Friday, July 3, 2009

oil profile: Lavender

Lavender was my first essential oil to obtain; it's considered the "desert island oil", the one you'd choose to take with you if you could bring no others. Its wide variety of claims give a beginner plenty of chances to experience the benefits of essential oils without having to invest heavily in an array of different oils.

Here are ten common uses recommended by

First Aid
For minor cuts and scrapes, apply one drop of pure lavender essential oil directly to the wound (after the wound has been cleaned), then dress with an appropriate bandage. For deep cuts or wounds, consult your doctor or a licensed clinical aromatherapist before applying essential oil. Lavender helps to regenerate tissue and can cause healing from the outside in if used too quickly - again, make sure to consult your physician or a licensed clinical aromatherapist for advice.
For mild burns, place a few drops of lavender essential oil onto the dressing that will be placed over the wound. Also be sure to use any appropriate salve as directed by your physician.
To help reduce problems with insomnia, simply apply one drop of lavender essential oil to the edge of a pillowcase. Take deep breaths, and relax from your toes all the way to your head, focusing on all the major body parts along the way. Eventually, your body will become "trained" to the effects of the essential oil - usually within a week or two -- and you will notice a significantly faster reaction with continued use.
Place 20 drops of lavender in a warm bath and relax. 5-10 drops may also be used in a vaporizer for inhalation. If a bathtub or vaporizer isn't available, simply apply 3 drops to a cotton ball and inhale as needed. If you face a stressful daily commute, car diffusers work wonders: place 5 drops of lavender essential oil onto the pad and plug the unit into your cigarette lighter.
Lavender's analgesic properties help to reduce sunburn pain, and lavender is also useful in the sunburn healing process. For large, lightly burned areas, use about 15 drops of lavender essential oil to 1 tbsp of distilled water and dab gently over the entire affected area. For smaller, more severe sunburns, apply lavender essential oil neat (directly) to the area - but make sure that you only use a drop or two, since essential oil is extremely potent.
Household disinfectant
Lavender has superb antimicrobial and antiseptic properties, making it a great household disinfectant. For cleaning sinks, tubs, or toilets, sprinkle baking soda and 3-5 drops of lavender essential oil onto a sponge and scrub away. After you're finished scrubbing, rinse the area well. For washing floors, countertops, etc., simply add 60 drops of essential oil to a bucket of warm water, and wipe or mop as needed.
Lavender helps to reduce inflammation, regenerate skin tissue, and promote healing of bruises. To ease inflammation, place 5 drops of lavender essential oil into a bowl of cold water, wet a washcloth in the lavender solution, and apply as a compress to the affected area. After using the initial compress, apply a drop or two directly upon the bruised area once a day until the area has healed.
Colic or tummy aches in infants
Place 1-3 drops of lavender essential oil into 1 tsp of carrier oil (such as jojoba or sesame). Rub the oil mixture gently onto your baby's tummy and lower back in a clockwise direction. Repeat this procedure every few hours until the symptoms subside.
After a long day, place 10 drops of lavender essential oil into a hot footbath and soak for 30 minutes. Lavender has a well-earned reputation as a restorative - you'll be surprised how much better you'll feel!
Insect bites/bee stings
Place one drop of lavender essential oil directly onto insect bites or bee stings. Lavender's anti-inflammatory properties reduce swelling, its analgesic properties reduce pain and itch, and its healing properties encourage tissue repair. Frequently, you'll hardly notice the bite at all if you apply the oil immediately after being bit or stung.

...pretty hard to believe that one oil could do all that, isn't it? And smell so good to boot.

Greenfeet recommends two books by Julia Lawless and Valerie Ann Worwood at the end of this passage. I've already got one of Worwood's books on its way to me now.


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