Benefits of Lavender Oil
Posted on 9th August 2020 at 14:05
Benefits of Lavender Oil for Skin & Health
In this article we're going to be talking about one of the most wonderful essential oils. Lavender. This powerhouse of an essential oil has some amazing benefits for our skin plus some awesome holistic benefits. Topics we're going to cover include;
Lavender is indigenous to the Mediterranean regions of North Africa and southern Europe. Lavender flourishes best in dry well-drained soil with full sun. Most of the lavender grown commercially is for the extraction of the essential oil, with small amounts grown for the use in home gardening.
Currently the largest producers of lavender in the world are Bulgaria, with nearly half of the world’s lavender grown in this one country. Other countries also growing this wonderful flower include France, China and the United Kingdom.
Lavender essential oil is a highly prized commodity and is used in many cosmetics, including soaps, lotions, shampoo’s and salve. Lavender was commonly used in Elizabethan times to freshen the scent of clothes and bed linen. During this time bathing was uncommon and lavender had a pleasant scent to mask the odours of this period!
The most common species grown is English Lavender, also known as Lavandula Angustifolia. This oil has a sweetness and gentleness to it and is the essence we use in our lavender soaps.
Helps improve sleep
Sleep is essential for healing the body and resting the muscles. If you suffer from insomnia or are generally a restless sleeper then lavender essential oil can be a natural remedy to your problem if you’re looking to avoid using medication.
In 2017, a study of patients in critical care units was conducted and found lavender essential oil improved the sleep quality of all patients, especially those who had trouble sleeping.
Some people recommend putting a few drops of lavender essential oil on a pillow, but unless you want to ruin your bedding we do not recommend this method. Our preferred method would be to soak a few drops into an old cloth and leave this close to your bed. This preserves your bedding and still gives you the benefit of lavender lulling you into a gentle slumber.
Another method you can use, especially in winter, is to add the drops to the cloth then place the cloth on a hot radiator to infuse the whole room with the scented smell of lavender.
Reduces pain and inflammation
That’s right, this super essential oil can act as an anti-inflammatory and relieve pain - acute or chronic! Always check with a doctor before using lavender oil as a pain reliever, as it may interact with other medications you may be taking.
Lavender has been shown to be a very effective pain reliever. In 2015, researchers diluted lavender essential oil and applied it to an area of pain on a patient. The patient recorded the pain relief was similar to the effect of tramadol which is an effective painkiller, highlighting how effective lavender can be in giving relief to pain.
In another study, lavender was shown to relieve the pain from sever migraine headaches. Results showed the inhalation of the lavender scent helped reduce the pain experienced by patients.
When using lavender as a pain reliever it is essential to dilute the oil. Applying direct to the skin undiluted is not a good idea. The reason why we dilute essential oils is because they can cause a reaction on the skin in their pure form.
Diluting will reduce the reaction your skin may have to the essential oil, which is why we always recommend to do this and a patch test before using. If you have no reaction to the oil then it will be safe to use, plus you will still get the benefits of oil when diluted.
To dilute it, try using another oil (a “carrier” oil), such as olive or coconut, using one or two teaspoons of the carrier oil to 2 drops of lavender oil. You can apply this remedy 3 times a day.
In other studies, lavender has been acknowledged as an antifungal for the treatment of fungal infections, such as athletes’ foot, and being able to reduce hot flushes during menopause, but more evidence is needed on these subjects.
Helps boost hair growth
Its true lavender can help boost hair growth and repair hair follicles. Our hair and skin is often damaged when using over the counter cosmetics and soaps. This is largely due to the chemical ingredients used in it, particularly sodium lauryl sulphate and other palm oil derivatives.
Lavender has been shown to improve hair growth. In one study it was applied to mice once a day, over a working week (5 days), for four weeks. This led to an increase in number of hair follicles, which suggests an improvement in hair growth.
Although we don’t approve studies done on animals, the results are promising, and although more research needs to be done, initially we can say there is evidence that lavender helps boost hair growth.
Can treat acne, eczema and skin inflammation
Many essential oils are amazing for dermatological use, but lavender is the pick of the bunch and is one of the best essential oils for your skin. Lavender is a great anti-inflammatory agent, and when applied to the skin in a topical concoction, can reduce redness and skin blemishes.
Again I will say lavender oil should always be diluted before use direct onto the skin. To do this mix a couple of drops of lavender oil in with a teaspoon of carrier oil; we recommend coconut or olive oil. You can apply this 3 times a day. All of this research is available and documented in an evidence based study on alternative medicine published in 2017.
Lavenders ability to help treat acne, eczema and inflammation may not just be down to its anti-inflammatory properties. Its antioxidant credentials also aid the healing of skin and the neutralisation of free radicals on the skin.
Free radicals have been proven to destroy collagen and cause skin inflammation; by neutralising these antioxidants you are preventing further inflammation of the skin whilst also promoting healing of the skin.
As always when using anything to treat yourself, you should always consult your doctor before adding to your skincare regime. This will enable them to check what you are using will not interact with your current medication, if you require it.
Lavender has been touted as being relaxing and can be used to treat anxiety and depression. The main evidence comes from a study from the University of Kagoshima in Japan.
The study found the mice used in the study were less anxious after inhaling lavender oil and the results were similar to the anti-anxiety drug diazepam (also known as valium). We can also note the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science funded this research and may have portrayed a slightly biased review.
At Seatree Cosmetics, we do not promote or endorse testing on animals of any kind and believe tests such as this one can be performed on consenting humans.
What we do know for definite is lavender is a relaxing scent and can ease stress, depression and anxiety, along with a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise.
Lavender soap benefits
To reap the benefits listed above it is important you use lavender soap made from natural essential oil, and not from fragrance oils, as these are synthetically made.
The easy way to check if your lavender soap has essential oils in it is to check the ingredients list, which should display the words ‘lavandula angustifolia’ on the label.
If the soap contains this then there is essential oil present in it. If the label says ‘parfum’ then it is more than likely cheaper fragrance oil which has been synthetically produced to smell like lavender. It will also contain synthetic chemicals which may harm your skin.
At Seatree Cosmetics our soaps are 100% natural, including all the scents which come from essential oils. If you would like to benefit from using soap with essential oils on your skin then it is available in our online shop and can be delivered to your door.
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I hope you have enjoyed this article, and we have plenty more on our blog if you want to read more about why natural soap is so great.
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