Lavender Essential Oil
Loved and cherished by many cultures for its valuable medicinal properties and its fine fragrance, Lavender has always been the most popular of all the essential oils.
The pure essential oil is steam distilled from the fresh flowering tops of Lavendula officinalis (true Lavender) and others. There are many species of Lavender used commercially for essential oil production – not all of these are considered suitable for oil production with many NZ varieties distilled from Lavenders that give high yields of oil, but little in the therapeutic value of the essential oil. At Cottage Hill Herbs we import our essential oil of Sweet Lavender from France where the oil is produced from the true Lavender (Angustifolia) – this is the variety discussed in this article as we consider it to be one of the best available.
Be aware that there are hundreds of varieties of Lavender – only the true Lavenders are those we use for therapeutic benefit. The word “Lavare” (Lavender) means “to wash”. Herbalists and aromatherapists regard Lavender as the most useful and versatile essential oil for therapeutic purposes. Please ensure that any essential oil used for therapeutic action is truly a pure essential oil and not altered or synthetic as these would indeed be dangerous to use as this article will suggest.
- Without doubt, if one were to choose only a single essential oil to have in the home and/or the first aid kit – Lavender would be the undisputed choice.
- A very safe pure essential oil – Lavender is used extensively by midwives during the birth process and many hospitals also use it, for oncology, maternity and burns units to name a few.
- Its antiseptic properties make it ideal to use for treating colds, catarrh, sinus, coughs, flu, ear ache, as well as in the treatment of wounds, stings, ulcers, cystitis and catarrhal discharge.
- According to Tisserand – Lavender inhibits mycobacterium tuberculosis, staphylococcus, gonococcus, typhoid and diphtheria. Vapourised Lavender will destroy pneumococcus and haemolytic streptococcus within 12 to 24 hours.
- Being a good antispasmodic, it may be used for the management of asthma and bronchitis.
- Because of its low toxicity, it is considered along with German and Roman Chamomile, one of the safest essential oils to use for children.
- An excellent essential oil to use for burns, scalds etc. Its effectiveness in the treatment of burns has led to its use in burn units in European and UK hospitals. Having antiseptic and analgesic properties, it eases the pain of a burn and prevents infection. With its cytophylactic properties it will promote rapid healing and helps reduce scarring.
- Lavender is also useful for the treatment of sunburn and sun stroke. Also great for insect bites, bee stings etc, preventing itching and scratching. It is also useful as an insect repellent.
- When making your own skincare creams, ointments, hand creams etc – Lavender has many beneficial properties for skin healing and repair, as well as imparting its wonderful fragrance. It can be used in the treatment of dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis and acne, or for all skin types in general skin care.
- Lavender is antispasmodic, analgesic and a relaxant, so is most suitable for painful conditions, headaches and inflammation, when used in creams, lotions, massage or bath oils, or simply added to bath water or rubbed into the temples, back of neck or other painful areas.
- Lavender has both a sedative and tonic action to the heart. It will help lower blood pressure, ease nervous tension and palpitations, whilst it has a stimulating effect for someone with a weak heart, shortness of breath, fatigue upon exertion, cold extremities and depression.
- Lavender eases the pain, itch and discomfort of chickenpox, measles and shingles. For colic and tummy pain, apply a massage oil containing pure essential oil of Lavender.
- Lavender can be used as an excellent deodorant and/or for smelly feet (foot bath).
- Lavender is a traditional remedy for insomnia. Place a few drops on pillow or linen for a restful sleep.
- Lavender oil is effective in the treatment of scabies (school sores) and other conditions such as fleas and lice infestation, also herpes.
- Lavender essential oil strengthens the immune system and can assist the body in resisting as well as combating infection. To help build up resistance levels, take a bath at least twice weekly, using around 10 drops or lavender oil in the water. This is also useful for treating depression, although it is suggested to add other anti-depressant oils such as Jasmine, Rose or Neroli.
- For acne or spots, apply the essential oil neat to spots, night and morning.
- Lavender oil can be a valuable aid, if used in conjunction with other therapies for epilepsy. Use at the onset of a seizure.
Pure essential oil of Lavender is available in our herbal store in 12.5ml and 25ml sizes.