Lavender is the perfect essential oil to promote rest and relaxation.
Lavender angustifolia derives from the plant more commonly known as English Lavender. Historically the plant was known by its medieval Latin name Lavender Officinalis.
Offinalis means ‘to belong to an officina’, which was a storeroom of a monastery where plants that were revered for their medicinal and herbal properties were kept.
The healing effects of Lavender oil have been valued throughout millenia and still play an important part in healthcare today.
Lavender oil is steam distilled from the flowering tips of the plant. Lavender has a beautiful floral top note and is considered a staple of any essential oil collection.
It blends well with most other oils for aromatherapy purposes and has a wealth of medicinal benefits.
Where have I smelt Lavender oil before?
Yardley English Lavender
Lavender is used extensively in the perfume industry and has a rich heritage as the signature scent of Yardley, the iconic British brand.
People of a certain age (ahem) will remember English Lavender perfumes, soaps and the talcum powders which came in tin containers.
Established in 1770, and launching their Lavender range in 1873, Yardley were a staple of the British cosmetic industry supplying several of the British monarchy.
In the 60’s Twiggy was the face of Yardley. The Yardley cosmetics company is still in full swing now with Bollywood star Katrina Kaif firmly at the helm keeping the brand alive, a testament to our long lasting love affair with the wonderful scent of Lavender.
Davidoff Cool water
More recently, in terms of perfume production, Lavender has been a key ingredient in Davidoff’s Cool water. Lavender is combined with floral notes of Rosemary, Geranium and Jasmine and other fragrances to create this refreshingly clean scent.
How to use Lavender essential oil in your everyday health and beauty routines.
Lavender oil for sleep
Lavender is known for its natural sedative qualities, so if you have been suffering from sleepless nights, or if you just want to have a more pleasurable bedtime routine, you should take advantage of Lavender oil by diffusing before bedtime or adding a few drops to your pillow.
Massaging the oil mixed with a base oil into the bottoms of your feet is an additional way to reap the benefits of the relaxing aroma and will be beneficial in making sure you get a good night's sleep.
Combining the powerful properties of Lavender oil with good sleep hygiene, (a clean and tidy room and limiting devices before bedtime) is the ultimate way to achieve a restful nights sleep and to promote balance in the body and mind.
Lavender oil for cuts, bruises and burns
There is a famous story in the aromatherapy world about Rene Maurice Gattefosse.
Gattefosse was the French author of the book ‘Aromatherapie’ and was influential in the modern aromatherapy renaissance.
The story goes that we burnt himself in an explosion and utilised the healing properties of Lavender oil to help heal himself. He wrote in his book:
“The external application of small quantities of essences rapidly stops the spread of gangrenous sores.
In my personal experience, after a laboratory explosion covered me with burning substances which I extinguished by rolling on a grassy lawn, both my hands were covered with a rapidly developing gas gangrene.
Just one rinse with lavender essence stopped “the gasification of the tissue”. This treatment was followed by profuse sweating, and healing began the next day”
Rene Maurice Gattefosse, Aromatherapie 1910
Of course we would recommend going straight to a hospital if you were to burn yourself in this manner in this day and age.
However for small cuts bruises and burns that don’t require medical attention, you can whip out a bottle of Lavender oil to treat the affected area at home by making a compress infused with Lavender oil. The treatment will not only soothe the area, but reduce scarring and healing time.
Lavender oil for hair
Prized for its ability to stimulate the scalp and promote long healthy hair, adding Lavender EO to your hair care routine will not only improve your crowning glory, but also make you smell fresh and sweet. A winning combination.
Create a deep conditioning treatment with a base oil and a few drops of Lavender oil. Massage into your scalp before bed and cover your hair so as not to damage your pillow cases.
In the morning rinse out to uncover the divine Lavender shine. An additional benefit of treating your hair at night time in this way is the scent will help you drift of to sleep, leaving you with well rested skin and gorgeous hair - a dream come true!
Can I apply Lavender oil directly to my skin?
Lavender oil is one of the milder essential oils and some people do apply it directly to their skin.
All essential oils can cause irritation and side effects. How you react will depend on your skin type. If you are very sensitive you may have a negative reaction.
We would always advise diluting even mild essential oils with a base oil just to be on the safe side.
Essential oils are highly concentrated, so you will still see the benefits of the oil when it is diluted.
Base oils are also great for skin health, so diluting essential oils gives your skin more positive benefits.
Lavender essential oil recipes
Lavender diffuser blends
Blend 4 drops of Lavender, 3 drops of Frankincense and 2 drops of orange to create an ambient aroma to reduce stress and anxiety.
For an uplifting blend add 3 drops of Lavender, 2 drops of Lemongrass and 1 drop of Patchouli to your diffuser, take a deep breath and enjoy the good vibes.
Lavender linen spray
If you're feeling creative this one is for you. Create your own chemical free, homemade linen spray.
You will need 10 drops of Lavender EO, 1 teaspoon of Witch Hazel, water and a spray bottle.
Add the EO and Witch Hazel to a 30ml spray bottle and top up the bottle with water. Increase or decrease the volumes accordingly if your bottle is a different size.
Put the lid on tightly, shake and spray away. For bonus craft points make your own cute label and gift the finished article to someone you love, or someone who needs to relax more!
Spray on linen to freshen up your pillows before bedtime.
Lavender oil compress
Easily make a warm or cold compress by mixing lavender oil in water and soaking a flannel or cloth in the mixture. Ring out the cloth before applying the compress to burns, cuts or bruises.
This can also be utilised at the time of the month by applying a warm compress to your stomach to help alleviate those pesky period pains.
Lavender essential oil blends well with:
Bergamot, Clary Sage, Cedarwood, Frankincense, Lemon, Neroli, Orange, Patchouli, Rose and Rosemary.
Lavender essential oil safety
For external use only. For safety you should dilute the oil. Keep out of reach of children and seek medical advice before using if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.