When you begin building up your collection of essential oils, there is no better place to start than with lavender. Its dreamy fragrance has made it a popular perfume for centuries, but this gentle herb also has powerful harmonising properties.
The Healing Herb
The valuable therapeutic oil produced by lavender flowers can be used to treat troubles of the heart and mind. It is widely used by herbalists and aromatherapists to treat depression, but its healing properties also run to pain relief of a more physical kind.
As a massage oil, lavender relaxes muscles and eases tension. Its strong antiseptic properties effectively heal conditions such as acne or sunburn.
Active Ingredients of Lavender
The combination of compounds that make up lavender contribute to its legendary healing powers.
Up to 50% of lavender oil is actually the alcohol linalol. Linalol helps to kill bacteria an viruses. It also help to heal burns, wounds and sores.
Ketones are compounds that help to relieve pain, build new skin tissues, and reduce inflammation. They also have a sleep-inducing effect. Ketones can be toxic, so lavender than contains percentages above 35% should be avoided. Diabetics, epileptics and pregnant women should avoid them completely.
Esters are compounds that ease swelling an soreness, prevent muscle spasms, fight fungal infections and prevent scarring. They also help to regulate your moods, preventing you from experiencing depression and hysteria.
After Sun Care
If you want to keep a suntan, don't soak in a piping hot bath - it only encourages the outer layer of skin to soften, flake or peel. Opt instead, for a lukewarm bath which will calm the skin.
- 2.5ml diluted lavender oil
- 2 drops pure lavender essential oil
- 1 drop pure chamomile essential oil
Add the oils to a bath filled with lukewarm water.
Aloe vera is an excellent skin coolant. Like lavender, it has tremendous healing properties, and can be used safely with essential oils for a soothing gel.
5ml aloe vera gel
5 drops pure lavender essential oil
Mix together in the palms of your hands and apply to any slightly reddened skin.
After Sun Spray
Keep this spray in an atomiser in the fridge and use it when the skin needs cooling down.
20ml still spring water
20 drops pure lavender essential oil
Shake well before spraying onto the skin.
Lavender is exceptional in its ability to combat insomnia. Calming and soothing, it can make all the difference to someone who's struggling to get to sleep. Try these suggestions and feel the benefits for yourself.
5 ml Diluted lavender oil
2 drops pure lavender essential oil
2 drops pure chamomile essential oil
Stroke a small amount onto the chest and over the solar plexus.
2 drops lavender pure essential oil
2 drops pure eucalyptus essential oil
Add to a steaming bowl of hot water and place it by your bed, so that you can inhale the aromas all night.
Improve your Skin and Hair
A great natural skin tonic, lavender helps to balance oil production and prevents scarring.
To prevent dandruff, add a few drops to the water of your final hair rinse or sprinkle some onto your hairbrush.
Treat minor cuts, bites, strains and bruises by adding a few drops of lavender oil to a bowl of water, soaking a flannel and pressing it over the affected area.
Treat spots and pimples by dabbing them morning and night with lavender oil.
Make an after-shampoo rinse for dull and oily hair with a jug of mineral water, a few drops of lavender oil and the juice of one lemon. Leave to infuse for 30 minutes before use.
The difficulty is the fleas' breeding pattern - rugs, carpets and even beds provide nests for their eggs. If you are really plagued with this problem, consult a vet.
Dogs are easier to treat than cats, because essential oils must not get into the eyes - cats often rub their paws around their eyes. Be careful not to leave any neat oil on their fur.
The best method is to wash you pet's bedding regularly, putting a couple of drops of pure lavender oil in the water and to use it in an aerosol spray on your carpets and rugs.
600ml warm water
2 drops pure lavender essential oil
2 drops pure cedarwood essential oil
Swish the essential oils around well to disperse them in the water. Take a dog brush and soak the bristles in this solution. Then brush the dog through. Alternatively, soak a piece of disposable cloth in the solution and rub it all over the coat. Make sure you avoid the face and delicate sections of the underneath area. Continue until the whole coat is covered.
Soak an ordinary fabric collar in the following solution. Allow it to dry before using. Repeat every 4-6 weeks.
3 drops pure lavender essential oil
3 drops pure citronella essential oil
Or use this light spray in a plant mister on bedding. Repeat every week for six weeks.
1 drop pure lavender essential oil
1 drop pure citronella essential oil