromatherapy sessions remained with PPD signs.
2. Relieves acute inflammatory or pain issues
Though many researchers have investigated about the immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, and antinociceptive properties of lavender oil, till date there is still lack of considerable data.
That’s exactly why the scientists at Annals of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences took up to do a research in 2015. The main purpose of this analysis was to evaluate the antioxidants, antinociceptive, and anti-inflammatory effects of lavender.
Inflammation is an intricate biological process, which involves cellular and vascular components with a mixture of soluble constituents, presenting characteristically with clinical signs like redness, heat, pain, function loss, and swelling.
Although the leukocytes play a key role in an acute or severe inflammatory response, as these are the cells that act first in defending the entire inflammatory process, external soothing with the right therapy is highly helpful.
As far as this study is concerned, it clearly highlights that lavender oil’s anti-inflammatory activity and edematogenic activity both in oral and topical treatment.
It provides quicker relief to many chronic and acute pain sufferers by penetrating into the cells, providing adequate oxygen and supplying proper blood flow to the inflamed part.
It not only affects inflammatory responses but also exerts anti-inflammatory properties at mild doses. But on higher doses, it becomes an irritant. Hence, essential oils need to be used with maximum care.
So, next time when you suffer from chronic pain, use lavender oil with the right blend (or as suggested by a licenses aromatherapist) to alleviate it.
3. Reduces Hair Loss
Like other benefits, lavender has also been recommended in treating even extreme hair loss (alopecia areata). Aalopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the immune system attacks the hair follicles. Now, this, in turn, causes extreme hair fall and eventually leads to bald spots as well as dull, thin hair.
On an average, a person can lose about 50 – 100 hairs in a day. That’s pretty normal but in a condition like alopecia areata, the count increases to some unimaginable amount. Either the person loses his or her in some parts or goes completely bald! Scary isn’t?
A lot research has been already done to prove the effectiveness of lavender oil for extreme hair loss. One interesting study was published at the US National Library of Medicine in the Archives of Dermatology during 1998, which demonstrated how blending lavender with other essential oils promoted hair growth in patients suffering from alopecia areata.
The experiment was done on 86 patients, which were divided into two groups. Group A were the individuals who were given active essential oil head massages on a daily basis whereas Group B were the ones who were given head massages with only carrier oils (no essential oils involved).
The investigation was evaluated by proficient dermatologists using two methods: computerized analysis and 6-point scale method. The results were unbelievable.
Out of 43 patients, 19 (i.e. 44%) from Group A showed a tremendous improvement in hair growth whereas in Group B, out of of 41 patients, only 6 (i.e. 15%) showed mild improvements.
The improvement levels on photographic assessments were noteworthy. Demographic analysis indicated that natural oils can be highly helpful in treating alopecia areata.
4. Soothes muscle spasms
Lavender oil is well known for its analgesic, antispasmodic, spasmolytic, and sedative properties. The oil exerts an excellent relaxing effect when applied on the skin (but in diluted form).
Muscle spasms can occur due to involuntary contraction of muscles and are often painful. Linalool and b-Caryophyllene are the chemicals attributed to the analgesic-like property of lavender essential oil (5, 6).
You can prepare your muscular blend using 5 drops of lavender oil, 5 drops of eucalyptus oil, and 4 drops of clary sage oil. Take 2 – 3 drops of the blend and dilute it using 1 tablespoon of carrier oil. Apply the mixture on the affected region.
If you find it difficult to sleep due to pain, you can diffuse lavender oil in your room.
5. Reduces headaches
Uses Of Lavender Oil
Undeniably, both lavender herb and its oil are treasured for their versatility and fragrance. While its flowers are widely used in home décor, crafting, and potpourris, its essential oil is used in baths and different products like perfumes, soaps, laundry detergents, and household cleaners.
With multiple curative properties, lavender oil can be used in the following:
- Homemade Insect Repellent: Repels mosquitoes and other insects
- Baths: Relieves stress and aching muscles
- Compress: Alleviates muscle injuries and sprains
- Foot Soak: Relaxes tired legs
- Vaporizer: Clears congestion and helps the person to breathe better
- Deodorizer: Kills the odor-causing bacteria and freshens the space with a nice smell
- Perfumery: Sweet and fresh fragrance makes it an ideal choice for making perfumes
- Aromatherapy: Diffusing it through a diffuser promotes both relaxation and balance
- Garnish: Dried lavender herb is sprinkled over the dish to add flavor and aroma
What Blends With Lavender Oil?
The blend varies from what you want to use it for. Here are a few combinations to make a note of:
- For good sleep: Lavender oil + Bergamot oil
- For scrub: Lavender oil + Olive oil + Sea salt
- For vapor rub: Lavender oil + Eucalyptus oil
- For muscle tightness: Lavender oil + Lotion
- For sunburns: Lavender oil + Almond oil + Apple cider vinegar
- For deodorizer: Add a few drops of Lavender oil to a diffuser
- For massage: Lavender oil + Grapeseed oil + Olive oil
- For deodorant: Lavender oil + Tea tree oil + Rose oil
- For insect bites: Lavender oil + Coconut oil
- For minor wounds: Lavender oil + Lotion + Aloe Vera gel
- For household cleaner: Lavender oil + Baking soda + Vinegar
How To Use Lavender Oil?
Since every essential oil is potent, it is important to dilute it before using it on skin or hair. Mix it with a carrier oil like coconut oil, almond oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, or sesame oil. Blend it well and apply on your skin and hair.
Side Effects of Lavender Oil
Anything when used after proper knowledge and in moderate is safe. However, wrong usage can result in severe consequences. No matter how organic or natural a product is, it still can cause adverse affects if not used correctly. Hence, lavender essential oil is no exception.
The possible side effects include:
- Allergic skin reactions and sun sensitivity.
- High oral doses can cause vomiting, anorexia, and nausea.
- Prolonged inhalation can cause headaches.
- Direct topical application causes skin irritation and burns.
- Oral intake is not advised. It is toxic and can trigger the central nervous system.
Soulflower Essential Oil Lavender(15 ml)
Rs. 329 in stock
- For Men & Women
- For Body
- For All Skin Types
- Herbal Essential Oil
- Quantity 15 ml
|In the Box|
|Body & Essential Oil Traits|
|Ideal For||Men & Women|
|Bath and Essential Oil Fragrance||Lavender|
|Maximum Shelf Life||24 Months|
|Skin Type||All Skin Types|
|Model Name||Essential Oil Lavender|
|Other Traits||Natural Antibiotic|
Drench your body, mind and soul with the soothing goodness of lavender after you get back from a stressful day at work with the Soulflower Lavender Essential Oil. Aromatherapy One whiff of the cleansing and restorative lavender and all your stresses and tensions are sure to simply melt away!...