20 Imaginative Ways to Use Lavender Oil
Lavender (lavandula angustifolia) is one of the most versatile herbs and incredibly efficacious as an essential oil. Its botanical name, Lavandula, comes from the Latin, lavare, which means “to wash.” It was probably named for its use cleaning wounds, washing linens, and in bathing in general.
Keep a bottle of lavender oil with you at all times and you’ll have your own personal perfume, first aid kit, tonic, and pick-me-up. Its health benefits run the gamut from anti-fungal remedy to pain relief and the fragrance is therapeutic and calming. Lavender can be used in many forms including as a dried herb, essential oil, distilled in water, and as a food-grade oil. Here are 20 ways of using lavender as an essential oil.
- Anti-Bacterial – Its anti-bacterial qualities make lavender one of the most remarkable herbs in use today. Studies have shown that lavender essential oil is effective against different strains of bacteria and types of fungus. Scientists in the UK found the antimicrobial qualities of lavender to inhibit the growth of methicillin-sensitive and resistant staphylococcus aureus (MSSA AND MRSA). MRSA was created by western medicine’s overuse of antibiotics and there is no known cure for it. When mixed with natural surfactants, lavender oil can also improve household cleaners, clean infected wounds, prevent infection, and expedite healing.
- Anti-Fungal – Lavender oil can be used as an anti-fungal agent. Western medicine falls short when diagnosing and treating fungal, yeast, and mold infections. By the time these infections are diagnosed, they are often far advanced. Lavender oil can be applied topically on skin infected with ringworm, nail fungus, or diluted and applied externally to bacteria infected wounds. Diffuse lavender oil into the air to kill germs, enhance respiratory conditions, and boost oxygen levels in the blood.
- Insect Repellent – Lavender serves as a natural insect repellent and is a safer option than most topical insect sprays. Many bugs simply do not like the smell. You can strategically plant lavender near your doors and windows to deter insects from entering your house, hand dried lavender inside to repel moths, and rub on infected skin to remove scabies. Sprinkle lavender oil on blankets, pillows, or your mattress to prevent insects from burrowing in your bedroom.
- Insect Bites and Stings – Lavender oil can alleviate the symptoms of insect bites and bee stings. Put a drop of essential oil on the site of irritation to stop the itching and reduce swelling.
- Clarity – Lavender is highly effective at soothing, calming, balancing and revitalizing. The overall effect is one of heightened clarity. Lavender oil in a hot bath or foot soak can cut through fatigue while calming your nerves. Dried and mixed with other beneficial herbs, such as clary sage and frankincense, it makes a good aromatherapy pouch.
- Emmenagogue – Lavender is an emmenagogue. Emmenagogues (also spelled emmenagogs) are herbs that promote menstruation by stimulating blood flow in the pelvic area and uterus. Women who are pregnant or nursing should consult with their doctor before using lavender oil for this purpose.
- Calming – Considered calmative, sedative, and antidepressant, lavender essential oil or lavender-infused water has long been used to alleviate anxiety and calm the nerves. Place a few drops on temples, jaw, or forehead to diffuse stress.
- Sleep Aid – Due to its calming effects, lavender is a fantastic sleep aid. Sprinkle a drop or two of essential oil directly on your pillow or diffuse it to alleviate symptoms of insomnia. Add dried lavender to your favorite tea blend for a soothing cup before bed.
- Cuts and Burns – In addition to being antifungal and antibacterial, lavender oil is also antiseptic, analgesic and antimicrobial. Place a drop of oil on cuts or shallow wounds to stop the bleeding. Use lavender oil both to clean the wound and kill the bacteria.
- Eczema and Dermatitis – Lavender essential oil mixed with a carrier oil, such as coconut or sesame, can be used topically to treat eczema and dermatitis.
- Nausea and Motion Sickness – Place a drop of lavender essential oil on various pressure points to alleviate the symptoms of nausea or motion sickness. Try lavender oil on your face, tongue, wrists, behind your ears, or near your navel. Use this only as a short-term solution and not to treat long periods of discomfort.
- Sunburn – After lowering the skin temperature with cool water, apply 2 or 3 drops of lavender oil to burned areas to decrease pain and provide immediate relief.
Dry and Chapped Skin – Rub lavender oil on dry or chapped skin, including lips, hands, and feet for an all-natural moisturizing effect. Organic therapeutic-grade oil relieves pain, prevents further drying, and supports healing.
- Dandruff and Hair Loss – There is a reason, beyond its pleasant olfactory presence, that many shampoos and conditioners include lavender in their herbal blend. Used daily, lavender oil can stimulate hair regrowth. Its efficacy as a natural remedy for hair loss has been proven repeatedly. Rubbing lavender oil into the scalp will also help to eliminate dandruff.
- Cold Sores – A drop of lavender oil on a cold sore will alleviate discomfort and expedite healing.
- Improve Digestion – Imbibing lavender tea after a heavy meal will aid in digestion, sooth a stomachache, and reduce acid-reflux. Placing a drop of therapeutic-grade oil on the back of the tongue will achieve a similar effect.
- Promote Respiratory Health – Lavender oil can be added to boiling water and inhaled along with the steam, dispensed in an essential oil diffuser, or rubbed directly near nasal passages to clear sinus infections and relive pain from inflammation and sinus pressure. Dried lavender can also be brewed in tea to reduce coughing, congestion, and throat irritation.
- Reduce Fever – Gently washing the body with a mixture of lavender oil and warm water will reduce fever.
- Deodorant – Lavender oil kills odor-causing bacteria. Use it as a personal deodorant, add lavender oil to laundry during a wash, or sprinkle it on drier sheets to minimize bacteria and add a pleasant aroma to clothes and linens.
- Seasoning – Lavender can be used in cooking and baking as a dried herb or as organic, therapeutic-grade oil. Its distinctive, floral aroma enhances baked goods, particularly. Try making chocolate cake with lavender buttercream frosting or homemade ice cream with lavender oil and fresh blueberries!