Traditionally used to treat burns, lavender is one of history’s most celebrated and versatile essential oils. Today lavender is used to dress wounds, induce sleep, ease depression, and reduce stress. Around the world, lavender is drunken as tea, worn as perfume, and distilled into therapeutic grade essential oils. Lavender oil is one of the safest essential oils and can be used in full strength on the skin. The benefits of lavender essential oil are limitless. As we continue to study lavender, additional usage and efficacy is identified.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) has a fresh, sweet, floral, herbaceous aroma that is soothing and refreshing. Because it is the most versatile of all essential oils, no home should be without it. Lavender is an adaptogen, and therefore can assist the body when adapting to stress or imbalances. It is a great aid for relaxing and winding down before bedtime, yet has balancing properties that can also boost stamina and energy. Therapeutic-grade lavender essential oil is highly regarded for skin and beauty. It may be used to soothe and cleanse common cuts, bruises, and skin irritations.
Primary Benefits of Lavender Essential Oil
- Balances and normalizes body functions*
- Promotes tissue regeneration*
- Speeds up wound healing*
- Cleanses cuts, bruises and, skin irritations*
- Soothes and relaxes the mind and body
- Eases bodily aches and pains
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Lavender in History
In ancient Greece, Pedanius Dioscorides, a physician, pharmacologist, and botanist, extolled the medicinal qualities of lavender. Greeks also used lavender as a perfume.
The Romans used lavender in their baths for washing, for its healing and antiseptic qualities, and to deter insects. The Egyptians used lavender as an ingredient in incense and perfume. Queen Elizabeth I drank lavender tea to treat her frequent migraines.
Following a laboratory explosion that severely burned his arm, a French scientist named Rene Gattefosse was the first modern scientist to document lavender’s ability to promote tissue regeneration.
Chemistry of Lavender
Lavender’s scientific name is Lavandula Angustifolia. It is a member of the Lamiaceae, or mint, family. There are over 28 species in the Lavandula genus. As an anti-oxidant, lavender has an approximate ORAC of 3,669 (TE/L). TE/L is expressed as micromole Trolox equivalent per liter.
Some of the most influential chemical compounds present in lavender essential oil are linalool (44.54%), Geraniol (11.02%), and Lavandul Acetate (10.78%). Linalool, which is found in high concentrations in lavender, is a common natural chemical compound which is responsible for the pleasant floral and herbaceous scents of lavender. Over 2oo plants produce linalool, including members of the mint family, laurels, birches and citrus.
Linalool can be found in the majority of scented cosmetics and household products. It’s used as a pest and mosquito repellent and was also found in Japan to reduce stress levels of lab animals. “In a study published in The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry  , they exposed the animals to stressful conditions and found that those inhaling linalool saw their stress-elevated levels of neutrophils and lymphocytes fall to near-normal levels compared with the controls. Inhaling linalool also reduced the activity of more than 100 genes that ‘go into overdrive’ in stressful situations.”
Uses for Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender is antiseptic, analgesic, anti-tumoral, anti-convulsant, anti-inflammatory, and sedative. It is beneficial for cleansing and healing wounds, treating burns, and for use in skin care. Lavender is gentle to the skin and helps to prevent the buildup of excess sebum, a skin oil that contributes to acne. It’s been clinically evaluated for its relaxing effects and has been used to reduce stress, promote a restful sleep and sooth tension headaches.
Diffuse or inhale directly for aromatherapy. Apply topically to skin irritations, cuts, or wherever desired. Add to food or rice milk as a dietary supplement.
- Inhale lavender essential oil to soothe and relax the body and mind.
- Make an herbal tea by mixing 2 drops of lavender essential oil with 1 teaspoon of blue agave syrup and adding to warm water.
- Add 4–5 drops of lavender essential oil to a bath gel base and use in warm bath for relaxation.
- Drop 1–2 drops of lavender essential oil on your pillow to aid in a restful night of sleep.
- Massage several drops of lavender essential oil on feet to promote relaxation.
- Soothe minor burns by applying 2–3 drops of lavender essential oil to the affected area.
- Rub lavender essential oil on dry or chapped skin to moisturize the affected area.
- Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to a cotton ball and place it in closets and drawers to scent linens and repel moths and insects.
- You may be able to minimize the appearance of scar tissue by massaging lavender essential oil on or around affected areas.
- Place a few drops of lavender essential oil on a wet cloth or dryer sheet to deodorize and freshen your laundry.
- Diffuse lavender essential oil to minimize seasonal discomforts.
- Rub a few drops of lavender essential oil onto your hand and spread over you or your child’s pillow to help him/her sleep.
- Diffuse lavender essential oil before leaving the house or before guests arrive to calm anxious pets.
- Diffuse or inhale lavender essential oil to calm your mind, body, and spirit after a hard day’s work.
- University researchers in Japan found that diffusing certain aromas in an office environment dramatically improved mental accuracy and concentration. Diffused lavender resulted in 20 percent fewer errors (diffused lemon was 54 percent and jasmine was 33 percent fewer errors. (EODR, published January 2009)
- Immediately put 2-3 drops of Lavender oil directly on minor burns, continue to apply with lotion daily until healed
- Drop Lavender on a cut to soothe it
- Rub Lavender oil on dry or chapped to bring relief
- Rub a drop of Lavender oil on chapped or sunburned lips to help discomfort.
- Rub 2 – 4 drops of Lavender oil over the armpit area to act as a natural deodorant
- Briskly rub a drop of Lavender oil between your palms and inhale deeply to help in alleviating the discomfort of airborne pollen and/or dust
- Use several drops of Lavender oil on the scalp to help with flaking
- Place a few drops of Lavender oil on a wet cloth and toss into the dryer to deodorize and freshen your laundry
- Diffusing Lavender oil supports the body’s natural defenses against air borne sensitivities to the skin and immune system
- Spritz several drops of Lavender oil mixed with distilled water on a sunburn helps soothe it (also try Young Living’s Lavaderm spray)
Young Living’s purity allows us to be able to take the oils internally which is something I would never suggest doing with other brands on the market. Here’s a fun recipe for lavender lemonade
7 lemons, juiced
2 limes, juiced
14 cups water
1 ½ cups Blue Agave
1 drop lavender essential oil
Mix all ingredients together and chill. Add more water or Blue Agave, depending on the size and tartness of the fruit.
These usage tips come directly from users of Young Living therapeutic grade lavender oil. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any illness or condition. We do hope you find them as useful as their authors did. Do you have a lavender experience to share? Please leave it in the comments below for us all to enjoy!
Get Started Using Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender is often called “the universal oil” because of its many varied uses. The best way to harness the benefits of lavender is to use a pure therapeutic grade lavender essential oil. When sourcing lavender essential oil, be careful to avoid adulterated, diluted or synthetic oils. The majority of commercially available “essential oils” are either partial synthetic reproductions or true essential oils cut with solvents and extenders. You can safeguard against these adulterated oils by seeking out oils that adhere to ANFOR/ISO therapeutic grade essential oil standards. These standards call out specific ratios and concentrations of active ingredients required, which guarantees the purity and potency of your oils.
At School of Essential Oils we only use and recommend Young Living therapeutic grade essential oils which are farmed organically and carefully produced to the strictest quality standards. Click here to find out how to order top-quality therapeutic grade essential oils directly from Young Living at either the wholesale or retail price.
About School of Essential Oils
At School of Essential Oils, we are dedicated to promoting well-being and a natural lifestyle through online education and providing access to quality therapeutic grade essential oils. We produce a free 5-part online course which offers an introduction to essential oils, the chemistry behind essential oils, history and resources. Each lesson is less than 10 minutes long, presented as an engaging and easy to read article with photos and video.
Notes and Sources:
- Young, D. Gary. Essential Oils Integrative Medical Guide. Essential Science Publishing. November 2006.
- Nakamura, Akio et al.; Fujiwara, S; Matsumoto, I; Abe, K (20 May 2009). “Stress Repression in Restrained Rats by (R)-(−)-Linalool Inhalation and Gene Expression Profiling of Their Whole Blood Cells”. The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry (American Chemical Society) 57 (12): 5480–5485. doi:10.1021/jf900420g. PMID 19456160. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf900420g. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
- Casabianca H, Graff JB, Faugier V, Fleig F, Grenier C (1997) Enantiomeric distribution studies of linalool and linalyl acetate. A powerful tool for authenticity control of essential oils. HRC J High Res Chrom 21:107-112
- “Chemical composition of the essential oil of Lavandula angustifolia from Xinjiang, China.” Published in Khimiya Prirodnykh Soedinenii, No. 6, p. 652, November-December, 2008. Accessed via SpringerLink, December 2010.
- “Young Living Product Information Sheet.” Young Living Essential Oils. 2008.