It is said that lavender has 167 uses. I never managed to put together the complete list, but I think that it is very close.
From an Ayurvedic point of view, lavender is the perfect oil that is suitable for any person. And I genuinely believe that no medicine cabinet or pantry should be without it.
Lavender has been used continuously for centuries to enhance food and health as dried flowers, herbed oils, and essential oils. People used lavender for washing linens, as soothing teas, hidden under the corsets of beautiful ladies for a pleasant smell, and healing soldiers’ wounds.
Among various lavender species, only Lavandula officinalis (other names: Lavandula Angustifolia, 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 many ketones and are toxic to be used in aromatherapy. Buy your lavender only from 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, sprains, acne, otitis)
- Antiseptic (acne, bronchial secretions, cystitis, otitis, skin infection, influenza, sinusitis, tuberculosis)
- Antispasmodic (cramps, coughing)
- Balancing (nervous system)
- Calming, sedative (headaches, migraines, 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 a doctor if you have any severe problems. Never self-diagnose or self-medicate.
- Never drink essential oils.
- Never put essential oils on your eyes, nose, or private parts.
- Only use essential oils from reputable sources.
How to Use
The following are a few suggestions on how to safely use lavender for your family.
- Insect repellent – Add a few drops to a skin lotion, apply just before your daily walk in the park. Put a few drops on your hands, rub them together, then rub your body just before going out. 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 a blister appears. For more significant burns: soak gauze, gently cover the injured area, and go to the hospital.
- Skin rashes – apply a few drops, gently rub. Contact a doctor if the rash persists and shows no improvements in 1-2 days.
- Minor 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. Twenty drops to one cup of water.
- Ear infection – One drop of Lavender massage around the ear. One drop of lavender (can be mixed with one 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. Twenty drops to one cup of water—restless babies to sleep like a charm.
- Headache – One drop of lavender (can be mixed with one 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. Twenty drops to one cup of water.
- Ice-cream – yummy. Only use therapeutic or food-grade oil for it. Instead of vanilla flavoring, add one drop of Lavender oil for two cups of ice-cream mixture before putting it in the ice-cream maker. It adds an unforgettable flavor.
A word about diffusers: Only use cold diffusers (ionic diffusers) because heat destroys essential oils’ therapeutic properties.
- Do not use with medicine or creams that include iodine or iron.
- Do not use in the household with a person or pet who suffers from seizure or epilepsy without checking GC/MS report to ensure that Lavender Angustifolia (safe with seizure) is not diluted with lavandin or spike lavender
Aromatherapy an A-Z, by Patricia Davis
Ayurveda and Aromatherapy, by Dr. L.Miller, ND & Dr. B.Miller, DC