Lavender oil has been used for thousands of years and has many health benefits.
It is best known for its calming properties and is frequently used for stress relief, treating insomnia, depression and other anxiety related problems.
Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the best ways for strengthening your body and mind against everyday stressors.
Recent studies have shown that lavender increases the time you spend in slow wave sleep. During this type of sleep you are at your most relaxed and your body is truly resting and healing itself.
The Health Benefits of Lavender Oil
Of course lavender oil is used in treating many different types of other health issues, such as:
- Pain relief – a massage with lavender essential oil helps reduce pain in the muscles and so is used to treat back ache, lumbago and joint aches.
- Headaches – the calming fragrance helps to relax and soothe which in turn helps to relieve headaches and migraines.
- Respiratory disorders – When the oil is used in a vapor form it can help with illnesses such as the common cold, asthma, sinus congestion, whooping cough and laryngitis.
- Digestive problems – lavender helps to increase the mobility of the intestines and stimulates the production of gastric juices and bile. So it can be useful for treating indigestion, stomach pain, gas and diarrhea.
- Sunburn – The oil helps to heal burns and wounds and by forming scar tissue. This can also be particularly useful with sunburn as it helps to heal the skin quickly and naturally.
- Insect bites – Due to its antiseptic properties it is used for treating all sorts of insect bites as well as helping to heal wounds and burns.
- Skin conditions – Lavender oil has antiseptic and antifungal properties and so is particularly useful for the treatment of conditions such as Acne, psoriasis and wrinkles. This is because lavender is particularly rich in aromatic molecules called esters; these are antispasmodic, pacifying and a tonic. It also has other molecules which are antiviral, anti-inflammatory and anti bacterial. So as you can see it is a really handy and versatile little plant.
How To Use Lavender For Stress
Lavender is native to the Mediterranean although France is the world leader in turns of production. However, it will grow anywhere if the right conditions are present i.e. dry, sunny rocky areas. It can be seen in many flower gardens growing happily next to other indigenous plants.
Lavender for stress relief can be bought in many different forms. It can be bought dried, fresh, powdered or as an oil. Be sure to read the ingredients though as there may be other chemicals added to some lavender products you buy which may not be suited to your skin type or condition.
Use your Lavender Essential Oil :
- In Baths – Lavender essential oil is great for relaxing muscles and the wonderful scent is great for relaxing the mind and taking away the stress of the day. This makes it great when used just before bedtime to help get your body and mind ready for sleep.
- As a vapor – Lavender leaves a great fragrance in the room and is very useful when treating a cold. Use an oil burner and heat the oil with some water to help you breath better.
- Massage – Lavender essential oil mixed with a base oil will help to relieve tired aching muscles. The oil will be absorbed quickly into the blood stream to relax the body and the mind.
- For burns – run the burn (including sunburn) under cold water for 10 minutes then add a few drops of neat lavender oil directly to the burn. This will help to speed up healing.
- As a compress – add 6 – 8 drops of the essential oil to warm water and then soak a cloth in the water. Squeeze out and then apply the cloth to aches and sprains.
- For inhalation – Add some lavender to a bowl of steaming hot water and then cover head with a towel and lean over the bowl. This really helps to clear the airways as well as providing medicinal benefits from the oil.
CAUTION: It is recommended that pregnant women or women who are breast feeding do not use Lavender essential oil. Diabetics should also consult with their doctor before use.
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