Sunday, January 31, 2010

Lavender Essential Oil

I haven't posted an "educational" post in a while and since I actually have some time today I figured it's about time I did one! I have decided to talk about Lavender essential oil today since it is by far the most useful oil. I use more of this oil in a year than I do of all my other oils combined. You might conclude that is my favorite oil but you would be wrong. I do adore Lavender and it is ONE of my favorites-I would put it in the top 10 but definitely not my favorite. So why do I use so much of it? Because it is quite literally good for everything!
It is one of the few oils that is safe to use undiluted. It can be used for beauty, first aid, for psychological well-being, and even in home made cleaning products.
For beauty-It is a skin regenerator so it can help keep skin beautiful and youthful. It is disinfecting and healing so a drop or 2 on a cotton swab applied to a zit will DRAMATICALLY speed healing. You can add a few drops to a bottle of store bought witch hazel to make a healing toner for normal or acne prone skin. It also prevents scarring if you use it faithfully.
For first aid-it is an insect repellant so if you apply some before you go outside it will keep the bugs away from you while you work in the garden. If you forget to apply it, like I ALWAYS do, you can apply a drop to bug bites to neutralize venom and prevent swelling and itching. When I have a mosquito bite I apply a drop a couple of times a day until it heals. It can also be used this way on cuts and scrapes. I even used it this summer on vacation to relieve nausea with my daughter. Peppermint would have been better but I wanted to pack light so I only took a vial of Lavender in my purse. We were at the Washington monument and she decided to jump from the embankment instead of walking around and I guess she jarred a nerve. She was so nauseaous that she literally couldn't stand. I had her inhale the lavender oil from the bottle and in a few minutes she felt better and was able to keep walking. You can also massage a few drops over your forehead and back of your neck for tension headaches.
For psychological uses-It has a reputation as a relaxing oil. It would be more accurate to say it's balancing. If you are stressed out it will help you relax enough to go to sleep. But you can also use it during the day to relieve stress without getting sleepy. You can use a burner to diffuse the scent in your house or use a few drops in the bathtub, make a pillow spray, or sprinkle a few drops on a tissue and stuff it into your pillow case.
Around the house-there are lots of nice recipes on the internet for making your own cleaning products with essential oils. Lavender is one of my favorites to use this way along with rosemary, citrus oils, fir needle, and pine.
Plus.....Lavender is not expensive. You can usually find good quality Lavender for $15/oz. When you consider that you will be using it a few drops at a time, an ounce will probably last you for a year.
Things to consider when picking a Lavender oil...........the varieties of Lavender oils will probably give you a headache so here are my recommendations (opinion). Lavender 40/42 is not for therapeutic use. Lavindin is a hybrid of lavender and spike lavender and has a pretty medicinal smell, although it has the same properties as lavender. If you want a more herbaceous oil try Bulgarian or Maillette (sweet lavender). If you want more floral try a French Lavender. My absolute favorite is High Altitude French Lavender-this is the most delicate lavender I have ever used.
I hope everyone finds this information useful. You can contact me or leave a comment anytime you would like to know more.

1 comment:

crystal said...

Great post on Lavender!! I love that they are called 'Essential' because oils like Lavender and Tea Tree are just that,'Essential' in our lives;)