It is said that Lavender has 167 uses. I never managed to put together the full list, but I think that it is very close.
From Ayurvedic point of view Lavender is the perfect oil that is suitable for any person. And I truly believe that no medicine cabinet or pantry should go without it.
Lavender has been used continuously for centuries to enhance food and for health as dried flowers, herbed oils, and essential oils. People were using Lavender from washing linens to soothing teas, from hiding under the corset of beautiful ladies for a pleasant smell to healing wounds of a soldier.
It is important to say that among various species of Lavender only Lavandula officinalis (other names: Lavandula angustifora, Lavandula vera) can be used therapeutically. Therapeutic Lavender is not cheap and is the most often adulterated oil. There are more than 30 different types of Lavender oils for sale. Not all of them are of a therapeutic and organic grade. Some species of Lavender contain too much ketones and are too toxic to be used in aromatherapy. Buy your lavender only from the reputable sources.
Medicinal properties of Lavender:
- Analgetic (arthritis/rheumatism, muscle pain, bruises)
- Antibacterial (according to some research it is effective against: diphtheria, pneumonia, acute sinusitis, otitis media, meningitis, sepsis, septic arthritis, endocarditis, peritonitis, pericarditis, cellulitis, brain abscess, urinary tract infections, E. coli, septicemia, ankylosing spondylitis, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus, salmonella, staphylococcus, streptococcus, gastrointestinal illness to name a few)
- Antifungal (candida, nail infection, chlamydia, tinea capitis)
- Anti-inflammatory (eczema, insect bites, sinusitis, cystitis, bruises, spraines, acne, otitis)
- Antiseptic (acne, bronchial secretions, cystitis, otitis, skin infection, influenza, sinusitis, tuberculosis)
- Antispasmodic (cramps, coughing)
- Balancing (nervous system)
- Calming, sedative (headaches, migranes, anxiety, insomnia, sleep problems)
- Cardiotonic (tachycardia)
- Carminative (flatulence, colic)
- Cicatrizant (burns, scars, varicose ulcers, wounds)
- Emmenagogic (scanty periods)
- Hypotensor (hypertension)
At this point you might feel completely overwhelmed.
Not to worry. Follow these simple rules to be on the safe side:
- Always consult doctor if you have any serious problems. Never self-diagnose or self-medicate.
- Never drink essential oils.
- Never put essential oils in your eyes, nose, or on private parts.
- Only use essential oils from the reputable sources
The following are a few suggestions on how safely use lavender for your family.
- Insect repellent:
o Add few drops to a skin lotion, apply just before your daily walk in the park
o Put a few drops on your hands, rub together, than rub your body just before going out
o While traveling, put a drop on your bed and a drop on the pillow
Note: for outdoor use you will need to reapply essential oil every few hours.
- Insect bites – apply one drop and rub in.
- Burns – apply one drop immediately, do not rub if the blister appears. For the bigger burns: soak gauze and gently cover the injured place, and go to the hospital.
- Skin rushes – apply a few drops, gently rub. Contact the doctor if the rushes persist and no improvements show in the next day or two.
- Small cuts – apply 1-2 drops. It will disinfect, ease the pain and help with healing.
- Cough, cold, flu, sinus infection – diffuse the oil in the room for a couple of hours or as long as you want. 20 drops to 1 cup of water.
- Ear infection – 1 drop of Lavender massage around the ear. 1 drop of Lavender (can be mixed with 1 drop of Chamomile) on the cotton ball, place a cotton ball into the ear. Must be applied to both ears even when the pain affects only one.
- Insomnia – diffuse the oil in the room during the night. 20 drops to 1 cup of water. Puts restless babies to sleep like a charm.
- Headache – 1 drop of lavender (can be mixed with 1 drop of Peppermint) applied around the hairline.
- Muscle pain, arthritis, back pain – ease the pain by applying 1-2 drops of Lavender directly to the affected area.
- Depression, anxiety, mood swings – diffuse the oil in the room for a couple of hours or as long as you want. 20 drops to 1 cup of water.
- Ice-cream – yummy. Only use therapeutic or food grade oil for it. Instead of vanilla flavoring add 1 drop of Lavender oil for 2 cups of ice-cream mixture before putting it in the ice-cream maker. It adds unforgettable flavor.
A word about diffusers: Only use cold diffusers (ionic diffusers) because heat destroys therapeutic properties of essential oils.
- Aromatherapy an A-Z, by Patricia Davis
- Ayurveda and Aromatherapy, by Dr. L.Miller, ND & Dr. B.Miller, DC