When hosting Little Soap Schools, students often over awed by the number of essential oils available ask if they were to pick just one to buy, which would it be to start them off…? An EASY answer – Lavender (lavandula angustifolia) is the most versatile of all essential oils. Several years ago we discussed in Daisy Green Magazine Why Lavender is the New Black and still now I sing it’s praises weekly from the rooftops!
We all know the fragrance is calming, relaxing and balancing – physically and emotionally, but there are many other uses for it too… I always carry a small bottle of lavender around in my handbag and there is always some in the bathroom and beside the Aga in the kitchen. It is like having your own personal first aid kit to cleanse cuts, bruises and skin irritations as well as a perfume and pick-me-up all rolled into one simple 5ml bottle to use home or away…
Here are some of the very many ways you can incorporate a bottle of lavender in to your daily life:
Calming: Rub 2-3 drops of lavender oil in your cupped palms, then inhale to draw the scent all the way into your amygdala gland (the emotional warehouse) in your brain to calm the mind. Then, rub on the feet, temples, wrists (or anywhere) for an immediate calming effect on the body. Great for use in crowded areas like planes or the tube to carve out your own personal oasis.
Long-Haul Travel: As above, or combine lavender, rosemary, Neroli, frankincense & clary sage and rub into your pulse points to help you keep a clear head during those endless hours in the air…
Moths,Midges & Mosquitos: All these annoying little insects hate the smell of lavender. To prevent bites, splash yourself with lavender hydrosol before you go out at sunset or to bed, put 3-4 drops of oil on your pillow or soak cotton wool ball in the oil and leave it on a saucer in front of the window. Lavender oil is also a terrific remedy for insect bites, soothing itching & inflammation: dab it on to them neat as soon as possible. To keep moths off your clothes, hand lavender bags on you coat hangers or keep them among your sweaters and refresh them with a drop or two of lavender oil from time to time
Aching Muscles: If you’ve spent a back-breaking afternoon in the garden, or spent time at the gym or out for a run there is nothing better than to jump into a lavender bath to soothe aches & pains away. Even better – add some Epsom salts & a few drops of lavender oil to the bath for an even better way to soak away the tension
Deodorant: Very handy if you’ve forgotton to put your usual deodorant on or forgotten to pack it! Simply rub 2 drops of Lavender oil over the armpit area to act as a deodorant..
Insomnia/Sleep aid: In a number of small studies, elderly psychiatric patients have been shown to sleep better and be more alert during the day when their sleep medication is replaced with lavender oil either dropped on their pillows, or placed in a diffuser on the ward. To help to induce sleep, put 3 or 4 drops of lavender oil on your pillow. For babies, add 1 drop of lavender oil & geranium oil in carrier oil and massage into a babies back or a few drops in their bedtime bath.
Eczema: Stroke infused lavender oil (a few drops of lavender oil & carrier oil) into dry, itchy skin—small children will find this especially comforting or add a few drops of lavender oil to calamine lotion and shake well before applying.
Bee sting/Insect bite: Put a drop of Lavender oil on a bee sting or insect bite to stop itching reduce swelling.
Minor burn: Put 2-3 drops Lavender oil on a minor burn to decrease pain. I always keep a bottle next to the Aga where I am forever branding myself with the oven racks and hotplate… Result: NO redness, swelling or pain. NO sign of any burn. Lavender works wonders and is magic! Of course – this was how the healing properties of lavender were found – quite by accident when a French scientist, René Gattefossé, was severely burned in a laboratory accident in the 1900’s and he quickly immersed his hand in a vat of Lavender Oil. Gattefossé found that the lavender oil not only promoted tissue regeneration quickly but healed the wound with no scarring… and as the story goes, his accident re-confirmed the usefulness and effectiveness of using therapeutic grade essential oils as natural remedies and for burn home remedies.
Cuts: Drop Lavender oil on cut to stop bleeding, clean wound, and kill bacteria.
Eczema / Dermatitis: Mix several drops of Lavender oil with a nut or vegetable mixing oil (coconut, sesame, etc) and use topically on eczema and dermatitis. I have a dear friend who suffers from severe eczema and swears by this.
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.
Nosebleed: To stop a nosebleed, put a drop of lavender oil on a tissue and wrap it around a small chip of ice. Push the tissue covered ice chip up under the middle of the top lip to the base of the nose and hold as long as comfortable or until the bleeding stops (do not freeze the lip or gum).
Dry or chapped skin: Rub lavender oil on dry or chapped skin.
Chapped or sunburned lips: Rub a drop of lavender oil on chapped or sunburned lips.
Hay fever: Rub a drop of lavender oil between your palms and inhale deeply to help alleviate the symptoms of hay fever.
Dandruff: Rub several drops of lavender oil into the scalp to help eliminate dandruff.
Cold sores: Put a drop of lavender oil on a cold sore.
* We have teamed up with Cotswold Lavender down the road who are very kindly offering Little Fans a whopping 25% off their lavender essential oil. Simply go to their website and enter LAVENDEROIL (uppercase, no spaces) at checkout – this is valid until 01.04.13