The nitty gritty on Lavender Essential OIl
I know you all are thinking lavender essential oil great for everything…well you are RIGHT! In this blog post I want to go over the why, what, when and how of lavender essential oil.
Let me start with I never really liked the scent of lavender, then I began to study the flowers/plant. My love came when I burned my foot with bacon grease one morning and I grabbed my bottle of lavender essential oil and put a few drops on the burned spots. I know you are thinking wait…she always says no direct usage and break down the oils with a carrier oil. In this instance I went rogue and after reading a book by French chemist René-Maurice Gattefossé, (I read his book that was translated in 1993 from French to English) I realized that Lavender essence is amazing for burns. I could go on about him but really it was a long chemistry filled book and really took me a long time to get through. So we will move on.
The Why and What on Lavender: Really why not. I know the scent can be over whelming it can have a medicinal and unpleasant scent but blended with other essential oils the scent can become amazing! I did learn not to long ago that most of the lavender essential oil sold in the grocery store with that heavy medicinal scent is really a Lavandin oil (Lavandula x intermedia). Lavandin is a mixture of Spike Lavender Lavendula latifolia and Lavendula augustifolia. You want to look for either Lavendula officinalis or Lavendula augustifolia they all can smell slightly different due to the growing regions. One can be more floral because it is grown on the mountain tops in France vs. the valley or right here in Kansas.
My #1 why on lavender comes from a chemical constitute called linalool. That is one of the parts of lavender that makes it anti-bacterial that can relieve discomfort on and in the skin. Linalool is found at some varying level in over 200 essential oils. (Tisserand, 2nd edition, 2014)
Here is my list of why’s and what:
- Calms, soothes and nurtures
- Encourages balance in all body systems
- Reduces anxiety and fear
- Helps calm and control your mind
- Antifungal (for candida)
- Antispasmodic (meaning it can assist in tight muscles)
- Good for Menstrual Cramps
- Tension headaches due to its balancing effect on the nervous system.
- Can help with restless leg syndrome (add it to magnesium cream)
- Skin healing properties that can help with burns, scrapes, bug bites, wounds, bee stings, rashes, acne and pretty much all skin irritations.
Now for the When and How on Lavender: All the time…just kidding there really is a place and time to use lavender. My favorite way to use lavender is in aromatherapy sprays (shameless plug to buy our ready made sprays) I also like to add it to Magnesium cream (another shameless plug). Or for those that want a ready made lotion pick up our Relax or Tranquility lotions. (I know lots of shameless plug but really why reinvent the wheel when we have done it for you). GET 20% off these items with Lavender in them in store and online until February 19, 2017! Now is the time to try something new and fall in love!
If you would like to buy a pure lavender augustifolia essential oil we can help you out with that also (Click here to buy). We like to add it to sprays, lotions, massage oils, head-ache creams and so much more.
Blends well with these other essential oils: Chamomile (German and Roman), Lemon, Geranium, Eucalyptus (all types), Rosemary, Tea Tree, Peppermint, Grapefruit, Clary Sage, Mandarin, Juniper, Cypress, Pine, Marjoram, Cedarwood, Lemongrass, Bergamot.
The essential oil in a bottle is 50-100 times more concentrated than in the plant, and safety issues apply to essential oils that do may not apply to the whole plant or herbal extract. (Tisserand, 2014)
For children please take a look at the recommended chart from Robert Tisserand expert in Essential Oils safety. For the three younger age groups (up to age 6) this applies to any topical application. For the older two age groups (6 to adult) the percentages are for full-body applications. More concentrated dilutions can be used for local applications (small areas of skin).
Lavender essential oil is generally non-toxic, non-irritating, and can have a shelf life of 5-6 years if stored correctly. (in a dark amber bottle, cool and dry place). As with everything though my favorite quote from Jeanne Rose is “Moderation in all things counts!” so make sure you don’t over use and dilute!
Here are some links to the wonderful resources provided by Robert Tisserand.
Each oil is different and due to its chemical makeup can have different effects to the skin. I can go on for probably 5 more paragraphs on usage rates but I will just put these links to the safety expert in essential oils Robert Tisserand’s Website. Please take a moment to read up on these guidelines.
Tisserand, Robert. Lavender essential oil: Skin Savior or Skin Irritant. http://roberttisserand.com/2011/08/lavender-oil-skin-savior-or-skin-irritant/, accessed 1 February 2017.
Susan Worwood, Valerie Ann Worwood. Essential aromatherapy a pocket guide to essential oils & aromatherapy, 2003.
Jeanne Rose, Aromatherapy Studies Course, 2012
Jeanne Rose, The Aromatherapy Book Applications and Inhalations, 1992
Butje, Andrea. Essential oils properties and benefits. https://www.aromatics.com/products/essential-oils Accessed 1 February 2017.