5 Health Benefits of Lavender Essential Oil

March 9, 2022
5 Health Benefits of Lavender Essential Oil

The Charisma of Lavender

It’s insistently attractive. It demands our attention. It’s the guest that turns heads – the soul-stopping superstar of the fragrance world. It’s lavender, and it’s been our heaven-scented companion for thousands of years. First written about two millennia ago by the Greek physician Dioscorides, who recommended it for the uncomfortable-sounding “griefs in the thorax”, it’s been used for a hundred generations for anything from guarding against evil spirits to soothing the agonies of lovesickness. Da Vinci perfumed his clever hands with it. Queen Elizabeth the First liked it in jam. Prince filled his Paisley Park studios with its intoxicating, purpley magnificence. Lavender, my dears, is A-list. 

The Lavender Plant

There are 47 species in the Lavandula genus, but the variety most commonly known is Lavandula angustifolia, or English Lavender. Native to the Mediterranean, its name was anglified because of its popularity with the Royal Family (lavender was used in perfumes, as well as partaken in The Virgin Queen’s favorite condiment). But it was the French chemist René-Maurice Gattefossé, the ‘father’ of aromatherapy, who really elevated lavender’s medicinal status, after he wrote about the burn-healing properties of its essential oil in his groundbreaking 1928 book Aromatherapie. “The antiseptic and healing power of lavender oil on wounds,” he wrote, “cannot fail to impress even the most skeptical reader.” 

Lavender’s active ingredients include linalool, which gives it its heady aroma, and linalyl acetate, which is believed to have anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects. So aside from just smelling gorgeous, it really does seem to have a wide variety of physical and emotional health benefits beyond its superficial scent appeal. Lavender’s that rare creature indeed – the party guest you fall head over heels for, who turns out to be someone of real substance. A keeper, in other words. We’re in love!

The Benefits

Lavender is a multi-talented little maven, but we’ve isolated five of its most useful properties below, and provided an aromatherapy recipe for each one. If you’re new to aromatherapy, remember to start with a conservative amount of essential oils – you can always add more later! And as with all essential oils, consult your physician first if you are pregnant, or suffer from allergies.

Lavender, the stage is yours:

1. Lavender Relaxation Diffuser Recipe

For relaxation: It’s understood that linalool affects our bodies’ parasympathetic nervous system, shifting the ‘flight or flight’ response to ‘rest and digest’. One of the most profound principles of mindfulness is the idea of letting go of things beyond our control rather than reacting to them, so lavender can be a powerful ally in the (peaceful) battle against stress. Try this simple but highly effective blend of Lavender and Rosemary essential oils in your diffuser:

• 6 drops Lavender essential oil

• 4 drops Rosemary essential oil

2. Anxiety Salt Inhalation Recipe

For anxiety: It’s estimated that over 40 million adults in the USA alone suffer from an anxiety disorder – that’s one in five of us. As most anxiety attacks occur outside the home, smelling salts infused with lavender can be a real comfort. Simply fill a smelling salts bottle with an 80:20 Epsom salts / sea salt mix, add Lavender essential oil, shake, and inhale when required.

• 2 tablespoons Epsom salts / sea salt mix

• 7 drops Lavender essential oil

3. Lavender Migraine Relief

For migraine (and headaches): Many migraine sufferers report that the smell of lavender has a significantly positive impact on the severity of their migraines. Fill a roller bottle with a carrier oil such as jojoba, and add 20 to 30 drops of Lavender essential oil; add a few drops of Peppermint essential oil if you prefer a scent with a fresher kick. The oil can be applied to the wrists, neck or temples as required.

• 2 tablespoons jojoba oil

• 20 drops Lavender essential oil

• 5 drops Peppermint essential oil

4. Lavender Pain Relief Massage Oil   

      For pain relief: You don’t even really need to be in pain to enjoy the happiness of a lavender massage, but Lavender essential oil’s calming properties can also bring blessed relief to aching muscles and sore joints, especially when combined with other pain-relieving aromatherapy favorites. Try this massage blend of Lavender, Wintergreen and Black Pepper essential oils, and just cancel your plans for the entire evening.

• 2 tablespoons jojoba oil

• 6 drops Lavender essential oil

• 2 drops Wintergreen essential oil

• 2 drops Black Pepper essential oil

5. Glowing Skin Serum Recipe

For glowing skin: Thinking of accompanying lavender to that A-list party (or just to the corner store in your slippers)? Let your healthy, glowing skin brighten up those worlds! You can create a simple post-facewash serum with a combination of jojoba oil, Lavender essential oil and Tea Tree essential oil. Just apply a few drops to your skin after your usual face-care routine. 

• 1/2 tablespoon jojoba oil

• 3 drops Lavender essential oil

• 2 drops Tea Tree essential oil

Calm and Aromatherapy

Would you like to know more about the calming properties of essential oils? You can find more recipes here

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