The health benefits of lavender essential oil include its ability to eliminate nervous tension, relieve pain, disinfect the scalp and skin, enhance blood circulation and treat respiratory problems. The Latin name of lavender is Lavare, which means “to wash”, due to its aroma which has a particularly clean aroma.
Lavender oil is extracted mostly from the flowers of the lavender plant, primarily through steam distillation. The flowers of lavender are fragrant in nature and have been used for making potpourri for centuries. Traditionally, lavender essential oil has also been used in making perfumes. The oil is very useful in aromatherapy and many aromatic preparations and combinations are made using lavender oil.
Both lavender and lavender oil are valued for their fragrance and versatility. The flowers are used in potpourris, crafting, and home décor, while the essential oil is added to bath and body care products, such as soaps, perfumes, household cleaners and laundry detergent.
Lavender oil is known for its anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antidepressant, antiseptic, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It also has antispasmodic, analgesic, detoxifying, hypotensive and sedative effects. Lavender oil is one of the most well-known essential oils in aromatherapy, and can be:
• Added to your bath or shower to relieve aching muscles and stress.
• Massaged on your skin as a relief for muscle or joint pain, as well as for skin conditions like burns, acne and wounds. Make sure to dilute it with a carrier oil.
• Inhaled or vaporized. You can use an oil burner or add a few drops to a bowl of hot water, and then breathe in the steam.
• Added to your hand or foot soak. Add a drop to a bowl of warm water before soaking your hands or feet.
• Used as a compress by soaking a towel in a bowl of water infused with a few drops of lavender oil. Apply this to sprains or muscle injuries.