Essential Oil Spotlight: Lavender

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil has a wonderful, sweet, floral aroma with herbaceous, balsamic, and woody undertones. The aroma of lavender has been used for many years in sachets, pillows, and potpourri to help promote feelings of serenity and peace.

Lavender essential oil is a universal oil that has traditionally been known to balance the body and to work wherever there is a need. The list of common primary uses, historical uses, French medicinal uses, and other possible uses contains over 120 conditions. So, if in doubt, use lavender!

Lavender essential oil possesses analgesic, anticoagulant, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, antifungal, antihistaminic, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antimutagenic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitoxic, antitumor, cardiotonic, regenerative, and sedative properties.

Body systems often affected by lavender essential oil include the cardiovascular and nervous systems, emotions, and the skin.

Research being conducted on lavender continues to show new possible uses and therapeutic benefits that lavender may possess. To learn more about a number of these research studies, including summaries and sources, please see the book Modern Essentials.

Applications of Lavender Essential Oil and Safety Data

Topical Application: Lavender essential oil is one of the gentlest essential oils and can be used safely on children, pregnant women, elderly people, animals, and those with sensitive skin. It can be applied neat (with no dilution) when used topically. Apply directly on area of concern or to reflex points.
Aromatic Application: Lavender essential oil can be diffused or inhaled directly. Lavender oil promotes consciousness, health, love, peace, and a general sense of well-being when inhaled. It also nurtures creativity.
Internal Application: Lavender essential oil can be taken internally. Try placing a drop or two under the tongue, taking it in a capsule, adding a little to a beverage, or using it as a flavoring in cooking. If adding lavender to a food or beverage, try using just a toothpick at first, and add more to taste.

5 Ways to Use Lavender Essential Oil

1. Diffuse
The scent of lavender blends well with most oils, especially with citrus oils and other floral oils. As an antihistamine, lavender essential oil is beneficial for relieving allergy symptoms. Its sedative properties make it a great option for promoting a good night’s rest. Try diffusing one of the following blends in your diffuser. You could also add a drop of lavender essential oil to a cloth, tissue, nasal inhaler, or the palms of your hands and breathe in the aroma.

2. Apply Topically
Lavender essential oil is known for its soothing properties. It can help promote sleep, reduce anxiety, relieve pain, and increase mental clarity. If you need help with any of these areas, try making a blend and rolling it on the feet, hands, wrists, neck, or area of concern.

To make these recipes, just add the recommended number of drops to a 10 ml roll-on bottle, and then fill the rest of the bottle with a carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil, jojoba oil, or sweet almond oil. These recipes are formulated at a 5–7% dilution ratio.

Insomnia Roll-on
6 drops orange*
6 drops lavender
Happy Roll-on
4 drops orange*
4 drops lavender
4 drops ylang ylang
Sore Muscles Roll-on:
4 drops cinnamon
3 drops geranium
3 drops juniper berry
3 drops lavender
2 drops peppermint
Refreshing Roll-on:
5 drops lavender
4 drops peppermint
3 drops grapefruit*
3 drops lemongrass

*Note: If using a roll-on blend that contains a citrus oil on exposed skin, take care to avoid direct sunlight/UV light for up to 12 hours after application.

3. Take Internally and in Food Recipes
Floral herbs like lavender can be used in cooking; but because floral flavors are uncommon, you want just a hint of this flavor. Start with a toothpick, and add more if needed.

Try adding a toothpick of lavender essential oil to a glass of lemonade or to chamomile tea (see recipe below). Lavender also tastes good when added to pound cake or scones. A drop can also provide a unique, gourmet flavor to buttercream frosting.

This Lavender Chamomile Tea is perfect for helping you relax before bedtime. Sip it while you soak in a nice warm bath, and you may drift off to sleep as soon as your head hits the pillow!

Lavender Chamomile Tea

  • Servings: 1
  • Time: 10 minutes active; 10 minutes inactive
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 8–10 oz. (250–300 ml) water
  • 1 bag chamomile tea
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) honey
  • 1 toothpick lavender essential oil

Instructions:

  1. In a small saucepan, heat water to boiling (or at least steaming).
  2. Place the tea bag in a mug, and pour the water over the tea bag. Cover, and let steep for 5 minutes.
  3. After 5 minutes, uncover the mug. Remove and dispose of the tea bag.
  4. Dip a toothpick in lavender essential oil, and stir it into the honey. Discard the toothpick, and stir the honey into the tea until it dissolves.
  5. Allow the tea to cool a little before drinking. Breathe in the aroma as you wait for it to cool so that you get the aromatic benefits of the lavender essential oil as well!

4. Add to the First Aid Kit
Some common first aid conditions that lavender can be used for include the following: agitation, bruises, burns (can mix with melaleuca), leg cramps, herpes, heart irregularities, hives, insect bites, neuropathy, pain (inside and out), bee stings, sprains, sunburn (combine with frankincense), and sunstroke. Lavender oil can also relieve insomnia, depression, and PMS and is a natural antihistamine (asthma or allergies).

Here are a few first aid tips using lavender essential oil:

  • To clean wounds, try adding 1 drop each of lavender, melaleuca, and basil to a bowl of warm water. Use the water to wash the wound.
  • Reduce inflammation from an injury by mixing 3 drops frankincense and 2 drops lavender in a bowl of cold water. Dampen a washcloth with water, and hold on location for 15–30 minutes.
  • For minor burns, gently apply 1–2 drops of lavender essential oil, and cover with a cloth soaked in cool water. If the burn covers large areas of the body, is blistering, or has visible skin damage, seek immediate medical attention.
  • Apply 1 drop lavender oil on blister once or twice a day as needed.
  • Calm asthma attacks by gently massaging 2 drops of lavender on chest.
  • Soothe a sunburn by mixing 10 drops of lavender essential oil with 1/4 cup (60 ml) cool water in a small spray bottle. Shake well, and spray on location.
  • Whip up this Coconut Oil Soothing Balm (pictured above) to use on first aid injuries, including children’s cuts and scrapes.

5. Use in Body Care Products
Lavender essential oil is especially useful to the skin and hair. It benefits dry and fragile hair, reduces dandruff, and helps with hair loss. It also helps dry or sensitive skin (including lips) and aids in the healing of bites/stings, blisters, boils, burns, cuts, diaper rash, herpes simplex, rashes, skin ulcers, stretch marks, and other wounds. It also reduces inflammation, itching, and wrinkles. Add lavender to your favorite body care recipes, or try any of these below:

Additional Resources for Using Lavender Essential Oil

Sources:
Modern Essentials, 8th Edition, pp. 78–79, 216–217, 378.
“Modern Essentials: Simple Solutions” Booklet.

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