While sipping on a mock-tail of lavender lemonade, and coconut water topped with fragrant, dried buds of lavender at a new, local gastro pub this week, I was reminded of how versatile both the flower and the essential oil of this lovely plant are. Personally, I keep a diffuser in my office that I refill each morning with oils to support whatever my mind and body are needing at the time, however, when I have a particularly challenging project to work on, or I’m feeling a little stressed out, my go-to blend is one of lavender, lemon, clary sage and a drop of rosemary to keep me calm and focused.
Lavender essential oil is said to be the most widely used essential oil in the world. For this reason, it is also commonly adulterated, so you should always look for the organic oil and know the source you are buying from. Lavender’s (Lavandula angustifolia) popularity has not happened by chance. This perennial shrub, native to the Mediterranean area, is just one of more than 20 species of lavender, each with their own unique scent and properties.
When most people think of lavender, relaxation comes to mind. The scent of lavender is commonly infused in spas, and sprayed on pillows to encourage relaxation and peaceful slumber. The sweet, herbaceous scent of lavender is considered in Ayurveda to be feminine, cooling and calming as it has an affinity for supporting female hormone imbalances including the relief of some PMS symptoms.
Perhaps one of the most well-known stories of lavender is that of Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, who was injured in an explosion at his family’s, perfume business in 1910. Rene-Maurice treated his burns with lavender essential oil, and the rate and efficiency with which the wounds healed began his passion for using essential oils. The Gattefosse Company still exists today and continues its commitment to the socially responsible creation of personal care products. Lavender also continues to be used in many home pharmacies for the relief of pain from minor burns.
When one product has so much versatility where do you start with it? Here are five simple ways to use lavender in your home pharmacy or office to support your emotional and physical well-being.
- Support the immune system. Diffuse lavender essential oil by itself or in a blend to soothe a sore throat, support recovery from ear nose and throat infections, support respiratory decongestion and to calm the nervous system. Diffusers are easily found online or through essential oil retail companies, but you don’t have to spend a fortune to benefit from one. I’ve been using this simple spa room diffuser daily for nearly 2 years with no problem.Here’s a lavender blend that I love. Fill your diffuser with water and add: 6 drops of Clary Sage, 2 drops of lemon3 drops of lavender.
- Relieve muscles tension and soreness and support lymphatic drainage. Lavender is one of the few essential oils that is generally safe for anyone to use directly on the skin without dilution, however, it’s always wise to play it safe and test it on your skin first or use a diluted blend. For muscle tension, especially on the neck and shoulders, combine about ½ teaspoon of lavender essential oil to about 1 ounce of your choice of base oil and gently massage into your skin. For even more benefit use mahanarayan oil for the base oil. This herb-infused, ancient remedy is great for reducing pain and inflammation in muscles and joints without a strong menthol odor.
- Wound healing. For minor cuts, sunburns and rashes, apply lavender directly on the skin or combine 8 to 10 drops into½ounce of aloe vera gel to soothe and support healing.
- Insect repellant. Apply lavender directly to the skin or blend with water and mist yourself.
- Restful sleep. Experience the benefit of both the relaxing aroma and the calming effect of lavender by incorporating it into your nighttime routine with a cup of warm lavender tea (here’s my favorite) and a spritz of lavender on your pillow or rub the essential oil on the soles of your feet.
I hope you try at least one of these uses for lavender, and as you become familiar with the beauty, safety and ease of using this medicinal jewel, I’m sure you’ll find new, creative ways to use it even more often. Don’t wait for spa day to roll around, when you can treat yourself to relaxation every day. If you’re not sure of a good source for lavender, this is my favorite, trusted source and an amazing company to boot! (I don’t get paid to say that.)
Feel free to email me with questions at Laura@LauraLummer.com. Become a part of our thriving community of breast cancer survivors by following me on social media @TheBreastCancerRecoveryCoach or like my Facebook page here , and subscribing to my podcast, “The Breast Cancer Recovery Coach”.
Until Next time,
Let your lifestyle be your medicine,