Lavender: the multi-purpose essential oil

Franz Eugen Koehler - Lavender Botanical ChartLavender oil is best known for its calming and relaxing effect. Although it does a brilliant job at helping us relax and unwind (and even reduce anxiety if we are inclined to fidget), it’s somewhat short-changing this amazing oil not to mention its other powers.

The benefits of lavender are many and include analgesic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic and decongestant properties (amongst others) – it is truly an all-purpose oil that should be a staple in every home. It can be used for pain relief, to treat small burns and insect bites, it works a charm as a mosquito repellent, it’s especially wonderful as a treatment for dry, sensitive or oily skin, it can soothe bronchial cough and improve sleep quality. Not bad!

Need ideas? Here are a few uses for lavender oil:

  • When you feel a headache coming on, massage a small amount into the temples and back of the neck.
  • A rogue pimple won’t last long if you apply neat lavender oil on.
  • If you have a cold or a scratchy throat, use lavender in an oil burner or diffuser to breathe in all its antiseptic goodness.
  • Add a few drops on your pillow to sleep like a baby.
  • Lavender can do the job of moth balls (and smells so much better), so stash some lavender bags in your cupboards and refresh them with a bit of oil from time to time.
  • If you have dry or sensitive skin, mix 1 to 2 drops of lavender oil to some cold-pressed jojoba and apply to cleansed skin at night, just before bed.
  • A nightly lavender compress on the face does wonders for congested and problem skin.
  • Add 1 to 2 drops to your sponge in the shower – this is especially good if you shower at night.

How do you choose a good lavender essential oil?

Lavender growing in fieldChoose a steam-distilled, preferably organic or ethically harvested lavender of the species ‘Lavandula angustifolia’. You might come across Lavandin – which is a hybrid and grown for its perfume more so than its aromatherapeutic properties, so give it a miss if what you are looking for are all of the above listed benefits (lavandin does smell fantastic though!).

We stock The Oil Garden and Tisserand Lavender Essential Oils if you’re now convinced you cannot do without some lavender in your home, and we’ve got a selection of lavender products you can browse for some inspiration. As a treat tomorrow, we’ve even got a guest review for some lavender bath therapy. Don’t you feel relaxed already?

-If you’ve never used essential oils as part of your skin care routine before, please don’t exceed the number of recommended drops as they are extremely concentrated and potent!
-Some essential oils should also be avoided during pregnancy and with certain medical conditions like high blood pressure. To be on the safe side, ask your doctor first and always read the information leaflet in the box.

(Image credit: 1, 2)

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