Lavender uses include health and beauty products, where the calming scent and healing properties make it the ideal choice for both aromatherapy and a medicine chest. Lavender has been used for centuries to encourage relaxation and to help people fall asleep. Today the scent of lavender can be found in soaps, bath salts, oil and candles as this plant is a member of the mint family which are very aromatic.
In addition to being used as a perfume, lavender essential oil may help reduce itching, heal skin tissues especially for skin ailments including:
- Contact Dermatitis
- Skin that is damaged from the sun.
- Bug bites, chicken pox and poison ivy rashes are soothed when lavender water is added to bath water.
- Bug Bites
- Sinus headaches by applying a touch just above each eyebrow and on each cheek.
- A strong infusion of lavender may provide relief and help reduce the irritation of fungal infections including athletes foot and candida infections including diaper rash caused by this type of yeast.
- Babies benefit from a drop or two of lavender oil in their bath water as the antiseptic properties promote umbilical cord healing and reduce the potential for infection.
Natural oils such as safflower, sunflower, soy and walnut are always preferred when diluting essential oils however baby oil and mineral oil can also be used. Many lavender uses are water based and a few drops of essential oil can be added to bath water or combined with warm water for hair rinse.
Steam and Vapor Therapy
The mint family is aromatic allowing them to be used in steam and vapor therapy where a few drops of essential oils are added to a vaporizer or into a bowl of hot water. Steam can be very soothing for respiratory conditions and adding lavender helps to open constricted airways due to the natural prostaglandin in lavender.
Vapor treatments can be very effective when used to loosen sinus congestion and many migraine sufferers report that a vapor treatment using lavender oil helps to reduce the pain associated with these bothersome headaches. Using a few drops of lavender oil massaged into the sinuses may also help loosen mucous congestion as lavender contains antihistamine properties that reduce swelling and the production of mucous.
*For a full selection of Lavender essential oil and dried herb,
we recommend Mountain Rose Herbs.
Internal Lavender Uses
While you should use extreme caution when taking Lavender essential oil internally, the plant itself has some internal Lavender uses:
- Lavender uses also include flavoring soups and stews.
- In the past the flower tips were candied and added to vinegar for salad dressing.
- The discomfort and bloating from excessive gas may be relieved by drinking a cup of lavender tea.
- Homeopathic preparations may help babies with colic find relief.
- Lavender is a mild sedative and can be used alone or in combination with other herbs to promote sleep, provide a relaxing beverage and to help reduce stress.
- Tonics containing lavender help the body to release excess water and reduce muscle spasms.
- Lavender stimulates the digestive system especially the formation of bile providing healthier digestion. Caution is advised for those who suffer from gall bladder disorders as lavender can aggravate these conditions.
Used alone or combined with other herbs like skullcap and valerian, lavender oil may provide mild pain relief from many minor conditions including menstrual cramps, gastrointestinal flu and headaches.
Skin and Hair Care Lavender uses
Lavender smells good and the beneficial aspects that this plant has encourages its use in shampoo, conditioner, hair rinse, bath products and creams. Commercially manufactured products are available that contain lavender oil however many of these products can be made safely and easily at home. Placing one teaspoon of dried lavender flowers in eight ounces of hot water and steeped, strained and poured over the hair as a final rinse will provide soothing relief for itchy scalps.
The many Lavender uses may encourage you to grow this hardy plant for yourself. Both Lavandula angustifolia and officinalis will grow in most areas. This includes planting zones eight to ten, with care and attention, and the herb can be harvested for use as an herbal remedy straight from the garden.