If herbs were actors, I think lavender would be Benedict Cumberbatch. While not exactly a beauty, it possesses an undeniable charm. Thanks to its versatility it can prove itself in multiple uses. It’s very easy to recognize. And last but not least – you see it everywhere these days.
Lavender has one of the most recognizable scents in the world. (You know we’re finished with analogy to Benedict, right?). It reminds of freshness and summer. To ancient Romans lavandula angustifolia meant cleanliness – ‘to wash’ in Latin is ‘lavare’. They used it in soaps and for scented baths. Greeks appreciated lavender for its calming properties. Egyptians used lavender oil in the mummification process. The story goes that freshly dug out mummy of Tutankhamen was faintly smelling of that herb after over 3000 years! That’s herbal power to me! Even the Bible mentions healing properties of lavender.
Lavender is great for relaxing, every drug store shelf with bath products will tell you this. Shower gels, bath soaks, and bubble baths for kids – everything with a touch of lavender for relaxation. The last is probably grabbed often by desperate parents, who will try anything to put their precious monster to sleep. If bath won’t work this way, there’s still a chance that at least parents will be calmer. But why to rub parabens and other nasties onto our, or what’s worse – our children’s skin, if few drops of pure lavender oil in bath will help to achieve the same (or better) effect?
So lavender oil can help you calm down. Same as Cumberbatch, actually. I mean, who can be still upset after watching one or two episodes of Sherlock? Ok, I promise that was the last one.
Lavender essential oil thanks to its antibacterial properties can not only clean our skin properly, but also cure it from conditions like eczema. It can be added to your usual face cream, but even inhalation works wonders.
Lavender can also fight insomnia and promote a better, deeper sleep. What cannot be underestimated in our crazy times, when so many people struggle with depression and anxiety – lavender oil is actually helping with those.
So, the benefits of lavender oil in a nutshell:
- calms and relaxes;
- works as a natural antidepressant;
- fights anxiety;
- promotes good sleep;
- kills bacteria;
- promotes skin health;
- relieves pain;
- improves brain function.
A few words of caution – remember, that essential oils are very concentrated goodness. You may hear or read that lavender oil is safe to use even undiluted. It can be so for some people. The risk of developing allergic reaction (meaning you won’t be able to be near lavender oil ever again) is rather not worth taking. When dealing with essential oils, try to not forget these few simple safety measures:
- ‘Less is more’ applies to the use of essential oils.
- Never use essential oils directly to the skin – always dilute them with a carrier oil or in case of bath or inhalation – in water
- Be careful about taking any essential oil internally – consult it with a specialist first, as some essential oils can be very toxic.
- Be careful with essential oils around pets, especially cats. Essential oils can be all from unpleasant to dangerous for them.
- Consult a specialist before using essential oils on children. Their bodies are smaller and react differently – also not all of the oils are suitable for kids.
That might sound a bit intimidating, but care is required with any kind of medicine, natural too. For the wide range of essential oils’ benefits, it is still worth to give them a chance.
What is your favourite use of lavender oil? Let us know in the comments!