Lavender Oil Benefits

Lavender oil is very popular for its use in aromatherapy and is also believed to have various health benefits.
Lavenders are flowering plants, which belong to the mint family. These plants are natives to the Mediterranean region, some parts of Africa and India. Lavender plants are widely grown in gardens for the fragrance and beauty of its flowers. They are also commercially grown in many regions, as the flowers and the essential oil extracted from them are used in the manufacture of various products like soaps and perfumes. Essential oil is mainly extracted from the flowers of the lavender plant and has many uses, especially in aromatherapy.

Lavender and Lavender Oil

Lavender plants belong to the genus Lavandula, which consists of around 40 species, but there are numerous other varieties, which emerged as a result of cross-pollination. Archaeological evidences suggest that the use of lavender can be dated back to 2500 years. Ancient Egyptians used lavender oil as a cosmetic and also for embalming mummies. Arabians too used this for medicinal purposes and also as perfumes. Lavender plants were used in Greece and Rome too, mostly for the above said uses. Through the centuries, the scope of lavender flowers also increased. Dried flowers and plants were used for repelling moths and insects, for making flower arrangements and as an ingredient in potpourri.

Benefits of Lavender Oil

The naturally occurring chemical compounds, particularly aromatic molecules called esters, are responsible for the benefits of this essential oil. It is believed that pure lavender oil has anti viral, anti bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also used as an antispasmodic, pacifier and tonic. Owing to these health benefits, it is commonly used in aromatherapy. The aroma of lavender has a soothing and calming effect, which helps in relaxation and for reducing anxiety.
  • As this oil has a calming effect, it is used in the treatment of tension headaches, migraines, depression, anxiety and stress.
  • It is also used for treating insomnia, as it has been found that this essential oil can stimulate sleep in people with complaints of insomnia.
  • This essential oil is also used as an antiseptic. It can be applied on minor burns, wounds, insect bites and stings, in diluted form. It can also help relieve the pain too.
  • Lavender oil is also useful for treating head lice. For this purpose, rinse hair with water mixed with this oil (use five to ten drops of oil). You can add two drops of undiluted oil to a fine comb and remove nits.
  • It is also used for treating hair loss, especially alopecia areata. It is also used as one of the scalp psoriasis home remedies.
  • Lavender oil benefits for skin is mainly due to its antiseptic and anti fungal properties. It is used for treating various skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, scabies, shingles, dermatitis and acne. It is also beneficial for treating sunburns and wrinkles.
  • It has also been observed that massage with this oil is good for joint pain and muscle pain.
  • This oil is found to be effective in providing respiratory relief too. It is used in the treatment of bronchitis, laryngitis, cold, cough, flu, sinus congestion, asthma, and throat infections.
Apart from the health benefits of lavender oil, it is also used in the manufacture of various commercial products like perfumes, candles, soaps, hair care products and body lotions. It is also used widely by practitioners of various types of alternative medicine.
As essential oils are very concentrated, you must use them as per the instructions of a qualified herbal practitioner. You may also consult your doctor and seek his opinion, before starting any herbal treatment with lavender oil. Only some of the above said remedies are backed by scientific evidence, but others are found to be effective and so, are used by people. However, it can cause allergies, so it should be used with caution and under the supervision of a qualified herbal practitioner. Lavender essential oil may also cause some side effects in some people. It is not advisable for pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and kids to use lavender oil.

Author : Sonia Nair