Deborah Stauss N.D. - Naturopathic Doctor & Master Herbalist

Benefits of LAVENDER essential oil

Benefits of LAVENDER essential oil

Lavender (lavandula angustifolia) is the most versatile of all essential oils. Most commonly known for its relaxing effects on the body, therapeutic-grade lavender has been highly regarded for the skin. It may be used to cleanse cuts, bruises and skin irritations. The fragrance is calming, relaxing and balancing – physically and emotionally. Carrying a bottle of lavender around with you is like having your own personal first aid kit, perfume and pick-me-up.

Lavender has been used for over 2,500 years. Ancient Persians, Greeks, and Romans added the flowers to their bathwater to help wash and purify their skin. Phoenicians, Arabians, and Egyptians used lavender as a perfume. In Greece and Rome, it was used as an all-around cure, while in Medieval and Renaissance Europe, it was scattered all over stone castle floors as a natural disinfectant and deodorant. Lavender was even used during the Great Plague of London in the 17th century. 

High-quality lavender oil has a sweet, floral, herbaceous, and slightly woody scent. Its color can range from pale yellow to yellow-green, but it can also be colorless.

* Bee sting / Insect bite: Put a drop of Lavender oil on a bee sting or insect bite to stop itching reduce swelling.
* Calming: Because the scent of lavender is so calming it is great for use in crowded areas like planes or subways to carve out your own personal oasis. Rub 2-3 drops of lavender oil in your cupped palms, then inhale the scent deeply. Also rub on the feet, temples, wrists (or anywhere) for an immediate calming effect on the body. 
* Cold sores: Put a drop of lavender oil on a cold sore.
* Cuts: Drop Lavender oil on cut to stop bleeding, clean wound, and kill bacteria.
* Dandruff: Rub several drops of lavender oil into the scalp to help eliminate dandruff.
* Diabetes Treatment: Possibly the most exciting of all research concerning lavender came out in 2014. Scientists from Tunisia set out to complete a fascinating task: to test the effects of lavender essential oil on blood sugar to see if it can help diabetes. During the 15-day study, the results observed by researchers were absolutely amazing.In a nutshell, lavender essential oil treatment protected the body from the following symptoms of diabetes: 
  • Increase in blood glucose 
  • Metabolic disorders (especially fat metabolism)
  • Weight gain (ever wonder why as diabetes continues to rise, so do our waistbands!)
  • Liver and kidney antioxidant depletion 
  • Liver and kidney dysfunction 
  • Liver and kidney lipoperoxidation (when free radicals “steal” necessary fat molecules from cell membranes)
Surprisingly, the radical-scavenging antioxidant activity of lavender was actually more robust than ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)! *You can apply lavender essential oil topically on your neck and chest, diffuse it in the air, or supplement with it for the health benefits.  
* Eczema / Dermatitis/Dry or Chapped skin: Mix several drops of Lavender oil with a nut or vegetable mixing oil (coconut, sesame, etc) and use topically on eczema and dermatitis. 
* Hay fever: Rub a drop of lavender oil between your palms and inhale deeply to help alleviate the symptoms of hay fever.
* Headaches: Do you suffer with migraine or tension headaches? According to new medical research, lavender oil may just be that natural cure you are looking for.
A study published in the European Journal of Neurology stated people struggling with migraine headaches saw a significant reduction in pain when they inhaled lavender oil for 15 minutes.Probably the most effective natural treatment for headaches is combining 2 drops each of lavender oil and peppermint oil then rubbing these oils on the back of the neck, the temples on the lateral side of the forehead along with inhaling it. 
* Improves Mood and Supports Brain: 2013 was the year lavender was put on the pedestal for its unique ability to protect against neurological damage. Traditionally, lavender has been used to treat neurological issues like migraines, stress, anxiety, and depression so it’s exciting to see that the research is finally catching up to history.
Additionally, in the study there were no adverse side effects from using lavender oil to treat anxiety, insomnia and depression.  Whereas we know pharmaceutical drugs like prozac have dangerous side effects. And according to research, lavender essential oil benefits don’t stop there, it has also been shown to reduce symptoms and development of Alzheimer’s disease! Last year, the journal Phytomedicine published a study which highlighted that inhaling lavender essential oil vapor for 60 minutes a day was shown to prevent brain oxidative stress in rats with dementia.
* Minor burns: Put 2-3 drops Lavender oil on a minor burn to decrease pain. 
* Nausea or motion sickness: To alleviate the symptoms of motion sickness, place a drop of Lavender oil on end of tongue, behind the ears or around the navel.
* Sleep aid : Again, use the cupping and inhalation method. Then, rub a drop of Lavender oil on your palms and smooth on your pillow to help you sleep.
***BONUS: Flavor booster! 
Add a few drops of lavender to any recipe you want to enhance. Favorites: add to your water or tea (especially sparkling!), brownies, bars, cookies, dessert recipes, raw chocolate or salad dressings. Enjoy!

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