Get to Know Lavender Essential Oil
A mainstay in aromatherapy, lavender essential oil comes from the flowers of the lavender plant (lavandula latifolia), a colorful herb that is native to the mediterranean region and northern Africa. Derived from the latin word lavare or “to wash,” lavende ressential oil is used in cosmetics, fragrances, hair care products, and massage therapy.It has a wonderful floral aroma and is known for its soothing nature.
Lavender is an evergreen shrub that has many long stems or spikes with purple flowers. There are about 30 species of lavender, which all belong to the mint family. While lavender is native to the Mediterranean and northern Africa, it is grown around the world with Bulgaria, China, and France being some of the top producers. The flowers, leaves, and stems of the lavender plant are very aromatic and contain high amounts of essential oil that can be extracted.
Method of Extraction
Lavender is usually harvested between June and August, when the purple flowers are in full bloom. The flowers and stems are cut and then steam distilled to obtain the essential oil. One of the most popular forms of extraction, steam distillation vaporizes the volatile compounds found within the lavender plant, which yields a 100% pure essential oil.
Traditional Uses of Lavender Essential Oil
Used for centuries, lavender essential oil is probably one of the most popular essential oils out there. Ancient Romans and Egyptians enjoyed using lavender oil in bath rituals and as a perfume, in addition to folk medicine. Nowadays, you’ll see lavender as an ingredient in everything from soap and shampoo to laundry detergent and candles. It is also a pinnacle in aromatherapy and has numerous benefits when it comes to creating a calming environment.
Benefits of Lavender Essential Oil
Organic Lavender Essential Oil
Skin, Hair, and Body Care Support
Lavender essential oil is an excellent addition to your self-care routine. When combined with a carrier oil, it can be used to aid in soothing skin irritations. The natural cleansing and soothing nature of lavender oil also helps to rid skin of grit and grime, while reducing irritation and redness, making it ideal for preventing breakouts. When used in haircare, it can help promote scalp health and relieve itchiness. On the body, lavender oil can be added to a carrier oil or lotion and used in massage to ease muscle tension and promote an overall sense of wellbeing.
One of the most calming essential oils, lavender essential oil has a deeply soothing effect when inhaled, which can ease a worried mind, promote restful sleep, and encourage a positive mindset.
How to use Lavender Essential Oil
For the Skin
Before using on skin be sure to combine with a carrier oil such as jojoba or argan oil:
- Combine 5 drops of lavender essential oil with 2 tablespoons of jojoba oil and massage into skin to ease tension and promote a feeling of calm.
- Mix 4 drops of lavender essential oil, 2 drops of tea tree oil, and 2 tablespoons of jojoba oil and apply to fungal infections on skin with a cotton ball.
- Mix 6 drops of lavender essential oil with 1 teaspoon of honey and add to a hot bath to promote relaxation.
- Mix 5 drops of lavender essential oil and 1 tablespoon of argan oil and use it on your face to cleanse pores and prevent breakouts.
- Combine 3 drops of lavender essential oil with ½ teaspoon of coconut oil and use on minor cuts and scrapes to promote healing.
For the Hair
- Mix 5 drops of lavender essential oil and 2 tablespoons of argan oil and massage into scalp and let sit for 20 minutes to soothe irritation and promote scalp health.
- Add 5 drops of lavender essential oil to 1 tablespoon of conditioner and wash for delightful smelling hair.
For Improving Your Environment
- Add 4 drops of lavender essential oil and 2 drops of ylang ylang essential oil to your diffuser along with water (as directed) to create a calming environment.
- Add 3 drops of lavender essential oil, 3 drops of cedarwood essential oil, and 5 drops of citronella oil to an 8 oz spray bottle, fill with water, and spritz outdoor spaces to keep mosquitoes away.
- Combine ¼ cup of witch hazel, ½ cup of water, and 10 drops of lavender
essential oil in a spray bottle and use it to freshen up your yoga mat before and after use.
How to Safely Use Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender is generally considered safe, however in some people it can cause an allergic reaction. Be sure to never apply it to the skin directly and to always combine it with a carrier oil before use. It’s best to conduct a skin patch test before applying it to a larger area. Lavender oil should only be used topically and not ingested. If you are pregnant or nursing it is not recommended that you use lavender essential oil. For more essential oil safety tips, take a look at this article.
One of the most-loved essential oils, lavender essential oil comes with numerous benefits to the mind and body. With an amazingly calming floral scent, it’s the perfect addition to your skincare, bodycare, and daily wellness routine. Try pairing lavender oil with other soothing scents like ylang ylang or frankincense for extra relaxation. To learn more about how you can use essential oils to boost your mood, take a look at this article: Essential Oils for Happiness.