Best for Beginners Lavender essential oil is distilled from the buds of lavender flowers. Lavender essential oil is a must have for anyone wanting to begin natural home and body care. Lavender essential oil is versatile and one of the most gentle oils that can be used by even those with sensative skin. Lavender essential oil is gentle enough even for newborn babies, and quality is most important.
Most Synthesized Lavender is one of the most widely used oils in the world. Because lavender essential oil is so useful and valued, it is also one of the most adultured oils. This means that a true oil might have additives or chemical fillers added to extend a supply. For essential oil distributors this means a cost savings, for consumers the result is an oil that is not as potent or effective, with even the potential for skin irritation from added ingredients. The untrained nose may not detect added fillers, so be cautious when purchasing lavender essential oils for therapeutic uses. True lavender is often extended with linalol and linalyl acetate – avoid oils with any of these added, they can be toxic and harmful if applied to the skin. Since the FDA has no labeling guidelines – a manufacturer can have added fillers and not indicate this on the label, make sure your source of lavender oil has certification of authenticity and purity. Mass Spectrum Gas Chromatography is one method used to test the quality of essential oils, but it is also important to have plant materials tested for Genetics to make sure a hybrid has not been used in the distillation process.
Quality Oil Results from using an inferior oil will most likely produce inconsistent results if any at all. Many lavender oils may also be made with Lavendula or Lavandin, different species of lavender plant. These species require less maintenance and produce more blooms than Lavendula Angustifolia. These plant produces lavender smelling blooms, but contains high levels of camphor. Lavender with detectable amounts of camphor is of little value by European standards for therapeutic grade.(Aroma, The International Magazine for Essential Oils. Alchemical Garden no.1 2000 Provence)
World Supply at Risk Most recently, lavender from Provence is in danger due to an insect which transmits a phytoplasma to the plants ( a bacteria ) and destroys them. This is due in part to climate changes including winters with no snow and drought during the summer. No pesticides exist today to save the lavender plants and more and more plants are sick. Researchers are working on hybrids but those are also sensitive to this bacteria.
Everyday Uses Lavender is beneficial to tissue regeneration and useful for cuts, scrapes and burns. It has been researched as antiseptic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and a relaxant. Lavender is a very calming oil and can be helpful in combating anxiety and can support restful sleep. Surprisingly, lavender can also be energizing since it really balances the body. When it’s mixed with other essential oils it harmonizes all the aromas for a balanced blend that’s pleasing to the senses.
Do not use lavender oil neat on the skin if you are uncertain about the quality of your oil- 1 drop at a time since it is highly concentrated. Only use essential oils as a dietary supplement if it is a food-grade, therapeutic essential oil. Here are some uses:
- Restful sleep – apply a drop on your pillow or rub onto soles of feet before bed
- Calm anxious mind – we use lavender when flying, going to the doctor or dentist and it’s even excellent for pets when you take them to the vet or for grooming. Since pets are super sensitive to aromas, just wearing a drop yourself should be enough to calm them in the car during travel.
- Burns – apply a drop of Food-Grade, Therapeutic lavender essential oil directly to burn as soon as possible. If applied immediately following injury, it’s not uncommon for pain to subside within minutes! DO NOT USE LAVENDER OF UNKNOWN QUALITY ON A BURN, SYNTHETIC FILLERS OR ADDITIVES COULD MAKE IT WORSE. Go with a brand you know and trust.
- Sunburn – mix 8-10 drops of lavender in a 4 ounce spray bottle – glass preferred – add 1 drop of unscented castile soap. This gel helps emulsify the oil so it mixes in the water. This chemical-free lavender spray is soothing for itchy skin and sunburn especially if kept cool in the refrigerator. This spray is also a convenient way to lightly mist your pillow before bed.
- Nosebleed- apply it neat to the bridge of the nose to stop a nosebleed
- Seasonal stuffies – apply lavender neat to the nose, around the eyes (careful not to get in the eyes) and on itchy spots or hives to decrease discomfort during seasonal changes. Follow dietary guidelines on your lavender bottle for recommended dosages in a gel cap to keep the body calm and relaxed.
The information in this article is for education purposes only and is not meant to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.