About 6 years ago I was introduced to the world of Aromatherapy and Alternative Medicine. I walked into a local aromatherapy shop with a group of co-workers and immediately had to walk right back out. I was so used to artificial fragrances, that the smell of pure oils from nature had me nauseous. Upon returning, I spoke with the shop owner who asked me what my favorite scent was when purchasing laundry detergent or body sprays. Without hesitation, I listed off a few, “rain, clean linen and baby powder.” I was always drawn to these “clean, fresh smells”, however never thought twice about how someone could bottle the smell of clean linens or rain. Little did I know, but all of those scents that I was so used to were synthetic fragrances. Upon doing some research to find out what went into these fragrances, I quickly found out that companies don’t have to tell you what they use; usually dozens, sometimes hundreds, of synthetic chemical compounds.
A day didn’t go by before I was back in the shop buying my first oils. The aromatherapist started me off with a very gentle oil, both in strength and scent. Lavender Oil is the perfect oil for newcomers to the world of Aromatherapy and a great way to make an introduction to the world of Alternative Medicine! Humans have been co-existing with plants for thousands of years, while we have only just begun to live with the chemicals and toxins that surround us each day. Below you will find a variety of ways to incorporate Lavender into your daily routine while getting all of the benefits this amazing flower has to offer! I can honestly say that I go through a bottle of Lavender essential oil almost monthly. It is so incredible versatile and effective.
So what is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is a type of Alternative Medicine that uses essential oils and other plant compounds to improve one’s health. Most pure essential oils are extracted from plants through steam distillation. Freshly picked plants are suspended over boiling water, and the steam pulls the oils out of the plant. The steam then rises, is captured in a vessel, and is pushed along tubing. Then the steam is then cooled, causing it to condense back into water. And since we know that water and oils do not mix, the two separate, and the essential oil is easy collected. Pure oils are just that, pure. They come from plants; nature!
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender Oil is extracted from the flowers of the herb Lavender (Lavendula officinalis). It is one of few essential oils that can be applied directly to the skin, as most essential oils are too concentrated and need to first be mixed with a carrier oil before use. This property alone makes Lavender great because it takes little preparation!
To be completely honest, I was extremely skeptical of Aromatherapy and particularly of the health benefits that using these oils would have for me. I could not have been more wrong. Time and time again this specific oil has proven itself to myself, my friends and family members. I carry a bottle with me daily and it gets used more than any other oil I own.
- Calming and balancing
- Heals cuts and small burns
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Encourages skin cell re-growth
- Alleviates headaches
- Improves eczema and acne
Lavender Oil has so many uses and benefits, and while not all of them include using it directly for your body, they will have the power to improve health as it will replace the synthetic fragrances used in most commercial products.
- Inhalation Therapy: The easiest way to inhale Lavender Oil is by placing a drop on the palm of your hands and rubbing your hands together. Simply cup your hands and take a deep breath. Repeat as needed.
- Bug Bite and Itch Relief: Place a small drop on your bug bite. Repeat as needed. *This is what hooked my husband on essential oils. Now, anytime we are in the woods or going camping he triple checks with me that I have packed the Lavender (which obviously I have for many reasons!). The instant relief this oil gives on bug bites is incredible. Bye bye After Bite!
- Burn Relief: There are many ways to use this oil to treat burns. For a small burn, dab the oil directly on the burn using an organic cotton ball or your finger. For larger burns, soak a washcloth in a tub with cold water and a few drops of oils. If you are dealing with a full body burn, such as a sun burn after a day at the beach, you could add 10-15 drops of lavender oil in your bath tub and soak for at least 30mins. As sunburns often do not surface right away, a lavender bath after a full day in the sun is a great way to help promote growth of new cells and heal a potential burn.
- Lavender Bath Salts: Adding lavender bath salts to your bath is a great way to ease muscle aches, relieve tension and exfoliate your skin. Learn how to make your very own Bedtime Bath Salts.
- Skin Moisturizer: Add a drop of lavender oil to your current lotion before applying it to your skin. For a list of skin care products I recommend, check out the Shop. If you would like to make your own lotion that is chemical and preservative-free, check out my upcoming post about easy DIY skin care.
- Lavender Linen Spray: Lavender has a beautiful aroma and studies show that those who inhale lavender in the hour prior to their bedtime get a better rest. This goes for children too! Make your own Sleepy Linen Spray!
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