benefits of lavender essential oil
Written by Ellen Bird | July 19, 2021
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The many benefits of lavender essential oil
Lavender essential oil has been used for centuries for its many therapeutic and healing qualities. According to studies, lavender expresses anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and even calming properties. Lavender oil has many different applications and can be of benefit to many. In this article, we will go into detail on how best to work with the essential oil of lavender, as well as share some information so we can empower you to know which lavender essential oil is the best to use for the purpose you need it for. We will also share some sources and go more in-depth on some of the science behind the potentially therapeutic qualities of lavender oil, so that you can start seeing the many benefits of lavender essential oil in your life!
As far as the history of the lavender plant goes, It has been documented that the benefits of lavender essential oil has been known for over 2,500 years – from mummification by the Egyptians to cooking and bathing by the Romans. The word lavender comes from the Latin word “lavar” meaning “to wash”. Traditionally, lavender essential oil was used to reverse infections and soothe wounds, as well as to reduce stress. Today, lavender can be found in many soaps and detergents, and the literature suggests it has antiseptic, antimicrobial, and antibiotic properties. Some clinical studies have evaluated that lavender essential oil may be supportive in calming the nervous system and supporting those experiencing symptoms similar to anxiety and depression.
How to Use Lavender Essential Oil
There are many different ways of working with essential oils, especially one as versatile as lavender. Depending on how you are wanting to experience the benefits of lavender essential oil, it can be applied topically to dry, cracked, or sunburnt skin, breathed in through an essential oil diffuser in a form called aromatherapy, dropped into a bath, massaged into the skin to reduce inflammation in the body, applied to the temples of the forehead to reduce stress associated with migraine or headache, or inhaled into the lungs through an essential oil vaporizer. Oral capsules of lavender essential oil (under the brand-name Silexan) have even been shown to be clinically effective compared to SSRIs for adults with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Science has been finding that the therapeutic benefits of lavender essential oil may be greater than earlier believed! In this amazing article, evidence from scientific studies are cited that have been showing the possibility of lavender as being an effective treatment for several neurological disorders.
Some sources consider lavender essential oil as an oil that can be applied “neat”, meaning that it doesn’t require dilution before applying topically to the skin, while other’s (like in this article here) talk about the importance of diluting every essential oil before use, especially for people with sensitive skin. For proper dilution, add 12-15 drops of your essential oil to every one ounce (30 mL) you use of a carrier oil, like olive oil, coconut oil, macadamia nut oil, or jojoba oil. 1-3 drops of lavender oil combined with 1 cup of Epsom salts makes for a great relaxation in a hot bath!
To learn more about how to use essential oils more generally, check out our separate blog post.
Different Varieties of Lavender
When you are starting to look into working with lavender essential oil for its therapeutic qualities, you may have noticed that there are many different varieties of lavender that are grown and cultivated, each with their own unique qualities. As far as cultivation for essential oils goes, the most common varietals you will hear about live under the botanical name Lavandula angustifolia, which is grown and sold widely on the essential oil market because it is known to contain therapeutic constituents.
Within this umbrella, potentially the most widely cultivated is Lavender Vera. This lavender grows well all over the world, including France and the United States, due to its ability to grow in even the poorest soils. Vera is a very good medicinal, high-elevation lavender, and its oil balances medicinal qualities with a smooth and slightly sweet aroma. Lavender Mailette is a superior option for its botanical aroma. John Steele, essential oil pioneer and mentor, has stated that some tested Lavender Mailette contain higher concentrations of linalool than other lavender varietals, which is a constituent that is helpful for reducing anxiety, stress, and muscle tension.
Bulgaria produces large quantities of lavender as well. Essential Oil Wizardry has recently connected with an amazing family farm that produces the sweetest, softest, and most fruity Bulgarian Lavender we’ve ever known! Our most recent, and most local production facility of Lavender comes from the Mt. Shasta, CA region, and this lavender essential oil is also very fragrant and powerful. The Mt. Shasta Lavender oil comes from an artisanal operation, and every acre of their lavender production ended up so unique and captivating!
Lavandin or Lavandula intermedia is a hybridized version of the lavender plant (a mix between Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula latifolia) that makes it a very potent essential oil that may have an even higher anti-microbial profile, as well as is widely perceived to reduce stretch marks and scars on the skin. Lavandin can contain significant amounts of camphor, and may be overly-stimulating for some and may not be recommended for those with seizure disorder. May also offer supportive respiratory stimulation.
With the many known benefits of lavender essential oil, and the increasing scientific research being compiled as we speak, lavender is a go-to essential oil to have on hand! From its anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, soothing, and calming properties, it is an all-around winner when it comes to working with the body in a more natural and holistic way. Whether you are a trained aromatherapist, a massage therapist, or just a health-conscious individual, lavender just may be a new plant ally for you! For over 300 high-quality organic essential oils including many different varieties of lavender and lavandin, check out EssentialOilWizardry.com.
~ Live Blessed ~
- “Lavender.” National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 30 Nov. 2016, nccih.nih.gov/health/lavender/ataglance.htm.
- Koulivand, Peir Hossein, et al. “Lavender and the Nervous System.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : ECAM, Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3612440/.
- “Guide to Diluting Essential Oils: AromaWeb.” Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Information, www.aromaweb.com/articles/dilutingessentialoils.asp.
- Stewart, Erin. “The Differences Between Lavender Essential Oils.” Aroma Culture, Aroma Culture, 3 Aug. 2017, www.aromaculture.com/blog/the-differences-between-lavender-essential-oils.
- “Linalool.” Linalool – an Overview | ScienceDirect Topics, www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/linalool.
- Cronkleton, Emily. “What Is Aromatherapy and How Does It Help Me?” Healthline, Healthline Media, 8 Mar. 2019, www.healthline.com/health/what-is-aromatherapy.