Health Benefits of Lavender
Did you know that lavender essential oil is the most used essential oil used today? The use of lavender essential oil has been around for centuries. It has been used to aid in the defense of digestive system diseases as well as for cosmetic reasons. The Romans used lavender oil for bathing, cooking and purifying the air. And in the Bible, lavender oil was among the aromatics used for anointing and healing.
Today, lavender oil benefits for your body can include the following:
- Reduce anxiety and emotional stress
- Help to heal burns and wounds
- Improve sleep
- Restore skin complexion and reduce acne
- Slow aging with powerful antioxidants
- Relieve pain
- Alleviate headaches
Because lavender oil contains such versatile properties and is gentle enough to apply directly to the skin, it is definitely a must-have oil. Today, lavender is one of the most popular essential oils in the world. And for good reason. People are beginning to catch on to lavender oil benefits, for your body as well as your home.
7 Lavender Essential Oil Benefits
1. Antioxidant Protection
Free radicals, like toxins, chemicals and pollutants, are arguably the most dangerous and most common risk factor for every disease that affects Americans today. Free radicals are responsible for shutting down your immune system and can cause unbelievable damage to your body.
Thankfully, lavender essential oil is a natural antioxidant that works to prevent and reverse disease. A 2013 study published in Phytomedicine found that lavender oil increased the activity of the body’s most powerful antioxidants — glutathione, catalase and SOD. And more recent studies have indicated similar results, concluding that lavender has antioxidant activity and helps to prevent or reverse oxidative stress.
2. Improves Mood and Reduces Stress
In recent years, lavender oil has been put on a pedestal for its unique ability to protect against neurological damage. Traditionally, lavender has been used to treat neurological issues like migraines, stress, anxiety and depression, so it’s exciting to see that the research is finally catching up to history.
Studies have shown that supplementing with lavender essential oil alleviates anxiety, sleep disturbance and depression.
To relieve stress and improve sleep, put a diffuser by your bed and diffuse oils while you sleep at night or in the family room while you’re reading or winding down in the evening. You can also apply lavender oil topically behind your ears for the same benefits.
3. Heals Burns and Cuts
Widely known for its antimicrobial properties, for centuries lavender oil has been used to prevent various infections and combat bacterial and fungal disorders. In fact, almost 100 studies have been conducted establishing this benefit of lavender over and over again. Research shows that lavender oil speeds the healing of burns, cuts, scrapes and wounds — and a big part of this is because of its antimicrobial compounds.
For burn relief and to heal cuts, scrapes or wounds, mix 3–5 drops of lavender oil with ½ teaspoon of coconut oil and apply the mixture to the area of concern. You can use your fingers or a clean cotton ball.
4. Promotes Healthy Skin and Hair
Most likely due to its antimicrobial and antioxidant characteristics, lavender essential mixed with a carrier oil (like coconut) has profound benefits on your skin.
Using lavender oil topically can help to improve a number of skin conditions like allergic reactions and acne and age spots. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties help to ease skin conditions and reverse signs of aging.
To use lavender oil for skin health, combine 3–4 drops with ½ teaspoon of coconut or jojoba oil and massage the mixture into the area of concern. You can also add lavender oil to your face or body wash.
5. Relieves Headaches
If you are one of the millions of people struggling with tension or migraine headaches, lavender oil may just be the natural remedy you’ve been looking for. It’s one of the best essential oils for headaches because it induces relaxation and relieves tension. It works as a sedative, anti-anxiety, anticonvulsant and calming agent.
I have found that one of the most effective natural headache remedies is combing two drops each of lavender oil with peppermint oil and rubbing the mixture into the back of the neck and the temples. Diffusing lavender or inhaling it directly from the bottle can also help to relieve headaches.
6. Improves Sleep and Insomnia
Because of lavender oil’s sedative and calming properties, it works to improve sleep and treat insomnia.
To improve your quality of sleep, diffuse lavender oil in your bedroom before or during sleep. Also, you can rub 3–5 drops directly on your neck, chest and temples. Taking a healing bath by adding 15 drops of lavender oil and 1 cup of Epsom salts to the bathtub is another effective way to use lavender oil to improve sleep and relax the body.
No time for a bath? You can find lavender shower steamers here that will help you relax and de-stress before bed or before you start your day!
7. Relieves Pain
Several studies have found that lavender oil helps as a natural painkiller. Simply rubbing lavender into the area of concern can reduce inflammation and pain intensity, helping to alleviate the symptoms of many health conditions.
One study suggested that lavender oil, when massaged into the skin, can help to relieve dysmenorrhea, which is associated with menstrual pain and cramping in the lower abdomen. The results of this study suggest that lavender oil can be used as a natural remedy for PMS and menstrual cramps.