We might all have fond memories of lavender wafting out of grandma’s house; however there are many lavender oil benefits you may not know of, making it a wonderful kitchen remedy. Here we look at the current research of lavender oil uses and how they may benefit you.
1. Symptoms of premenstrual tension
Up to 75% of women will experience premenstrual tension (PMT) during their child bearing years. Some of the symptoms include bloating, pain, irritability, moodiness, anxiety and low mood. Using lavender essential oil through aromatherapy has been shown to alleviate the symptoms associated with PMT. All you need to do is add lavender oil to your diffuser and just 10 mins of inhalation can provide significantly reduced low mood and confusion, lasting up to 35 minutes post inhalation.
2. Increased sleep quality
Lavender oil is probably best known for its calming or sleep inducing effects. Research has now shown that lavender essential oil can significantly improve sleep quality. By adding a few drops of lavender oil to your pillow every evening before bed you can drift off to dreamland and get a good night’s rest.
3. Reduced anxiety
In addition to improving sleep quality, lavender can also help reduce anxiety levels. Inhalation of lavender essential oil daily for 15 days has been shown to reduce levels of anxiety. One study showed the use of lavender oil fragrance at a dental reception effectively reduced patients’ state of anxiety. Pop some oils in your bag and take a sniff when feeling anxious or overwhelmed throughout the day and remember to take them to your next visit to the dentist.
4. Promotes hair growth
Whilst lavender certainly has many benefits in maintaining healthy skin, it also can promote new hair growth. If you want luscious long locks give lavender a try as there are some studies suggesting its use as a hair growth promoting agent. When combined with other essential oils including thyme, rosemary and cedarwood it has been shown to significantly improve hair loss in alopecia areata (spot baldness) when massaged into the scalp daily.
5. Assists in wound healing
Lavender oil has some wonderful properties that help with wound healing. When applied to a minor wound, it can help promote healing by helping the minor wound to contract and speed up the process of tissue repair. You can add 4 drops of lavender oil to 10gm of vitamin e cream or coconut oil and apply to the minor wound.
Lavender essential oil acts as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic making it an effective pain reliever in mild to moderate pain. It has many applications including assisting with osteoarthritis pain, neck and back pain, period pain (dysmenorrhoea) and cramping. A popular use of lavender oil is in aromatherapy massage, which has been found to be more effective in relieving pain in knee osteoarthritis in comparison to massage without lavender oil. Next time you are feeling a niggle just rub in some lavender oil mixed with a base oil like coconut or jojoba to the area of concern or better yet, ask your loved one for an aromatherapy massage.
7. Migraine headache relief
Whilst headaches are an unpleasant health ailment, migraines can be debilitating. Due to its analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety actions, lavender may be beneficial in reducing the pain and tension of a headache or migraine. Relief can be found through inhalation of the essential oil or through rubbing the oil on pressure points including the temples and the nape of the neck. Combine lavender with peppermint oil when applying topically for an added cooling effect. Never apply an essential oil directly to your skin, always have it in a base oil or cream.
8. Treatment of head lice
Head lice are a common and annoying childhood problem that runs rampant throughout schools. Lavender oil is an effective option when addressing head lice and can also help prevent lice infestations. It works particularly well when combined with tea tree oil. Add the lavender and tea tree oil to coconut oil and massage the oil into your hair and scalp and leave for 2 hours. Shampoo hair, rinse and then apply conditioner. Using a nit comb, remove the nits and their eggs and then rinse and dry hair as normal. It is recommended to repeat this at 3,5,7,9 and 10 days for best results.
9. Antimicrobial action
One well known lavender oil benefit is its antimicrobial action. For centuries, it has been used topically to help combat bacterial and fungal infections, with a multitude of studies supporting this benefit. The antimicrobial activity of lavender is further enhanced when it is combined with other essential oils including clove, tea tree and cinnamon oil for topical use.
10. Ease sunburn
Due to its antiseptic and antimicrobial properties and its ability to assist with skin healing, lavender makes a great remedy to ease sunburn. Add a few drops to aloe vera gel or mix up a spray with both lavender and peppermint essential oils to help take the sting out of that burn.
References available on request.