What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are organic compounds extracted from the bark, flower, fruit, leaf, seed or root of a plant or tree and have several healing properties. The oils in the plants are made up of very small molecules that can penetrate your cells, and some can even penetrate the blood-brain barrier. These oils are highly concentrated and have a strong aroma and can be used in aromatherapy and their benefits range from mental to physical healing.
What Is Lavender Essential Oil?
Lavender essential oils come from lavender plants. It is known to be an antioxidant, antimicrobial, sedative and antidepressant. For these reasons, Lavender essential oils are used in aromatherapy for inducing sleep, alleviating stress, anxiety and depression, pain relief and more.
Lavender oil may be one of the most well-known essential oils, especially when it comes to relieving stress and helping you to go to sleep. It can be used in several different ways but can provide the same helpful benefits, mentally and physically. Let's see how we can use this amazing, aphrodisiac of an oil to help us reduce stress, relax, and get a better night's sleep.
Benefits of Lavender Essential Oil
Reduce Anxiety, Stress and Depression
By inhaling or ingesting lavender essential oil, you can reduce the symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. It has been shown to reduce the emotional and physical signs of stress by lowering blood pressure and the heart rate. Due to its antidepressant and sedative properties, it evokes feelings of relaxation and calm.
Improves Sleep and Reduces Insomnia
Having a tough time falling asleep or staying asleep at night? Before taking sleep medications, you might want to try lavender essential oil first.
For the same reasons lavender essential oil relieves stress, anxiety and depression, it can also help reduce insomnia. Due to the sedative and antidepressant properties of this essential oil, you can get a better night’s sleep, reduce sleep disturbances, improve the quality and length of sleep.
Helps Heal Burns and Wounds
When applied topically, lavender essential oil can be used to help speed up the healing process of scrapes, burns and cuts. It can also help fight against infection that may incur due to its antimicrobial properties. The healing process can be enhanced when mixed with other essential oils such as clove, cinnamon and tea tree.
Mix 3-5 drops of lavender oil with ½ teaspoon of coconut oil and apply to affected areas. The anti-inflammatory properties of the oil will help relieve the pain intensity and inflammation.
Relieves Nausea and Stomach Discomfort
Before taking that road trip, that boat ride or airplane trip, inhale lavender essential oil to relieve the symptoms of motion sickness- nausea. Use 2-3 drops of lavender oil topically or in a diffuser to help relieve nausea symptoms especially if it is caused by anxiety or physical pain.
Restore Skin Complexion and Reduce Acne
The antioxidant properties of lavender essential oil, you can reverse the signs of aging, get rid of age spots when applied topically. It can also reduce and alleviate acne due to its inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.
Mix 3-4 drops of lavender essential oil with ½ cup of a carrier oil such as coconut oil or jojoba oil together and massage gently onto your skin. You can also add 3-4 drops of lavender oil to your face wash. You can mix lavender oil with frankincense essential oil and apply it to your skin in the morning, after a shower and right before bed to reduce inflammation and signs of aging and dark spots.
Natural Perfume for Men and Women
Lavender essential oil is gentle enough for you to add 2-3 drops of oil directly on your skin and hair for a lasting perfume. If you want a more, subtle fragrance, add a few drops of lavender essential oil to a carrier oil and apply to your skin with essential oil roll ons.
Non-toxic Air Freshener
If you are wanting to freshen your air naturally, dilute 2 drops of lavender essential oil with ½ cup of water. Shake well and spray on yourself. You can also use this mixture to spray on your clothes, towels, sheets, pillows and around the room. You can also diffuse the oils into the room for a calming and relaxing sensation.
Add relaxing lavender bath salt to your bath. Add 15 drops of lavender essential oil and one cup of Epsom salt to your bath for added relaxation. You can add a few drops to your shampoo and to your face wash for added benefits.
Natural Lip Balm
Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to shea butter, jojoba oil, coconut oil or any other carrier oil and apply this mixture to your lips. This can prevent sunburn on your lips and can heal chapped dry lips.
Essential Oil Applications
Essential oils can be used to help with many ailments ranging from mental to physical ailments. You can find an essential oil that helps with just about anything. Think of them as nature’s gifts. We can reap the benefits of essential oils through aromatherapy, oral application or topically. Each application has its own benefits and its own precautions.
Aromatherapy is a term used when we use essential oils aromatically. When the aromas of an essential oil Is inhaled, the molecules enter the nasal cavities and stimulate mental responses in the limbic system which can trigger a powerful emotional response.
Aromatherapy can be obtained by adding a few drops of oils to your bath or shower, by relaxing in a warm bath with bath salts and essential oils, by diffusing the oils in an essential oil diffuser, using room or body sprays containing essential oils, essential oil nasal inhalers, essential oil roll ons used as perfumes or colognes, or just simply inhaling the aromas from the bottle.
Topical application is the process of placing essential oils on your skin, hair, mouth, teeth, nails or mucous membranes of the body. When the oils are applied to the skin, they are absorbed and penetrate the skin rapidly due to their small molecular makeup.
Most essential oils need to be diluted with carrier oils such as coconut oil or almond oil before direct application to the skin. Essential oils are highly concentrated and can cause serious harm or negative skin reactions if not diluted or used properly. Once mixed with a carrier oil, you can apply the mixture directly to the bottom of your feet, pulse points, the affected area, rims of the ears or using a compress.
You can use essential oils topically through body butters, lotions, bath salts, body scrubs, essential oil rollers or massage oils that contain essential oils in them.
Lavender Oil Precautions
Lavender oil may cause skin irritations or allergic reactions for some people when applied topically. If you experience nausea, vomiting or headaches after using lavender oil, discontinue use immediately and seek professional help.
Essential Oil Precautions
When using any type of essential oil topically for the first time, it is always safe practice to perform a patch test on a small part of your skin before full body application. To do this, dilute the essential oils in a 1:1 ratio, then apply a small amount to the inner part of your forearm or a sensitive part of skin. Wait 24- 48 hours to be sure that no negative skin irritations occur such as swelling, redness, hives or rashes. It is best to start with an even ratio, then work your way up slowly to avoid any irritations.
When inhaling essential oils for the first time, keep the amount of exposure at a minimum to be sure you or anyone else in the household doesn’t experience any negative effects of the aromas. If you do, then ventilate the room being diffused immediately. If irritations continue to occur, seek medical or professional help.
If you are ingesting essential oils, it is critical to make sure that the essential oils you use are safe and pure and are a very high quality, organic, “therapeutic grade” brand. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers these safe for consumption and has approved some essential oils generically for internal use and given them the generally recognized as safe (GRAS) designation for human consumption.
It is best to talk to your doctor if you are unsure how using essential oil will impact existing health conditions such as heart disease, liver damage, cancer or skin disorders. If you have a reaction, or unsure about using any type of essential oils, it is best to speak with your doctor.
If you are taking any medications that you are not sure if they will interact with essential oils, be sure to speak to your physician before use. If you are pregnant, nursing, or elderly, be sure to speak to a physician or professionally before using essential oils.
Read more about: Essential Oil Safety
Essential Oil Storage
Be sure to keep essential oils out of direct sunlight. Some essential oils are light sensitive and will lose their benefits if exposed to direct sunlight or heat. Some essential oils can be corrosive if used in plastic in their concentrated form. This is also why most essential oils or products that contain essential oils in them are packaged in deep amber or cobalt glass bottles.
Be sure to keep your essential oils in a cool dry place out of the reach of children and pets.
Read next: Ways to Use Eucalyptus Essential Oil
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The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. Self Verve is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. Be sure to contact your physician before trying any of the items stated in the above article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. Self Verve does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.