Today I’m going to talk to you about Lavendula augustifolia. Also known as Lavender essential oil.
Due to Lavender’s versatile properties, it is considered the must-have oil to have on hand at all times. It’s the oil that does everything. The "Jill of all trades," the Swiss army knife of oils.
USING LAVENDER DAILY
Before you use it topically, always dilute it in a carrier oil. Even though lavender has gentle and calming scent, essential oils are still potent. It takes approximately three pounds of lavender flowers to produce a 15mL bottle of lavender essential oil.
Lavender originates from the Mediterranean, and the flower stalks are steam distilled to make an essential oil. True lavender grows at high altitudes. In ancient times, the Egyptians and Romans used lavender for bathing, relaxation, in cooking, and wore it as perfume.
Lavender oil is believed to have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to heal minor burns and bug bites, but it is most known for its calming effects. It’s useful for treating anxiety, insomnia, depression, nervousness, and restlessness.
Lavender has also been known to help with migraines + headaches, hair loss, nausea, acne, and toothaches. In Germany, lavender tea has been approved as a supplement to treat sleep disruptions and stomach irritation.
When applied to the skin, lavender oil has shown positive results in helping with eczema, sunburns, and diaper rash. It’s also frequently used to reduce the appearance of skin imperfections, so you could try adding a few drops to your hand and body lotion.
Add a few drops of lavender oil to bath water, which is something I do regularly. Apply it to your temples and back of the neck when you have a headache. Add a few drops of Lavender to a spray bottle of water and spray it on your pillow or bedding. Lavender is a sleepy oil, and can be added to a carrier oil and applied to the bottom of your feet before bed.
THE TRUTH ABOUT OIL STAINS
Before I started learning about essential oils, I used to wonder about staining. I would hear people say, “spray your pillow with lavender oil” and my first thought would be, “Yeah, so my pillow can have oil stains all over it!?” But did you know that a pure essential oil will not stain? They’re not actually oily, and although they leave a wet mark when dropped on fabric or paper, they will eventually fade as they evaporate.
If your essential oils are staining your clothes or bedding, it’s possible that they contain other filler oils. Look at the ingredients. They should list ONLY that oil, and they will list its botanical name, in this case, Lavendula augustifolia, which is fun to say out loud.
This week on my Instagram stories, I shared the sneaky story of vanilla oil. If the front of the bottle says 100% pure vanilla essential oil, they’re LYING, because the vanilla bean cannot be distilled into an essential oil.
My very first bottle of essential oil was vanilla, and of course, they claimed it was pure. But if you read the back of the label (which is totally doable since it’s only a half-inch turn in either direction) you’ll see that they’ve combined the vanilla extract or scent with a carrier oil. Sure, that’s still better than using traditional air freshener, but it’s sneaky! What constitutes a PURE essential oil!? There’s no regulation with essential oils, and anyone can use the word “pure” so make sure you’re buying from a reputable company.
Friends don’t let friends buy cheap oils.
Stitch that on an eye mask, if it hasn’t already been done.
OK, enough controversial banter… back to lavender...
BLENDING LAVENDER WITH OTHER OILS
Lavender blends well with:
Need a sleepy diffuser blend? Try lavender with orange, marjoram, or frankincense.
Want the ultimate bedtime relaxation blend? Try lavender, frankincense, and cedarwood. (I’m diffusing it right now. I can barely keep my eyes open.)
Lavender and clary sage oil make the perfect calming blend, as both are sedatives.
Over the holidays I made a hand scrub that turned out pretty dreamy and was really easy to make. I mixed equal parts sugar and fractionated coconut oil (you can also use melted coconut oil) I added a few drops of my favorite essential oil blends, and lavender would work well in this too! You use a small amount of the scrub, coat your hands, and scrub gently. Rinse with warm to hot water, and pat to dry. It leaves a really nice soft coating on your skin.
LAVENDIN ESSENTIAL OIL
While we’re here, I wanna give a shout-out to Lavandin essential oil, which is similar to lavender in aroma, but whose botanical name is Lavendula hybridia. Lavandin was invented by crossing true lavender with spike lavender, which is more blue tinted and grows at lower altitudes.
Lavandin is antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory, which makes it a powerful oil in its own right, but is probably still trying to outrun its high school reputation of being “fake lavender.” (Teenage oils can be so cruel.)
Lavandin also has calming properties and is known to ease stress and insomnia.
I’ve been using Lavandin and Helichrysum oil on my breast reduction scars. Those two oils, in combination with a carrier oil like jojoba or fractionated coconut oil reduce the appearance of scars and help with healing.
Caution: Possible skin sensitivity. Keep out of reach of children. If you are pregnant, nursing, or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas, like… well, you know where.