How You Can Use Lavender Oil For Healing
I love lavender oil.
For example, I use it regularly for:
Calming anxiety and inducing sleep: sprayed or nebulized into the air, drops placed on a pillow, rubbed on the soles of the feet, or mixed with a carrier oil and sprinkled into a bath or even in micronized form in a capsule which is taken orally (Lavela—which I use all the time in my clinic)
- As a topical antiseptic and for wound healing, applied directly to the wound (but not to broken skin)
- To help with the healing of burns, when applied topically
- For headaches, when applied to the temples or base of the skull
And, let’s not forget, it smells so darn good! And I like to just rub it on my wrists, to keep me calm and happy.
I went to the lavender museum in Coustellet, France and learned some new things.
Three things I did not know about lavender.
- There are three different types of lavender and most of what you experience and smell is NOT fine lavender (good for medicinal purposes and particularly subtle in smell).
- Fine lavender grew wild on the slopes of Provence (along with sage and rosemary) and was gathered for hundreds of years by mostly women and children.
- Fine lavender is much more difficult to grow and expensive to produce than the hybrid lavender (spike lavender) that is used in most cosmetic and cleaning products.
Fine lavender, which we use for therapeutic purposes (and for fine perfumes) is called lavandula vera (also called officianalis or angustifolia), and is distinct in its delicate fragrance and its healing qualities.
There are two other kinds of lavender in cultivation, spike lavender (lavandula spica, not used for its fragrance), and a hybrid of “spike lavender” and fine lavender, called lavandin (lavandula hybrida). Lavandin is easier to grow than fine lavender and produces more flowers per plant—making it less expensive to manufacture its essential oil. It is used in almost all lavender scented products.
But if you want lavender oil for its aromatherapy or medicinal uses, you want to be sure you have fine lavender. 130 kg of fine lavender are needed to make only 1.1 liter of lavender essential oil! Which is why it is so expensive. Lavandin, on the other hand, has five times that production ability, because of its larger and more numerous flowers.
If you’ve never tried an essential oil, and you want to, this is a great one to experiment with! Just remember that any essential oil can cause reactions if applied to sensitive skin undiluted, so be cautious, and if you’re not sure, always dilute with a benign carrier oil, such as grapeseed or almond oil.