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
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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.

Sweet Dreams Pillow Spray

Rest peacefully tonight with the help of this pillow spray! This can be especially helpful for children—try placing these bottles on a bedside table for your kids to use during the night to spray away bad dreams and other nighttime fears!

Sweet Dreams Pillow Spray

  • Servings: Yield=2 oz. (60 ml)
  • Time: 2 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Add essential oil and emulsifier to the spray bottle. Fill the rest of the bottle with distilled water. Screw the spray top onto the bottle, and shake to combine the liquids.
  2. To use, spray the mixture into the air or on the pillow or bed linens at bedtime to create a calm, soothing atmosphere.

Extra Ideas:

  • This recipe would be great for a make-and-take class focused on using essential oils with children.
  • Print off these cute labels to use on your pillow sprays. These labels fit perfectly on this label sheet.

Oatmeal Shower Scrub Bags

Do you like the moisturizing effects of an oatmeal bath, but don’t like having all that oatmeal in your bathtub? These Oatmeal Shower Scrub Bags are the solution! Simply rub the bag over your skin when you shower, bathe, or wash your hands. The oats moisturize, the soap cleans, the lavender soothes and scents, and the organza bag gives a gentle exfoliation. Scrub bags make great gifts for friends, family, or essential oil class members. In fact, this recipe is a fantastic make-and-take class idea!

Oatmeal Shower Scrub Bags

  • Servings: 18–20 bags
  • Time: 5–10 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/4–1/2 cup unscented, grated bar soap (or add a little liquid soap to bag right before using)
  • 15 drops lavender essential oil
  • 20 small organza bags

Instructions:

  1. Mix ingredients in a glass bowl.
  2. Add about 2 Tbsp. of the mixture to each organza bag or until about 3/4 full.
  3. To use, wet the bag with water before massaging it over your skin in circular motions. Rinse well with water.

Just Add Oils to Spring Cleaning

As the weather gets warmer, many people move into spring cleaning mode. Winter clothing gets stored away, windows are opened to air out the house, and lots of deep cleaning takes place as sunshine energizes the soul. A couple weeks ago, we held a contest and gathered many great cleaning recipes from you, our readers. The winner of our contest was Heather Crabill’s Counter and Appliance Spray. Heather says, “I spray my counters and appliances with the solution, and then I wipe with a warm, wet cloth. Friends and family always comment on how lovely the kitchen smells!”

Counter and Appliance Spray

  • Servings: 8 oz.
  • Time: 3 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 8 drops melaleuca essential oil
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil
  • 5 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 3/4 cup distilled water
  • 8 oz. Glass Spray Bottle

Instructions:

  1. Carefully pour the vinegar and essential oils in the spray bottle. Swirl to combine, and then fill the rest of the bottle with distilled water.
  2. Spray on counters and appliances; wipe with a warm, wet cloth.

A lot of great cleaning ideas and recipes were submitted to us. Here are just a few:


NON-CITRUS PRODUCE SPRAY

“I’m allergic to citrus oils. So for cleaning produce, I put tea tree [melaleuca] oil (8–10 drops) and cider vinegar (1/2 cup) in an 8 oz. spray bottle. Then I fill the bottle with distilled water and spray on produce to clean!” — Brenda Rupp


CLEAN SHOWER SPRAY

15 drops Protective Blend
5 drops lavender
1 tsp. white vinegar
8 oz. water
“Combine everything in an 8 oz. spray bottle. Spray down the shower and squeegee the glass doors when finished. Looks and smells great!” — Barbara Dittrich


TUB AND SINK CLEANER

“In a glass measuring cup, pour 6 oz. of white vinegar. Microwave to a slight boil. Use a funnel to pour the hot vinegar into an 8 oz. spray bottle, and then add 1 Tbsp. of Protective Blend Cleaner Concentrate and 3 drops of lemon essential oil. Shake well, and spray all around tub. Wait 2 minutes or so and rinse off. If you have stubborn stains, scrub with a brush. Also, I put baking soda into the drain first, so that when I’m finished cleaning, the drain also gets cleared out. This treatment is nice and easy to do, and if you do it weekly, all you need to do is spray and rinse.” — Nancy Jaykka


ANY ESSENTIAL OIL CLEANER

“I save all the dribbles left in my essential oil vials and use them in my cleaning spray bottle. I purchased a cheap bottle of vodka, and I add 1 oz. of that to the 8 oz. spray bottle. Then I put in my leftover EOs and top off the spray bottle with filtered water. This solution works great on counter tops and appliances. It will even kill gnats that get into the kitchen.” — Mickie


Here are some other great recipes to help you spring clean:

Click here for more essential oil cleaning tips!

Calm Pets Diffuser Blend

Sometimes our pets get a little too energetic and need help calming down. Here’s a good diffuser blend that you can use during these crazy moments. You may also find it effective to use if your pet experiences separation anxiety or is prone to nervousness.

DIY All-Natural Face Mask

The skin on your face is delicate and should be pampered with healthy ingredients. The harsh chemicals in many skin products destroy the natural balance of the oils in your skin and can cause peeling or acne. Try this simple homemade mask at home to clean your skin and restore a healthy glow to your face!

facemask

DIY All-Natural Face Mask

  • Servings: Yield=1 mask
  • Time: 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup (60 g) plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) raw honey
  • 3 drops lavender essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Mix ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. Using fingertips, spread the mask over your face, avoiding eyes.
  3. Leave on for 5–10 minutes before gently rinsing with warm water and a cloth.

Pamper yourself by having a wonderful at-home spa night using this face mask and taking a warm bath with your favorite essential oils.

 

Foaming Face Wash

Are you looking for a good face wash for troublesome skin? The essential oils used in this face wash were picked to help with acne-prone skin, but the face wash can be used on any skin type.

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Foaming Face Wash

  • Servings: Yield=About 3 Tbsp. (50 ml)
  • Time: 2 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) Castile Soap
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) witch hazel
  • 1/4 tsp. (1.5 ml) Sweet Almond Oil
  • 10 drops melaleuca essential oil
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops juniper berry or lemongrass essential oil (optional)
  • 1–2 Tbsp. (15–30 ml) distilled water
  • 50 ml Foamer Bottle

Instructions:

  1. Place castile soap, witch hazel, sweet almond oil, and essential oils in a small foamer bottle. Screw the lid on, and shake to combine.
  2. Unscrew the lid, and fill the rest of the bottle up with distilled water. Make sure to leave room at the top for the foamer top. Screw the lid on, and shake again.
  3. To use, pump 1–2 times into the palm of your hand, and wash face as normal.

Refreshing Diffuser Blend

When you are finished cleaning your home, diffuse this blend for a refreshing scent that will increase your great feeling of accomplishment! Need a diffuser? Check out the variety of diffusers at AromaTools™.
AT_RefreshingBlend

The Perfect Solution for Detangling Unruly Hair!

Would you like a more natural hair detangler than you can find commercially? Look no further—we have the perfect solution for detangling unruly hair that is easy to make and contains all-natural ingredients! Spraying this on your hair will help the comb separate the hair strands easily and without pain. Not only do these oils smell nice together, but lavender and rosemary essential oils are often used to help stimulate hair growth; repair dry, fragile hair; and, with melaleuca, may help dandruff.

AT_HairDetanglerGraphic_1500

All-Natural Essential Oil Hair Detangler

  • Servings: Yield=4 oz. (120 ml)
  • Time: 3 minutes active; 12 hours inactive
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Pour the glycerin and essential oils in the 4 oz. spray bottle. Screw the spray top on, and shake to combine.
  2. Remove spray top, and fill the rest of the bottle up with water. Screw the spray top on again, and give it another few good shakes.
  3. Allow it to sit overnight, then shake again before using.
  4. To use, shake a little, then spray lightly over hair; brush hair until smooth.

Hair Conditioning Serum

Does your hair get dry and brittle, especially after long days in the sun? Sometimes our hair just needs a deep conditioning serum to help it retain moisture and stay healthy. According to Modern Essentials™, the essential oils in this recipe are often used to help with dry, fragile hair and may even help stimulate hair growth. Leave the conditioning serum in for as little as 15 minutes or as long as all night before shampooing your hair. You can even make it into a spray to help protect your hair from the sun’s rays during the day (see extra idea below).

AT_Deep_Hair_Conditioner

Hair Conditioning Serum

  • Servings: Yield=2 oz. (60 ml)
  • Time: 5 minutes active
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients to the 2 oz. plastic bottle. Shake to combine.
  2. To use, squirt a little (about 1/4 tsp. or 1–2 ml) of the oil into the palm of your hand, and massage through your hair using your fingers. Work from the ends of your hair up to the roots.
  3. Leave on over night (or at least for 15 minutes) before shampooing your hair. Cover your pillow with a towel to protect your pillowcase and sheets if needed.
  4. Apply 1–2 times a month or when your hair is feeling dry and brittle.

Extra Idea:

  • Use this recipe to create a leave-in spray conditioner for protecting your hair from damage due to the hot summer sun or cold winter days. To do this, simply place 1 tsp. (5 ml) of this conditioning serum in a 2 oz. Spray Bottle, and fill the remainder with water. Shake well with each use, and spray hair (avoiding the roots) as needed.

Source: Modern Essentials™, 7th Edition, pp. 315–16.