/> a mother's heart » Blog Archive » essential oil primer: lavender

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is one of those scents I always hated.  After talking to different people, I figured it was either Love Young Living - Lavender Essential Oil - 15 mlLavender, Hate Lilacs, or Love Lilacs, Hate Lavender.  Lilac is still one of my favourite scents and I’m going to miss the sweet purple blooms this spring, but I’ve found something interesting:  I don’t hate lavender anymore.

When my starter kit (Everyday Oils) came with not one, but TWO bottles of lavender oil in it, I thought, “Well *this* will last us a long time….”  I used it sparingly, and mostly on Brendan (to help him relax before bed).  But what I discovered was that Young Living’s lavender EO is different than the lavender scented “stuff” I’d smelled in the past.  The artificial (or less-than-top-quality) products with lavender oil I’d used in the past had a musky, off-scent to it that was disagreeable to me.  This lavender is far “cleaner” and its scent is actually pleasant, not one that I try to avoid.

So what does lavender EO do?  Most people know it for a calming, help-you-sleep benefit, but we use it on mosquito bites (yes, even in the desert, there are a few flying around) with spectacular success, on cuts and scrapes, on cotton balls for earaches and ear infections, and to reduce stress.

Lavender is well-known as a burn-healer; Rene Gattefossé was a French scientist who was badly burned in a laboratory explosion and tested lavender oil to see how it healed his burns.  Miraculously, it did just that.  In ancient Greece, a physician/botanist/pharmacologist named Pedanius Dioscorides extolled the medicinal benefits of lavender oil, and Romans used it in baths and to deter insects. Shakespeare even wrote about lavender in The Winter’s Tale and included a recipe in the play for lavender tea.  It’s been around for centuries and used medicinally for equally as long.

Japanese researchers have found what they believe to be a link between lowered serum cholesterol and improved coronary blood flow in men who have been exposed to lavender as an aromatherapy treatment, suggesting that one’s coronary health can benefit from the relaxation induced by lavender.

The science behind these ancient oils really fascinates me – in some ways, I think we’ve almost come to the end of ourselves with our over-dependence on laboratory-created supplements and medications, which bleeds over in to an interest in a back-to-basics, more natural way of caring for our bodies. The fact that scientists are still studying lavender and its benefits amuses me, but empirical evidence that backs up what history has known for ages is always good, I suppose.  :)

Lavender oil is one of the less-expensive oils in our arsenal of essential oils; a 15ml bottle is $27.30 (plus tax), and local customers are welcomed to contact me to tack on to my order for a savings of 20%.  Our two little 5ml bottles of lavender are almost gone, and as much as we use it now, we’re due a larger bottle.  I never would’ve thought that I’d use lavender like I do, but I’m delighted to have such a potent and useful EO in our home.

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  • Erica

    It is a great antihistamine as well…first aid kit in a bottle…we use it for everything. OH…I also used to get an instant headache from lavender scented things…and it was my least favorite scent…well its not so bad when its the real thing…no bad effects! We also used it on Wyatt when he had a fever…instantly calmed him down when he would get crabby/uncomfortable. Move over Tylenol, there’s a new and improved *healer* in my cabinet now!