If you only have room for one essential oil in your life, choose lavender! It has beneficial effects on mind and body, uplifting for the spirit with wonderful calming and restorative properties, making it almost a complete first aid kit in a single small bottle!
Here are some ways you can use lavender oil to harness its benefits. Please bear in mind these two important points.
- If you are pregnant, you should not use lavender oil in the first trimester. Consult your healthcare practitioner for any concerns first.
- If you are using lavender oil on your skin, be sure to buy a therapeutic grade of the oil, preferably organic.
Calming the mind and aiding sleep
Just two or three drops of lavender essential oil can be inhaled to calm your mind. Take deep, gentle breaths in through your nose and slowly exhale through your mouth. As you breathe the fragrance in, you will feel calming effects in just a few minutes. This is good exercise before bedtime.
You can also rub a couple of drops onto pulse points at your wrists, temples, ankles and behind the knees to enjoy the soothing effect on your body. Lavender oil dropped onto your pillow at night aids restful sleep and helps prevent nasal congestion that can lead to snoring and disturbed sleep.
First aid for your skin
A small phial of lavender essential oil is the perfect size to carry in your purse as a mini first-aid kit. Use it for
- Minor burns. For minor scalds and burns where the skin is not broken; put two to three drops of essential oil directly onto the affected skin and smooth it on. This should prevent redness and swelling as well as the pain of a burn.
- Minor cuts. Be sure to use the therapeutic grade oil for use direct onto cuts. It will kill any bacteria that have been introduced into the cut, leaving the wound clean and stem any bleeding.
- Insect bites and stings. These can be soothed with just a single drop of the essential oil to relieve the itching and reduce any swelling. Repeat the application as necessary. The natural antibiotic will help the bite to heal.
- Eczema and contact dermatitis. The misery of dry flaky skin, redness and itching can all be relieved by mixing a few drops of oil with “carrier” oil. Some eczema sufferers however also have allergies to nuts, so be careful with your choice of oil. Olive oil is safe and effective. Other oils you could use are sesame or coconut. The mixture will keep for a few days in the refrigerator and can soothe wonderfully when used chilled. Generally, you can make up small batches as needed.
- Seasonal allergies such as hay fever. Lavender oil is one of the essential oils which are safe to take orally (do not ingest other oils unless you are absolutely certain they are safe). For allergy relief, two drops each of lavender, lemon and peppermint oil taken in a small glass of water will help to relieve symptoms of hay fever, pet dander and dust allergies.
- Cold Sores. A single drop of lavender essential oil smoothed onto the telltale stinging and tingling spot – the precursor of a cold sore – can often stop one in its tracks and will certainly lessen its severity. Lavender is also wonderful to use on chapped lips in the winter or sun and wind-burned lips in the summer.
Relieving symptoms of motion sickness
Travel sickness is a misery, but just a single drop of lavender oil on the end of the tongue or behind the ears is effective at alleviating the symptoms. If you have a carsick pet dog, you can also rub a drop behind its ears – it is both effective and calming for a dog distressed by a long journey!
Using lavender at home
Just one teaspoon of lavender essential oil combined with sixteen ounces of white vinegar in a glass bottle will make an effective and fragrant laundry rinse. Store your rinse in a cool dark place and add a quarter cup to the rinse dispenser of your machine when doing the laundry.
Make your own linen spray with a non-aerosol spray bottle filled with cooled boiled water to which you add a few drops of lavender oil. Use this on sheets and towels and to damp household linens before ironing. This same mixture is great for using as a room freshener, more environmentally friendly than aerosol cans or plug-ins and highly effective against pet odors and pungent kitchen smells.
There are literally hundreds of ways to use lavender oil for health and well-being, for minor first aid and to replace chemical sprays and fresheners in your home. Find out more about its properties and start using it yourself.
Try our Lavender Cream Scrub, Not only does it exfoliate dead skin cells, it also moisturizes your skin tenderly, leaving it soft and supple. Lavender essential oil helps to relax and balance your mind and soul. Try it now!