What is Lavender Oil Essential?
Lavender Oil essential is arguably the most versatile essential oils among all other oils.
It can be used in so many ways for various reasons, and the best part about it is that lavender oil can be extracted naturally, at least ideally.
In fact, essential lavender oil is obtained by distillation of spikes from a select variety of the flowers of lavender.
When it comes to our health, lavender oil is famous for its relaxing effect on the body and may even be used to treat basic wounds such as bruises, skin irritations, and cuts.
Rooting its first uses to the Greek and Roman society, Lavender oil was believed to be discovered over 2,500 years ago.
Its origin was also believed to be in either the Middle East or India. Today, however, Bulgaria is the top producer of lavender oil in the world.
The townspeople commonly called it “Narda” which was short for the Syrian City, “Narada”.
The oil was a requirement to prepare the Holy Essence. Greek traders even introduced it to France which then spread to Italy and Spain and soon enough to the whole world.
For many royal families, the spikenard was used as an expensive fragrant perfume often connoting a high position when worn.
Lavender oil is still being used as an ingredient when making perfumes.
In war, the Roman soldiers used lavender oil when treating their wounds and generally to fight infections.
Egyptians used lavender oil for its fragrance as well and even created stills to extract the oil from the plant.
Scientists also discovered that they used the same oil in mummification.
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Tutankhamun, an Egyptian pharaoh of their 18th dynasty, had run with lavender fragrances on them.
Its first mention was during the medieval era when laundry women would use it when washing the clothes and sometimes put some on the clothes they are wearing.
Hence the fact that they were called “Lavenders.”
On the topic of the medieval era, numerous prominent people had used lavender oils in different ways.
Henrietta Maria, wife of King Charles the 1st, introduced lavender soaps.
Queen Victoria used lavender in washing the floors and furniture and loved it so much that it became the fashion fragrance of women.
Queen Elizabeth the 1st drank lavender tea whenever she would get migraines.
Due to this, it made lavender famous around England, and the farmers started frequently planting lavender.
English pilgrims would then introduce it to North Americas in the 1600’s.
Meanwhile in London, during the Great Plague, townsfolk would pack lavender and tie them to each hand to protect themselves from infection.
People have invented various ways of using lavender oil against sickness.
Colds and bronchitis would be treated by rubbing lavender oil on the chest and at times would be mixed with thyme.
Old men and women would carry a flask with lavender oil mixed with the carrier oil to rub on their joints whenever it would start hurting.
French chemist and scholar Rene Maurice Gattefosse was conducting an experiment that went wrong which led to him burning his hand.
Stories would say that he instinctively dipped his hand into the nearest tub he could find which coincidentally lavender oil.
Gattefosse was amazed by how the pain quickly went away and the burns healed faster than usual without giving him many scars.
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Lavender Oil How to Use
If you have gone through that whole brief history of lavender oil, you will probably have a general idea of the many uses it can do to your body and health in general.
The list of benefits will undoubtedly get longer as scientists will find more and more ways to utilize this. For now, here are some of the methods you can try:
Lavender Oil for Sleep
After a long day of work, your muscles can be fatigued and tensed especially if the job requires continuous strenuous activities.
Getting a good night’s sleep would seem like the perfect solution.
Although it is, getting to sleep is another problem.
Having all those muscles tensed may take you longer to fall asleep.
One remedy with lavender oil would be to take a bath, or better yet, get in the tub with it.
Fill your bathtub with warm water, add some Epsom salt, and finally pour in a few drops of lavender oil.
The bath would not probably feel like a jacuzzi, but you get almost the same feel from it and maybe even better soaking away all the tension from your body.
Lavender Oil on Skin
Acne forms when sebum, or your skin oil, is mixed with dead skin and bacteria.
This acne can manifest itself in the form of blackheads, whiteheads, nodules, cysts, and the more common and visible one, pimples.
These pimples are usually the reason for many people’s lack of self-confidence.
Although there are many products out on the market that claims to cure them in no time, there are possibly better home remedies for it.
Sometimes, you can even use both with lavender oil. If you can get plain cream that acts as a moisturizer or cleanser, uses it with a few drops of lavender oil.
Gently mix it in your palm and apply it to the acne.
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Lavender Oil for Burns
If you end up getting mild burns like that French chemist, you will probably look for lavender oil as well to treat it.
However, the proper procedure would be leaving your hands in running cold water for a few minutes.
After doing so, you can then place lavender oil and feel what Gattefosse felt like. You will immediately feel relieved of pain, and the burn would not leave scars when healed.
Note, however, that this only works for minor burns.
A doctor should treat major burns.
Lavender Oil for Cuts
Cuts are probably the most common wounds anyone can get.
Although frequent, it may get worse as it is always prone to infection.
Straightforwardly, apply lavender oil to the cut after washing it. Like burns, you would not get any scars from the wound if you use lavender oil.
Lavender Oil for Earache
Although uncommon to most people, earaches can still be such a bother when it does happen.
Swimming too deep in a lake, or going too high up a building or similarly on an airplane, the change of pressure can cause earaches.
In remedying this with lavender oil, you will need to make the lavender oil warm enough first.
To do this, you can place it in a container or a bottle and keep it under warm water. When done, apply only a few drops to the skin around the ear and, take note, the throat as well and massage it gently.
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Lavender Oil for Digestion
When it comes to digesting food, the first thing people would think would be bananas. Lavender oil essentially does the same.
Putting lavender oil on food actually, helps the mobility of food in the intestines.
It stimulates the necessary acids for digestion while being able to treat most stomach problems that include: colic flatulence, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Also, taking food with lavender oil also increases the body’s immunity.
Lavender Oil for Fatigue
From a working student getting less than enough sleep to a businessperson going overtime in his office, almost anyone can experience fatigue.
You can use lavender oil to help you relax.
It is in the same way you prepare a lavender bath for muscle aches, but if muscles are not your problem, you can soak and relax your feet in a warm tub with a few drops of lavender oil.
The soles of your feet are porous which will enable it to absorb the lavender into your body a lot quicker.
Lavender Oil for Fever
Fevers can be familiar to people with a low immunity system.
Although the usual medication would already do for teenagers and adults, using lavender oil would work better for kids and babies who are more prone to fevers.
It is again the same way you would prepare for a lavender bath, but this time it is for a baby. Fill their baby bathtub with lukewarm water with a few drops of lavender oil. Make sure that the bath does not get too chilled nor too warm.
Lavender Oil for headaches
You don’t necessarily have to follow what Queen Elizabeth the 1st did for her migraines, unless, of course, you have lavender tea readily available.
For those who don’t, you can use lavender hydrosol as the scent will soothe your head.
On the other hand, if you only have lavender oil, that can work too. Get a cold compress or make one with a towel.
Add drops of lavender oil and gently massage it on your forehead and your name.
Lavender Oil for Hair
Lavender oil was shown to be effective on lice, their eggs, and nits. This works well too if you have a dandruff problem.
Besides, it helps in treating hair loss especially in cases where they are caused by alopecia.
Rubbing lavender oil on their scalp promotes hair growth and is sometimes used to prevent balding.
Lavender Oil for Insomnia
There are different causes of insomnia, but lavender oil is one steadfast cure.
You would not need those sleeping pills anymore.
Lavender oil is even better as it also helps promote REM sleep.
There have been experiments that showed how using lavender oil as an aid to sleeping gets them up and more energetic than sleeping pills.
If you want that beauty rest, all you have to do is place 3 to 4 drop of lavender oil on your pillow or a diffuser.
This works on babies too so you would not have to frequently get up in the middle of the night because the baby is crying.
Parents can mix lavender oil and geranium oil and massage it on the back of your child.
Lavender Oil for Long Flights
Just sitting on your chain for several hours has already been proven to be unhealthy. Anyone whose work requires a lot of long-haul travels would feel it especially when they get lightheaded from all those hours up in the air.
Add that to the air pressure up there.
So if you have this kind of work, or are just going to take a long flight for a vacation or to visit your family, you can prepare a concoction before getting on board.
The concoction is made up of rosemary, Neroli, frankincense, clary sage, and of course lavender oil.
Although there are already medications for it, nothing beats a natural remedy. Plus, you even get to save money.
Lavender Oil for Menstrual Cramps
Yes, Pliny the Elder was right. Menstrual cramps can be such a hassle, especially during important occasions or meetings.
Women can simply apply a few drops of lavender oil on their lower abdomen.
If it makes it feel better, they can also massage it with a hot compress.
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Lavender Oil for Mosquitoes and Moths
Although this does not affect your health directly, prevention is always the best cure.
Lavender repels these sickness carrying mosquitos.
When going out where mosquitos and insects that bite well, you can use lavender hydrosol and splash yourself with it.
At night, you can leave a cotton ball with a few drops of lavender oil beside you when sleeping.
This works best when you are going out camping.
Lavender oil also works if you get bitten.
Lavender Oil for Motion Sickness
Although this does not cure motion sickness, it does give a big help when preventing the symptoms.
However, if you decide to go on a long trip, you might be needing a stronger medicine.
Lavender Oil for Sinusitis
Nose itching and wanting to sneeze all the time? The sweet scent of lavender oil can clear out the inflammation in your sinuses.
Properly done, mix a few drops of lavender oil and thyme oil in a steaming bowl. Breathe through the steam slowly and place a towel on your head while doing so.
Lavender Oil for Respiratory Disorders
Lavender oil in the form of vapor can clear most respiratory problems. Aside from sinusitis, lavender oil can help treat a cough, flu, throat infections, asthma, bronchitis, laryngitis, and tonsillitis.
It is is no surprise that it is an ingredient to the majority of the inhalers as well.
Phlegm that feels stuck in your throat can even be eliminated by just simply breathing with vaporized lavender.
Lavender Oil for Anxiety
In addition to the fatigue and muscle ache you already may be feeling after work, you will probably understand how lavender oil is extremely useful for workers.
Regardless, lavender oil helps anyone to calm down.
You can either spray lavender hydrosol on your face or massage lavender oil on your temples.
Safety of Lavender Oil
Now although these things may sound exciting to try since most are easy to do and homemade, there are few things you have to note.
It would be best to see first if you have allergies to lavender oil. In the case you do, it may be better to use lavender hydrosol instead.
The lavender oil itself is not meant to be taken internally as this may cause unwanted side effects such as difficulty breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, painful/irritated eyes, and blurred vision.
The only time when you can take pure lavender is when it is in the form of tea from dried lavender flowers
Note also that lavender oil cannot be used with some medications.
It has been advised not use lavender oil when taking medications that include chloral hydrate, benzodiazepines, and barbiturates.
If you are not sure whether your prescriptions include any of those, ask your doctor.
Lastly, people with diabetes should not be using lavender at all.
A word of extra caution goes for pregnant and breastfeeding women who want to use lavender oil.
Although the risks or side effects of lavender oil specifically for these women have not yet precisely been identified, many doctors would advise staying away from lavender oil.
When using lavender oil, know that diluted lavender oil is generally safe for adults. Children, on the other hand, may have a hard time in absorbing it.
Also, if you decide to apply lavender oil, it would be better to mix it with carrier oils and pure lavender oils may irritate.
With lavender oil on your hands, or when you place lavender oil anywhere on your face, make sure that you do not rub your eyes or blow your nose.
If it does happen, just wash it off immediately.
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Harvesting and Extract Lavender Oil
Usually, people can buy pure essential lavender oil. Lavender leaves go through steam distillation to get the oil.
To maximize it, people would advise picking the flowers when they are in full bloom as they contain the most esters which would be explained in the next paragraph.
If you have lavender growing in your backyard but do not know how to make use of it, we can walk you through a simple guide to extracting the oil from the lavender.
This way, you save money by not needing medicine by using lavender oil instead, and now you save money by getting your lavender oil.
To know when the lavenders are ready for harvesting, check if these bright flowers purple.
When you pick them, make sure that the dew has already dried off. It usually would not take long especially in the hotter area.
Clip the flowers close to the base and make sure that you clip a group as picking them one by one would obviously take more time.
Make sure that when you clip these flowers, you don’t get the leafy greens to go with it.
Finally, when gathering all of them, make sure that the flower heads are all facing the same direction.
Not that you are done the harvesting, you can now begin drying them.
To successfully do so, first classify them into three groups depending on the lengths of their stem.
Next, make a bundle of 10-15 flowers from the same group and tie them together. Hang them outside where there is enough sunlight to dry them. Wait for at least two weeks worth of sunlight, and they are dry enough for the extracting the oil.
Now that you have your dried lavender flowers get a cheesecloth or muslin, a jar, and a sterilized bottle.
Make sure that they are clean and that the bottle is sterilized.
If we want pure lavender oil, we will obviously have to remove all the possible outside factors that may mix with the oil.
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To start extracting, place the dried lavender flowers inside the jar. If it does not fill the pot, better get some more until it does.
Place the oil until the whole jar is filled. Next, treat the pot like a plant and look for a good source of sunlight.
The more sunlight exposure, the better as the sun helps in extracting the oils. Now, this is where you will have to be patient.
It ideally takes three to six weeks for the lavender oil to be ready. The time it takes can also be affected on rainy days.
Specifically, you can try waiting up to 35 to 40 sunny days until it is ready.
Lavender Oil Uses
Lavender oil has numerous uses outside of health. It has been said several times already before, but it just cannot emphasize enough.
That said, here are some of the other ways people can use lavender oil.
Lavender Oil Deodorants
The history will tell you lavender oil was first and mainly used as perfume.
The times may have changed, but lavender oil still gives that fragrant smell that you too can be like those noble Romans wearing lavender oil.
Add that sweet scent to your body and even get more benefits out of it because lavender oil works as the perfect deodorant. It kills bacteria that causes body odors.
Lavender Oil Laundry
Again, just like in history, you can use lavender oil to make sure your laundry smells great.
The antibacterial properties are again put to work but this time on clothes. You don’t necessarily have to drop oil in the washing machine.
Alternatively, you can drop lavender oil in a bottle with water and spray it on your clothes.
Lavender Oil Food Seasoning
Lavender oil has a very potent flavor. It goes in the same family of mint that includes rosemary, thyme, oregano, and sage.
Chefs mostly use it on desserts and the lavender oil is mostly responsible for making brownies, bars, cookies, raw chocolate and even salad dressing all taste good.
Some can even make lavender lemonade too. When using lavender oil for cooking, make sure to only use a few drops.
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Why Does It Work?
Having read through the history, its benefits on your health, and even its uses on food, you may be wondering how it works or why it works.
Of course, it would be a tedious task to explain the chemical compositions of lavender oil and how it goes against the chemical compositions of many diseases.
However, there are some that say that it works even regardless of its chemical makeup.
Although it is undeniable that it does provide a sweet fragrance, some doctors say that lavender oil is doubly effective due to its psychological effects.
The fragrance that lavender oil emits is soothing and allows people to relax which is exactly why it works for people who are stressed, tensed, anxious and are fatigued. It is because they are relaxed that the body can focus on beating whatever sickness they are facing.
Simply put, this is the reason why it cures many simple illnesses.
However, that is not to say that simply being relaxed due to a good smell would be a good substitute for lavender oil.
Let us not forget that this oil is also applied to the body as well and that its fragrance and relaxing ability catalyze it.
There is also the idea of the placebo effect.
People who are convinced that lavender oils will help them heal may sometimes have a better chance which does not have a scientific basis.
Although it helps to have a good mindset about feeling better as soon as possible.
That mindset, again, is exactly what is stabled when relaxed by the sweet scent of lavender oil.
Nobody can think straight and clear when in an unrelaxing environment
There is a more detailed and scientific explanation as to why lavender oils do what it does best.
People interested in learning more about this can do a simple Google search on it.
Who knows, the placebo effect might work even better once you get to use lavender oils for yourself.
Hopefully, the scientists working on using lavender oils may finally be able to find an agent to cure cancer.
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Now that you have read about lavender oil, you can go ahead and try it for yourself.
Truly, nothing beats nature.