10 Ways to Use Lavender Oil: Anxiety, Eczema, Soreness, & More
7 minute read
As a flower, lavender is beautiful and smells fantastic. It’s bold and showy and has a long blooming season. Plus, after the first year, lavender is a pretty low-maintenance plant. As a food additive, it has a gently fresh flavor that has a hint of sweetness.
While all of those factors make lavender a favorite, it is as an essential oil that lavender really shines. If you’re going to pick only one essential oil to use, this is the one and we’ve got 10 great reasons why.
Like all essential oils, before trying it directly on your skin, dilute lavender in a carrier oil to lessen the likelihood of an allergic reaction. Lavender oil is not just fantastic when applied to your skin or rubbed into your muscles during a massage, it can be used in other ways.
Putting lavender in a diffuser is a fantastic way to inhale the scent and disperse it throughout the entire room so the benefits can be shared. Lavender is also a great perfume and scent to incorporate into candles for similar results.
Now here are some great ways to use lavender oil for better health.
1. Relieve Stress
Lavender has a long history of being used to relieve stress and improve relaxation. This is not just anecdotal, the relaxing effects of lavender on the nervous system have been proven in clinical studies.
Inhale the oil and let the scent work on your limbic system. Or use it topically with a massage and create central nervous system depression, which slows down nervous reactions and decreases anxiety.
2. Calm Reaction to Bee Sting or Insect Bite
Not only is lavender oil good for soothing bug bites you already have, it can ward off mosquitos with a scent they’re not attracted to.
Lavender oil is great at reducing inflammation, which can help greatly when it comes to the pain, itching, and swelling that happens when you have a bug bite.
3. Treat Minor Burns
Lavender contains linalyl acetate and linalool, which have analgesic and anesthetic effects. When these are paired with lavender’s antibacterial properties, it’s a combination perfect for treating minor burns.
The key to note here is that if you have a major burn; i.e., a third-degree burn with skin missing and discoloration of the area that’s beyond your typical redness, you need to seek professional medical help and should not try any home therapies. Get to a doctor immediately.
But for sunburns, first degree burns and even some minor second-degree burns, you may find lavender is very useful.
4. Clean a Small Wound
Lavender is a natural anti-inflammatory, an antibiotic, an antiviral, and an anti-fungal. This makes it a handy little tool to have along when you have minor cuts and scrapes.
To properly clean a wound and use essential oils, start by washing the area thoroughly and using hydrogen peroxide to remove all dirt and foreign particles. Then apply a drop or two of lavender oil and massage it into the area if possible and then cover it with a bandage.
If you need to, apply the lavender oil to the bandage and put that on your wound. There are also analgesic qualities to help you with pain.
5. Combat Hay Fever and Other Allergies
Lavender has long been used to fight off the effects of hay fever and other allergies. This belief has been proven in studies where lavender inhibited histamine release.
It is thought that this reaction will translate to human models, so it is worth trying for people who often suffer from seasonal allergies and hay fever.
6. Soothe Dermatitis and Eczema
This is a little bit of a tricky area because oftentimes the cause of eczema or dermatitis (skin irritation) is not known and lavender, like all plants and natural substances, can be an allergen for some.
While lavender can be very soothing for many with skin conditions, it’s recommended that you start out slowly, using a carrier oil to check for an allergic reaction or worsening of your condition.
If you have a positive response and receive relief, then you can add more lavender to your treatment regimen. If not, there are other natural ways to help skin problems, such as krill oil.
7. Calm Motion Sickness and Nausea
The same properties in lavender that make it such a great relaxing agent are likely also responsible for its power to fight nausea and motion sickness.
Treat nausea by putting a few drops of lavender essential oil into a diffuser and breath in the scent slowly.
8. Relieve Joint Pain and Sore Muscles
Lavender does double duty when you have joint and muscle pain.
First of all, the scent will help calm and relax you, allowing you to let go of tenseness in your muscles. It also is great when massaged into the skin, as it increases circulation, stimulates the area, and will further propel nerves into a relaxed state.
9. Soothe Dry, Chapped Skin and Lips
Lavender oil is great for your skin and lips. Plus, it’s a wonderful wash to use to support healthy and moisturized skin. The word lavender comes from the Latin word lavare, which is the verb “to wash.”
Lavender baths have been around for centuries and were popular in Persia, Greece, and Rome. Dilute several drops into a carrier for homemade lotion and lip balm or add it to your bath for an all-over wash.
10. Prevent and Treat Dandruff
Get ready to win the dandruff battle with lavender oil. Dandruff is not dry skin, it’s a skin condition caused by a fungus that lives on the scalp.
| Related: 6 Health Benefits of Lavender and How to Grow Your Own |
The antifungal properties of lavender make it the perfect weapon to fight this condition and to leave your scalp feeling and smelling fantastic. Adopt a regular lavender scalp treatment routine to eradicate this irritant.
The Bottom Line
Lavender oil has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments and it’s no surprise as it has many healing properties that make it beneficial in a variety of situations. It’s also a plant that’s very easy to grow once it’s established, meaning it’s easy to get the oil.
If you’d like to take it a step further, lavender has become a popular and trendy food additive, and you can use the oil or flowers to add a distinctive floral sweetness to foods and beverages.
Once you begin to discover and see the benefits of lavender, you may realize that it’s the one essential oil you need in your life on a regular basis.