Ingredient spotlight: Lavender

Posted by bodyverde on July 5, 2011

When you think of lavender, what comes to mind?

“Lavender” comes from the Latin lavare, which means “to wash,” and many of its uses promote a feeling of renewal and relief. Relaxation, tranquility and calmness – these are just a few of the proven benefits of lavender essential oil.

Ancient Greeks and Romans burned lavender branches in sick rooms. In modern times, the French have placed lavender in laundry baskets for its Lavenderscent and teachers have crushed its seeds in classrooms to calm students. American soldiers used it during World War I and World War II to prevent infection on the battlefield when medical supplies were scarce.

Here are a few other every day uses:

  • Treating headaches, migraines, anxiety and depression. Smelling lavender oil is said to calm the nervous system. It is said to lower blood pressure and boost immunity as well.

  • Relief for aching muscles. A massage or warm bath with lavender essential oil can provide benefits for body aches – especially back pain.

  • Respiratory problems. Lavender vapor can be inhaled to help relieve the symptoms of colds and coughs.

  • Hair care. Lavender oil can be used to rid hair of lice and nits.

  • Warding off insects. Many natural insect repellant recipes include lavender, and it can also be applied directly to a mosquito bite or bee sting.

  • Promoting better sleep. Again, smelling lavender can help those experiencing sleep problems. Add 10 drops of lavender oil to one cup of distilled water in a spray bottle for a dream-inducing linen spray.

  • Natural skin care. Lavender essential oil has antiseptic and antifungal properties, making it a good choice in combination with other ingredients to treat inflammation, acne, sunburn, wounds and eczema. It’s also a natural moisturizer, as it increases blood flow to the skin’s tissues, stimulating circulation. This delivers nutrients and oxygen, given skin a radiant, more youthful glow.

We used lavender in our Wrinkle Free Perfection Night Moisturizer for its healing, moisturizing and relaxing benefits. There’s quite a combo of skin benefits in this little blue jar – lavender oil is combined with olive oil, Vitamins A and E, rose flower extract, soy protein, shea butter, glycerin, jojoba oil and coconut oil. No unpronounceable ingredients – just natural age-fighting ingredients that work overnight to diminish crow’s feet, laugh lines and other wrinkles by the light of day. Apply it during the day too for 24-hour benefits.

Do you have any other uses for lavender oil? Please share!

Photo Lindsay N. Kelly/Flickr

Sources:
www.organicfacts.net/organic-oils/natural-essential-oils/health-benefits-of-lavender-essential-oil.html
http://blog.myskin.com/expert/smell-the-flowers-lavender-in-skincare/
www.naturalbodyskincare.com/lavender_skin_care.php
http://everything-lavender.com/using-lavender-oil-for-wrinkles.html