Lavender one of the most popular and versatile essential oils in the world! It is used in cosmetics, perfumes, personal care products, detergents and so on… And for good reasons! 

Lavender is also one of the world’s most documented plants. It even shows up in hieroglyphic texts in Ancient Egypt – detailing how Lavender was used in embalming or cosmetics – and in the Bible! 

The name Derives from two Latin words: 
“Lividus” – hinting at the blueish hue of the plant and
“Lavare” – to wash – because Lavender was very popular when it came to perfuming baths and laundry.  The smell of Lavender oil is fresh, clean, floral, calm. 

Photo by Dana DeVolk on Unsplash

Getting closer to our times…
Rene Gatefosse, one of the parents of modern times Aromatherapy, discovered the tissue regenerating properties of Lavender after he was involved in a laboratory experiment. His hand was badly burned, and he used lavender essential oil to treat his burns. He was amazed by how fast his burn healed – with little scarring, on top of it! 
He later used essential oils during the First World War on soldiers in the military hospitals.  Gattefosse observed a more rapid healing when the wounds were treated with essential oils, without some of the side effects of antiseptics used at that time!

Now we’re starting to get why it’s such a popular oil!
Besides, there’s quite a bit of research on it’s properties, linking it to heightened states of relaxation, improving concentration and mental acuity, speeding up healing of wounded tissues and so on! But in this video I want to focus on giving you some tips on how to actually use Lavender Oil! 

Photo by rocknwool on Unsplash

So how are just some of the ways we can enjoy the multiple benefits of this amazing essential oil?

  1. Inhale directly or diffuse – alone or combined with other oils (Cedarwood, Peppermint, Frankincense, Ylang Ylang, Tea Tree, Lemon etc.)
  2. Apply 2-4 drops topically – dilution not required, except for the most sensitive skin – to soothe itching skin, bug bites, small cuts etc.
  3. Massage a couple of drops on the back of your neck and/or on your feet for a calming effect. This will also keep insects at bay! Good idea to have some with you while going out for a picnic.
  4. Rub a drop onto your palms, then smooth your hands over your pillowcase before going to bed
  5. Lots of homemade recipes for linen sprays, perfumes, body scrubs, deodorants etc. include Lavender Essential oil
  6. You can also add it to your already existing lotions, shampoos, conditioner etc.
  7. Place a few drops on a cotton ball and place it in the linen closet / drawer – this will scent linens and clothing AND keep moths and insects at bay. I’m using wooden figurines for this!
  8. Combine 1 cup Epsom salt with 4 drops lavender and add to a hot bath – you’ll feel relaxed and your skin will be rejuvenated
  9. Use Lavender Vitality or Plus for cooking! Add it to your Lemonades, cakes, jams, jellies

Few words of caution about Lavender essential oil:

You need around 27 square feet (1.85 square meters) of Lavender plants to create one 15 mL bottle!!!!
That’s a lot of plant material! 
Because it is so popular, and in demand, many oils on the market are adultered – either the oil is mixed with hybrid Lavender (Lavandin) or, even worse, with synthetic compounds. This brings the price down, but also removes many of the therapeutic qualities of the oil!

So, before you run and buy the first Essential Oil you find, do your due diligence!

Personal stories

I also want to share two personal experiences with the Lavender oil.

The first one refers exactly to what I was just mentioning – the quality of the oil! I was at a fair, having a stand with my oils, when one of my neighbors was trying to convince me his Lavender oil is better because it was cheaper!
The first thing I noticed when looking at his oil was that it wasn’t clear! The second thing that caught my attention was the smell! I must say, before using these oils, I couldn’t really make a distinction between a good quality, pure oil, and a lower quality one or a synthetic one. As a side note, now I can’t even stand synthetic fragrances! 
So, I started asking him questions about how his oil was produced. 
And guess what?

  1. He had no idea how the lavender was grown – he just bought it from a farm. He did not ask if there were any pesticides/fertilizers/chemicals used on it! No idea about when and how the plant was harvested – was it the right time, when it has the highest amount of active compounds?
  2. The oils was distilled using an installation he already had for other purposes.  He also was using high temperatures and high pressure – that’s how you get more oil! But that’s also how you destroy some of the compounds, or extract others, that are not needed for the therapeutic effect”…  

I might have been biased, because I strongly believe in my oils, but I was convinced of the huge quality difference. 

But few hours later, a couple came to my stand and directly asked for Lavender essential oil. They smelled it and their whole face exploded with a huge smile! It turns out they were both massage therapists and they were coming to me directly from my neighbor’s stand. And they were telling me how they could feel my oil acting on their bodies instantly, unlike the other, cheaper one. So, apparently I wasn’t so biased, after all!

The second story is related to the regenerative properties of the oil. When I was still teaching Science, I was always doing crazy experiments in the lab. One of them was the absolute delight for the students! Burning gummy bears. But in order to burn the gummy bear, you first need to melt potassium chlorate, a strong oxidizing agent in a test tube. I had done this experiment countless times, never having any problem with it! That is, until one of my students asks me “Mr. Shouldn’t you be wearing gloves?!”. As per Murphy’s laws, the moment I said no, I’ve done this dozens of times, a droplet of molten potassium chlorate is somehow projected from the bottom of the test tube directly onto my hand. To this day I can’t explain how this happened, as the angle made it impossible. Nevertheless, it happened right after I had told my students that I don’t need gloves, so I just carried on, pretending nothing happened :)). I washed my hand properly at the end of the lesson, but by the end of the day, I had a small hole in my finger. And for weeks in a row, it didn’t seem to heal at all! That’s when I started using Lavender oil. After only 2 drops applied, my finger turned white around the wound. My wound was not healing because the chemical was still stuck in my tissues! i carried on applying the oil and in less than a week, my wound was completely gone – leaving just a small trace back, to remind me of just how awesome the Lavender oil is!

And that was me becoming a true fan of Lavender essential oil!

Chemistry

  • Extraction method: Steam distilled from the flowering top
  • Key Constituents: Linalyl Acetate (21-47%), Linalol (23-46%), Cis-Beta-Ocimene (1-8%), Trans-Beta-Ocimene (1-5%), Terpinen-4-ol (1-8%)
  • ORAC: 360 μTE/100g

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So, you now know some history, some fun facts, some ideas for using Lavender essential oil, and also some personal stories. Now it’s your turn! Try the oils for yourself! But please, please, please, should you use essential oils, make sure you are using pure, therapeutic grade oils. I’d be more than happy to tell you more about the oils I’m using!

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