Monday, July 29, 2013

Lovely Lavender

Over the next few weeks (or months), I am going to showcase some of my favorite - and most used - essential oils. In the spotlight this week - lovely lavender

Scientific name: Lavandula angustifolia
There are other species of lavender out there, but this is the one I'm talking about today. 

Common extraction method: steam distillation

Properties: anti-coagulant, anticonvulsant, anti-depressant, anti-histamine, anti-inflammatory, anti-infectious, anti-microbial, antiseptic, sedative, anti-toxic, antispasmodic, anti-tumor, cardiotonic, regenerative, and analgesic (pain management). 

Application: Can be applied topically neat (not diluted) or diluted. Lavender is one EO that seems to be universally agreed upon to be used undiluted/neat in some cases. Can be used aromatically - diffusing in the air. 

Uses: Refresh the air, takes the sting out of bug bites, sleep aid, calming, allergies, hives, bug repellent, sunburns, burns, blisters, depression, diaper rash, fever, Herpes Simplex (cold sores), itching, pain, poison oak/ivy, rashes, sensitive skin, tension, teeth grinding, vertigo, bruises, wounds...and much more!

According to Modern Essentials: "It promotes consciousness, health, love, peace and a general sense of well-being. It also nurtures creativity." I just love that statement!

Ways to use it in real life: There are a lot, it's my most used oil, but here's some fun and easy things to do with it.
  • Bug bite - dab a bit of lavender oil on the bite, you should get immediate relief from the itching, plus you're preventing infection
  • Room spray - add a few drop of lavender oil to a spray bottle full of water and spray your room to remove stale are and freshen up the air, plus it's a mood enhancer.
  • Sleep aid - put a drop of lavender on your pillow, or add it to a roller bottle of carrier oil and apply to feet. 
  • Cleaner - cleaning with vinegar but hate the smell? Add lavender  to your spray bottle. 
  • Linen spray - try this recipe {click here} to have fresh smelling sheets, I spray my whole house with it, carpets, furniture and curtains (don't forget to spot test). 
  • Bed bug spray - if this is the only oil you brought, you can use it to repel bed bugs in hotels, put a drop at each of the bed corners and work your way inward. If you have some in spray bottle, it works even better.
  • Burn relief - burn your hand cooking? It happens to me, just dab a little lavender on and you should feel relief right away.
  • Stress buster - diffuse lavender when you're stressed, and wear it as a perfume to keep that calm feeling. 
  • Dogs - lavender helps repel bugs from your dogs, try a few drops on their collar. If you need help calming your dog during a storm or fireworks, try some flower power (see Kweli in the picture below) - their own mini diffuser, you can {order them here}.
What are your favorite ways to use lavender? 

Sources: Modern Essentials: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, Third Edition Published by Abundant Health; website; doTERRA's 101 Uses for the Intro Kit.
This post has been updated to reflect new information I have learned - you may find things omitted that were previously there. In recipes, I have crossed out the old amount and added the new. 10/2013