12 Great Uses for Lavender Essential Oil
Whilst recently researching a completely different article on essential oils, I was struck by how many aromatherapy authorities and writers mention Lavender as their favourite fragrance. While I’ve always enjoyed the unique aroma of Lavender essential oil, and enjoy nothing better than sitting in my garden on a warm day, drowning in the sents of my many Lavender bushes, I’d never really thought about just how many ways Lavender essential oil can be used.
It’s all too easy to be seduced by some of the more exotic (and expensive) essential oils available, but Lavender, with its very reasonable price tag and its almost unique status as an essential oil that can be applied undiluted to the skin should take pride of place in your Aromatherapy collection.
Listed below are 12 ways I’ve discovered that you can employ the healing, calming power of Lavender essential oils on your body, face and around the home.
1) A drop or two of neat Lavender essential oil on the temples and/or back of the neck can ease an aching head.
2) Apply a drop of Lavender oil (on its own or with a drop of Tea tree oil) directly to cuts, scrapes and scratches to promote healing and the growth of new skin. (NB: These are the only oils which should be ever used neat on the skin – avoid the eye area.)
3) A lavender bath relaxes tired muscles and soothes the mind, and also prepares the body for sleep. As with most essentials, 5 to 10 drops is enough. Rather than adding the oil directly to the bathwater (because essentials don’t blend with water) dilute the lavender in your favourite carrier oil. For something different, you could also try diluting the Lavender in a tablespoon of milk, or even honey.
4) Make your own natural and inexpensive bath salts by mixing Epsom salts, sea salt or table salt, and/or powdered milk, and adding a liberal amount (10 – 20 drops) of Lavender oil.
5) Five to ten drops of Lavender essential oil mixed into two tablespoons (30ml) of your favourite carrier oil (Sweet Almond is recommended) makes a wonderfully relaxing and sleepy massage oil. Alternatively, substitute half of the Lavender with Geranium or Chamomile oil.
6) To induce restful sleep, put a drop or two (no more) of Lavender on a cotton ball and tuck it into the corner of your pillow case. Lavender is effective at inducing a relaxing sleep either on its own or when combined with Chamomile.
7) Fragrance and freshen any room in the house by adding a few drops of Lavender oil to an aroma lamp ring, radiator humidifier or simply in a bowl of hot water.
8) Add a few drops of Lavender oil to a clean cotton cloth and place in your tumble dryer to give a relaxing scent to bed sheets, pillowcases and towels.
9) Treat your feet to an essential oil footbath -carrying more weight and suffering more stress than any other part of the body, they deserve it. A soothing footbath will warm and relax the muscles, improve circulation and soothe any aches and pains. Add 5-10 drops of Lavender to 2 gallons (9 litres) of hot water. Alternatively, mix Lavender with Geranium for a relaxing footbath, or with Eucalyptus and Pine for tired, aching feet.
10) Make a portable Lavender rescue tool by adding 3-4 drops of Lavender, either on its own or with another oil onto a clean cotton handkerchief. When you feel the need, simply inhale from the hankie. This is particularly useful for treating colds or headaches, and for clearing your head -whether at work, just before an interview, or prior to an exam. For the latter, Lavender is especially good combined with Clary Sage or Rosemary.
11) Make a quick, easy and natural room spray for the home by adding up to 15 drops of Lavender essential oil to 1 fl oz (30ml) of water in a spray bottle, shake well, and use as an air freshener – do not spray on or near polished surfaces. This spray is also great to use at bedtime to promote a good night’s sleep – spray around the bedroom generously just before retiring for the night.
12) To purify both the air and the carpets in your home, place 4-5 drops of Lavender (on its own or combined with Bergamot and/or Pine) onto a cotton wool ball and place inside the dust bag of your vacuum cleaner, against the air filter (where the air blows from the vacuum). Replace with a new cotton wool ball as required. A Lavender soaked cotton wool ball will also neutralise odours and add a pleasant aroma to wardrobes, laundry baskets, airing cupboards and shoe racks.