Benefits and Uses of Lavender Essential Oil

The use of essential oils for health and wellness is a practice that is becoming more and more common in homes all over the world. However, every essential oil has its own unique properties, so it’s important to learn what each can do.

This article, provided by Allen Wei from Lean To Relax shares  21 of the best uses and benefits specific to your mental health, skin care, hair, stomach, and more.

Mental Health

1. Get Better Sleep for More Energy in the Daytime

Lavender has been used for hundreds of years as a way to treat insomnia, restless leg syn-drome, and other sleep-related problems.

In the past, people would dry up lavender leaves and put them under their pillows. The scent given off was said to promote relaxation by inducing alpha waves in the brain.

Science-Based Research

A study was published in the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand which investi-gated the effects of lavender oil on mood, the central nervous system, and the autonomic nervous sys-tem.

The results showed that the lavender oil caused a decrease in blood pres-sure, skin tempera-ture, and heart rate, along with an increase in the power of alpha and theta brain activities.

How to use it?

In order to create your own lavender sleep aid, you can mix five or six drops of lavender essen-tial oil with a half cup of distilled water.

Add in one teaspoon of witch hazel and put it all into a spray bottle. Before bed, spritz your pillow case and linens with the lavender oil mixture.

You can also fill an oil diffuser with a few drops of the oil and set it by your bed.


2. Relieve Headaches

Lavender oil can be used to soothe and prevent headaches. Whether you suffer from mi-graines or other headache types such as gastric, nervous, general, sinus, or tension, this oil may be able to provide relief.

Science-Based Research

Researchers at the Mashhad University of Medical Science Department of Neurology per-formed a study on the efficacy of lavender oil inhalation in treating migraines.

The results showed 71% of those who inhaled lavender oil had symptoms improve partially or in full, while only 47% of the paraffin group reported improvements.

They concluded that inhaling lavender can be effec-tive in the acute management of migraine headaches.

How to use it?

There are a few different ways that you can use lavender oil in order to gain the benefits it has to offer for headaches.

One way is by getting an oil diffuser and running your lavender essential oil through it inside your home or office. Add four to five drops.

Another method is taking two to three drops of the oil and directly rubbing it in on the areas of your head that are feeling pain.


3. Reduce Anxiety and Depression

Lavender is calming, anti-convulsive, and a sedative that is used to reduce anxiety and depres-sive feelings.

For patients suffering from severe anxiety, lavender aromas can be used to aid in reprogramming the mind following a panic or acute attack.

With regular use, the relief process can start with the calming memories that surround the scent of lavender.

Science-Based Research

Forty-two college women studying in a nursing program at Keukdong College had reported is-sues with insomnia and depression.

They were entered into a study to determine if lavender scents would have an effect on their mental health conditions.

The results showed that lavender oil is beneficial for insomnia and depression in female college students.

How to use it?

One way to use lavender essential oils to reduce anxiety and depression is through hand massage. The scent can be mixed in with lotion and gently rubbed onto the surface of the skin.

For those that are suffering from panic or anxiety attacks, simply open up the bottle of oil and inhale the scent. Putting a few drops in a constantly running oil diffuser in your home is never a bad idea either as a preventative measure.


4. Reduce Agitation in Dementia

Lavender scents have been proven to create a relaxing, positive, and stable mood for those that use it.

People that suffer from dementia will frequently become confused which causes irritation and agitation. With the properties that lavender oil has, the ability to reduce these undesirable feelings is possible.

Science-Based Research

There have been a plethora of controlled clinical studies performed to evaluate the effec-tiveness of lavender oil in patients with dementia.

The goal being to determine if there are any changes in the participant’s moods, agitation, alertness, likelihood to wander, and other side effects related to the disease.

In one such study, lavender geranium and other essential oils were applied directly to the skin of 39 patients for an unspecified amount of time.

At the conclusion of the study, it was recorded that these individuals were more alert, less agitated, and they slept better at night. It was determined that lavender does have a positive effect on the mood of dementia patients, but further research is required.

How to use it?

For people that have been diagnosed with dementia, place an oil diffuser in their room with lav-ender oil.

This is an effective way for them to inhale the scent without someone having to ex-plain to them what they are doing and potentially confusing them even more.

Dementia patients that allow hand massages can also benefit from a few drops in their favorite lotion before appli-cation.

5. Elevate Mood


A variety of benefits are harnessed within the use of lavender oil including the ability for it to elevate one’s mood.

The oil creates a relaxing feeling in the brain that allows for those that use it to better enjoy their current mind state and existing environments.

Science-Based Research

A study was published in PubMed to test the effects of lavender oil versus participants that were given a prescription benzodiazepine.

Following a six-week period, the results indicat-ed that there was an improvement in the mood of the lavender group of 45% and a 46% improvement in the benzodiazepine group.

Lavender was just as effective for the treatment of general anxiety disorder while also having fewer negative side effects, like the potential to be abused.

How to use it?

Lavender oil that is emitted through a diffuser on a regular basis will keep the mood in your home at a relaxed state which improves all the inhabitants’ moods.

During particular-ly poor dis-position times, a lavender massage can give a boost in mood as well. You simply drop three to four drops of lavender oil into two three tablespoons of a carrier oil, like co-conut.

Then you mix well and massage it into the skin. Massages of the neck and upper back can be particularly help-ful.


Skin Care

6. Clear Skin of Acne

The anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties found in lavender oil have been used as one of the only natural ingredients available for the treatment of acne.

The contents of the oil fight off the bacteria that cause the inflammation and irritation associated with pimples, blemishes, and blackheads.

Science-Based Research

Studies completed through the University of Maryland Medical Center have proven that lavender is capable of clearing the skin of acne.

In one particular study (Guba 1998/1999), 4% lavender oil was used on skin ulcers and wounds in 18 different patients.

In most of the participants, the solution was applied topically every day. It took anywhere from five days to twelve weeks to see complete healing.

How to use it?

Dilute your lavender essential oil by mixing one to four drops in a base of olive or almond oil. For extreme acne cases, it is recommended that one part lavender and four parts tea tree oil is created.

Younger or sensitive skin acne suffers should further dilute their mixture with warm water. The mix can then be applied directly to the skin with a cotton swab.

It is important to apply this mixture consistently each morning and each night before going to bed. This will help to clear up acne while also moisturizing your skin.


7. Heal Insect Bites and Repel Insects

Insect bites, like those that occur from mosquitoes, have been successfully treated with the use of lavender essential oil.

The symptoms and side effects of the bite including itching, burning, and other irritation can be relieved instantly.

Science-Based Research

Research was performed to determine the repellent ability of lavender and four other es-sential oils against mosquitoes.

PubMed published that all of the oils did have some sort of repellent activity with a protection rate of 91% when used as a topical treatment with a 0.05% concentration.

The final decision was made that essential oils do have repellent ca-pabilities when it comes to fighting off mosquitoes.

How to use it?

The itching and swelling related to insect bites can be lessened by applying a few drops of oil directly to the affected area.

Also, prevent insect bites with homemade lavender soap. Use Cas-tile soap and add 10-15 drops of oil to it. Wash with the soap before going outside.

Alternatively, create a bug spray repellent by mixing 25 drops of lavender with 1/4 cup ap-ple cider vinegar or water. Provide even more protection by placing lavender plants out-side.

Then you’ll have your own source of lavender as well.


8. Use as a Toner to Balance Skin

Lavender helps in toning the skin because of the properties it has to increase circulation.

The boost provides the proper amount of oxygen and nutrition to the cells making them healthier and allowing them to renew quicker.

Lavender is also calm and refreshing, giving a cooling sensation and reducing redness.

Science-Based Research

A study was completed and published in the Journal of Convergence Information Technol-ogy regarding the antimicrobial abilities of lavender oil to balance the skin and treat acne lesions.

Over the course of four weeks, 52 college students were treated with a lavender oil intervention. Those that were treated showed a lesser number of inflammatory lesions and Propionibacterium acne following the completion of the study.

How to use it?

Make your own lavender oil skin toner by mixing one tablespoon of lavender buds, one cup of witch hazel, and eight drops of lavender essential oils together in a mason jar.

Screw the lid on and label for a ready date of two weeks away. Store it in a cool dark place.

Each day vigorously shake your toner. At the two week point, strain the toner through cheesecloth into a fresh bottle.

Your new toner is good for six weeks and can be applied with a clean cotton ball.


9. Relieve Pain from Burns

It was in the early 1900’s that a chemist discovered lavender could be used to help relieve pain from burns.

After he severely burned his hand, he submerged it in a container of lav-ender oil. His hand instantly stopped hurting.

Not only that, the injury healed more quickly and he didn’t end up with a nasty scar. This is due to the anti-infectious and anti-inflammatory properties of the oil.

Science-Based Research

A study was completed on rats and published in PubMed relating to burns and lavender oil’s ef-fectiveness in their treatment.

Five groups of six animals were created. The test groups were treated with the lavender along with a reference drug and the control group was given no treat-ment.

It was determined that the rats that were treated showed a 98% enhancement in their wound contraction rate, demonstrating the healing properties when it comes to treating burns.

How to use it?

There are different ways to help burns using lavender depending on the type of the burn.

For a scald, run the area under cool water and then use a cold compress combined with eight to ten drops of lavender oil on the area.

If you normally use aloe for burns, mix ten drops of lavender in with about a half a cup of your aloe before applying it.

To get instant relief, mix ten drops of lavender oil with four ounces of distilled water in a spray bottle. Spritz it on your skin whenever the pain becomes bothersome.


10. Protect Against Infections (fungal and bacterial)

Lavender oil has been subject to hundreds of tests proving its favorable use in protecting against antimicrobial disorders and infections.

The synergistic reaction of mixing lavender with other oils shows that blends like lavender-cinnamon and lavender-orange produce powerful antimicrobial protection.

As an added benefit, when using lavender to fight off skin, hair, and nail infections from dermatophytes and Candida, the oil does not cause a resistance like other prescription type medications do.

Science-Based Research

Fifty different clinical isolates of Candida albicans were tested against the anti-fungal ca-pabili-ties of lavender essential oil.

Part of the findings found in the PubMed published study stated that lavender oil at 2% concentration killed 100% Candida albicans ATCC 3153 cells in just 15 minutes!

The conclusion was made that lavender oil does reduce the progression of fungus and it also aids in the spreading of infection.

How to use it?

If you feel as though you are going to get an infection, make up a lavender tea and drink it right away. For nail and skin infections, apply lavender oil directly to the affected area.

Drop two to three drops onto a cotton ball and rub it into the skin. Vaginal fungal infections can also be treated with lavender by making a douche with tea and the essential oil.

It may require several applications to see healing results so be consistent with the application.


Hair

11. Maintain Thicker Hair

There are several contributing factors to hair loss including depression, anxiety, and stress. Each of these can be treated with lavender oils.

As a result, the maintaining of thicker hair is possible. The blood circulation that is created by massaging in lavender oil also helps in stimulating hair growth.

Science-Based Research

Mice participants were used in a study to help in determining the effectiveness of lavender oil for hair growth. Measurements were taken for hair follicle depth, the amount of hair follicles, and thickness of the dermal layer in comparison to the normal group.

The laven-der oil group was recorded with a notable change in growth in all areas, showing it could be used topically for a hair growth-promoting agent.

How to use it?

In order to use lavender oil as a way to maintain and prevent further hair loss, the essential oils can be blended in with your favorite hair conditioner or scalp treatment.

Be sure to drop four to five drops of oil for every two to three tablespoons of conditioner. The solution is then applied directly to the scalp and massaged in for ten to fifteen minutes.

Repeat the treatment several times a week to get the best results.


12. Treat Dandruff for Flake Free Hair

Dandruff is a result of a dry and itchy scalp. Whenever you scratch the affected area, por-tions of skin come off and land on the hair shaft leaving an unsightly look of unkemptness near the scalp.

Lavender can be effective in treating dandruff because of its hydrating and moisturizing properties.

Science-Based Research

A combination of detergent shampoo, various additives, and 0.5% lavender oil were blend-ed and used on twenty different participants in a study published in the Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research.

Following several different observations including the feel, spreadability, and odor, the volunteers reported that they were accepting of the capability it had to fight dandruff.

How to use it?

To treat dandruff, add a few drops of lavender oil to a squirt bottle full of warm water. Shake the solution up well.

Spritz the mixture evenly all over your scalp and down to the ends of your hair. Let it sit for several minutes before rinsing out completely.

Repeat the process whenever you notice your dandruff getting out of control.


13. Use as Conditioner for Shiny and Fragrant Hair

Lavender is a scent that is extremely fragrant, making it an ideal choice for helping to make hair smell fresher. The oil can also be used to create a shinier look in the hair strands because of its properties.

You can get the luster and life back into your strands along with a pleasant boost of fragrance.

Science-Based Research

It deep conditions, adds shine, and aids in controlling dandruff as reported by WebMD.

How to use it?

To create your own conditioner at home, take 1/4 cup of dried lavender boiled in two cups of water and add a few drops of your lavender essential oil.

Allow the solution to cool a bit as to not burn your scalp. Then, apply it all over your hair from the scalp to the ends.

Leave it on for at least fifteen minutes before rinsing out.


14. Regrow Hair Lost from Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that causes patches of hair to fall out.

Many pa-tients have successfully used lavender oil to help with regrowing the hair that they lost.

The properties of lavender along with the blood circulation that occurs during the massage of the scalp both attribute to stimulating the hair follicle and causing the hair to come back.

Male patterned baldness is also effectively treated with lavender oil.

Science-Based Research

The University of Maryland Medical Center reported on a study done of 86 people with alopecia areata.

Each of the participants was directed to massage their scalp with a laven-der oil solution along with other essential oils.

After seven months, there were significant amounts of hair regrowth reported when compared to those patients that did not use any oil.

How to use it?

To make your scalp treatment using lavender oil, mix three drops of both lavender and rosemary oil, two drops of cemarwood oil and thyme oil, four teaspoons of grapeseed oil, and a half a teaspoon of jojoba oil.

Mix the oils together well and massage a small amount into a tiny spot on your scalp. Wait for several minutes to make sure there are no negative reactions.

As long as it works out well, cover your entire scalp and massage for about five minutes.

Repeat the process every night for the best results.


Stomach

15. Improve Digestion to Relieve Pain or Burning

Pain or burning associated with the digestive tract are common problems associated with indi-gestion which can eventually lead to peptic ulcers and other problems in the stomach and intes-tines.

Lavender allows for the body to properly digest fats through the promotion of bile secre-tion and lining of the digestive tract. Other digestion issues like constipation and gas can also be helped.

Science-Based Research

A study was completed to determine the effectiveness of lavender oil treatment on digestive issues and can be found on PubMed.

Eight different essential oils were tested to discover which, if any, influenced the treatment of stomach related bacterial issues.

Following the testing, it was determined that lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) was one of the most promising when it came to fighting bacteria.

How to use it?

Lavender tea consumption is a great way to help in improving the pain and burning that happens in the digestive tract.

You can create your own tea by boiling one tablespoon of lavender buds in a glass of water and drinking it.

You can also run lavender oil through your diffuser and inhale the scent to help get the aid necessary for your digestion issues.


16. Feel Thinner By Reducing Bloating

Bloating is an uncomfortable problem that many deal with on a regular basis. The feeling is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria in the body.

Lavender has been used to treat bloating be-cause of the ability polyphenols have to reduce bacteria in the blood.

Irritable bowel syndrome is another cause of bloating, and lavender is commonly used to treat this disorder as well.

Science-Based Research

Several studies have been completed to determine the antimicrobial, fungicidal, and insec-ticidal properties of lavender.

NCBI posted the details related to the research surrounding this topic including the fact that there was antibacterial activity apparent in both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria when tested at concentrations ranging from 10-100%.

How to use it?

Culinary grade lavender added to your favorite type of yogurt is an effective way to reduce the bloating issue you are dealing with.

It will also aid in achieving proper digestion throughout your entire body.


17. Reduce Nausea

Nausea can be caused by several different factors including stress, intestinal parasites, the flu, inner ear disorders, motion sickness, pregnancy, and chemotherapy.

It is the feeling in the stom-ach region that makes you think that you are going to be sick. In some cases, you actually will vomit while other times the nausea will continue on without ever producing anything from your belly.

Lavender essential oil applied on proper points of the body can be used to help in reducing the miserable experience that is nausea.

How to use it?

Relieve nausea with the use of a drop of lavender oil placed on several different parts of the body.

You can apply it to the area under your belly button, behind your ears, or if you are using the proper type of lavender oil, a drop on the tongue is recommended.

Running lav-ender through a diffuser also gives you the ability to inhale the pleasant aroma.

Just being able to smell it can aid in settling your stomach. Explore which area or method works the best for you.


Other Health Benefits

18. Relieve Tired Muscles

Lavender oil is known for its relaxing properties. Just smelling the aroma has proven to reduce stress, anxiety, and pain levels.

The oil has also been used to help in relieving tired, sore, aching muscles. The places where it is most effective include the feet, hands, and head.

Science-Based Research

In an eight-session manual acupressure research study posted on NCBI, the effectiveness of alleviation in neck and back pain were both tested.

The results determined a noticeable al-leviation in the amount of pain reported along with the improvement of the movement pos-sible in the lumbar and cervical spine areas.

How to use it?

For sore hands and feet, fill a small bowl with warm water and add in four to six drops of laven-der oil. Place the tired muscles in the solution and allow them to soak for ten minutes.

Another way to relieve aching feet is by applying a few drops of lavender oil directly to them before go-ing to bed.

Additionally, you can combine four drops of lavender oil with four drops of rosemary and two drops of ginger. Use your favorite carrier oil such as al-mond oil and massage the affected area three times a day.


19. Heal Free Radicals with Antioxidant Properties

The body is constantly being subjected to free radicals created by chemicals, pollution, tox-ins, and stress.

As a result, you can experience immune inhibitions, cell damage, and a plethora of health risks.

Lavender is one of the essential oils that create a natural antioxi-dant support within the system to help and prevent the issues that go along with these free radicals.

Science-Based Research

A study was completed on whether or not the inhalation of lavender and rosemary in-creased the amount of free radical scavenging activity (FRSA) in saliva on PubMed. It was shown that the FRSA was increased in each volunteer.

In conclusion, it was determined that lavender does, in fact, enhance the FRSA while also decreasing stress and cortisol.

How to use it?

One sure way to get the exposure to lavender oil that is necessary to obtain the benefits as-sociat-ed with healing free radicals through antioxidant properties is by running it through a diffuser in your home.

Twenty-two hours of exposure is recommended for producing the three antioxidants necessary to protect your body.


20. Settle Muscle Spasms

Muscles spasms are not always painful, but they can be troubling. The calming and relaxa-tion properties that lavender essential oil can be utilized to help treat both involuntary and voluntary muscle spasms.

These spasms can occur anywhere in the nerves or within the nervous system. The body may also produce muscle spasms in the digestive tract. These can be put at ease with the help of a lavender essential oil as well.

How to use it?

There are different ways to treat each of these health issues depending on what area of the body is being affected.

You can use a carrier oil such as coconut, olive, or almond oil to blend your lavender with. Mix in a few drops and massage the area that is in spasm to help in relieving the issue.

To aid in the relaxation of internal muscle spasms, lavender oil of cer-tain qualities can be ingested. It is important to only use oil that is pure enough and labeled as therapeutic grade for this purpose.


21. Reduce Pain

Lavender oil has been used as a form of pain relief as far back as the World Wars. The sol-diers were given the oil for both pain and infection prevention.

Some of the treatments in-clude sore and tense muscles, aches, sprains, backaches, lumbago, rheumatism, and even for postoperative situations.

Science-Based Research

The US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health reported the findings of a study performed related to lavender and pain treatment.

One hundred ICU patients in-cluding half that were getting artificial ventilation were treated with a lavender essential oil massage.

There were noticeable changes showing the effectiveness in pain relief, lowering of blood pressure, and increasing wakefulness.

How to use it?

One of the ways the lavender oil can be used to reduce pain is by placing a few drops on a cotton ball and then applying it to the affected area.

You can also use the oil in a cream and massage the tense or painful area to relieve the pain.

An older method, that is still useful, is putting a cotton ball covered in oil in between your pillow and pillowcase and laying on it. Your head will produce heat and pressure that releases the oil and provides relief from anxiety and stress, which are large contributors to pain.


Time to Put Lavender Oil to Use

Now that you have a much clearer understanding of all the Lavender Essential Oil Uses, it is time to put each of them to the test.

Hopefully, you took notice of some of the solutions in health and wellness that you could benefit from while going over the 21 points we provided.

Try out any or all of them that might be useful to you. Just be mindful that there are pre-cautions that should be taken when using lavender including using them under the supervi-sion of your health care provider.

 

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