Lavender is the most versatile herb, with its essential oil used for endless cosmetic and therapeutic purposes. The oil has a floral-herbaceous aroma that is relaxing and refreshing to the mind and body.
Lavender essential oil has both physiological as well as psychological benefits.
It contains over 150 active constituents and has anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, antidepressant, antiseptic, antibacterial, analgesic, calmative and sedative properties. All these properties surely justify its use in the health industry.
Plus, it’s one of the most highly favored herbs in the beauty industry. Its calming aroma can be found in several creams, hair products and candles.
Here are the top 10 genius uses for lavender essential oil.
1. Promotes Good Sleep
In the past, people filled their pillows with lavender flowers to help ensure quality sleep. Now it is scientifically proven— lavender aromatherapy can help you relax and sleep better.
A 2014 study published in the American Journal of Critical Care found that lavender aromatherapy can an effective way to improve sleep quality.
Plus, lavender oil helps stabilize your mood and balance strong emotions.
- Put 3 or 4 drops of lavender essential oil on a tissue and put it under your pillow for inducing good sleep.
- Also, add 10 to 12 drops of lavender essential oil to your aromatherapy diffuser in your bedroom.
2. Relieves Headaches
If you frequently struggle with tension headaches or migraines, lavender oil may be used as a natural alternative to pain-relieving drugs.
It has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the pain. Plus, it relaxes tense muscles that often contribute to a headache.
A 2012 study published in European Neurology suggests that inhaling lavender essential oil is an effective and safe treatment for migraine headaches.
- Put a few drops of lavender oil on a handkerchief and inhale the smell for quick headache relief.
- Another option is to mix 2 drops of lavender essential oil in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and massage your forehead with it.
3. Treats Fungal Infections
Lavender oil is also an effective remedy to fight antifungal-resistant infections. A 2011 study published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology found that lavender oil has potent antifungal effects against strains of fungi that cause common skin and nail infections.
It also helps soothe itchy skin, minor wounds, cuts, bruises or burns and reduces the risk of scarring.
- Mix a few drops of lavender essential oil in 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
- Use a cotton ball to apply the solution on the infected area.
- Leave it on for at least 30 minutes, then rinse it off with lukewarm water and pat dry thoroughly.
- Repeat twice daily until you get rid of the infection completely.
4. Fights Anxiety and Related Conditions
Lavender essential oil works as a sedative and helps reduce anxiety as well as panic attacks. Lavender aromatherapy unwinds the nervous system and induces relaxation, which helps lessen anxiety.
It also distracts your mind from anxiety-triggering situations. Plus, it helps suppress heart stimulation and lowers high blood pressure.
- Put a few drops of lavender essential oil in a bowl of hot water and inhale the steam to ease anxiety.
- Rub a few drops of lavender oil on your temples to help you relax.
- Add a few drops of this essential oil to your massage oil and use it to massage your neck, back and shoulders.
5. Treats Respiratory Problems
Lavender oil can also be used to relax breathing passages and relieve respiratory problems. Its anti-inflammatory properties can also help strengthen your ability to avoid asthma attacks.
A 2014 study published in the Life Sciences journal also found that inhalation of lavender essential oil can help suppress allergic airway inflammation and may help in the treatment of bronchial asthma.
Plus, lavender oil can help treat respiratory problems like cold and flu, bronchitis and throat infections.
- Mix 5 or 6 drops of lavender oil in 2 tablespoons of carrier oil like jojoba oil or olive oil and gently rub the mixture on your chest twice daily for a few days.
- You can also try steam inhalation treatment with lavender essential oil.
- Another option is to add a few drops of this essential oil to your diffuser or humidifier.
6. Relieves Pain
Lavender oil has pain-relieving as well as anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce pain, swelling and inflammation. You can use it to treat sore muscles, leg pain, arthritis pain and even a backache.
In a 2006 study, patients who received oxygen with lavender aromatherapy after undergoing breast biopsy surgery experienced significant pain relief. This study was published in the Pain Practice journal.
- A regular massage with olive oil mixed with a few drops of lavender oil can provide relief from joint and muscle pain.
- Add several drops of lavender oil to warm bathwater and soak in it for 10 to 15 minutes to keep aches and pain away.
7. Cures Staph Infection
Staph infection caused by staphylococcus bacteria can be treated with lavender oil due to its strong antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Staphylococcus bacteria can cause a number of skin problems including boils, impetigo, and cellulitis.
A 2009 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine points out the antimicrobial activity of lavender oil on methicillin-sensitive and -resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA and MRSA).
- Put 2 or 3 drops of lavender oil on a cotton swab and dab it on the affected area. Leave it on for 30 minutes before washing it off. Repeat twice daily for several days.
- Another option is to mix a few drops of lavender oil in 1 teaspoon of aloe vera gel and apply it on the affected area. Allow it to sit for 1 hour before rinsing it off with lukewarm water. Use this remedy twice daily for several days.
8. Masks Unpleasant Odors
The sweet aroma of lavender essential oil can help mask body odor as well as unpleasant odors in your kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms and living room.
Plus, when used as an air freshener, it will not cause headaches or respiratory problems like some chemical-based air fresheners can do.
- To fight body odor, add a few drops of lavender oil to your bathwater or shower gel.
- Add a few drops of this oil to a spray bottle filled with water. Spray it as needed on areas of the body that perspire easily.
- To keep your home smelling fresh, add some drops of this essential oil to a humidifier.
- Put a few drops of this oil in a mason jar filled with ½ cup of baking soda. Cover the mouth of the jar with paper and poke holes in it with a fork. Keep the jar in your bedroom or kitchen.
9. Works as Natural Bug Repellent
Lavender oil works as a natural insect repellent to help keep insects like fleas, mosquitoes, black beetles, moths, and flies away from you.
- Apply a few drops of lavender oil to your pulse points before going outdoors to deter insects. Before applying the oil directly to your skin, do a patch test to check if it suits your skin. Unlike other essential oils, lavender oil is gentle and often used directly on skin. However, if it causes skin irritation then mix a few drops of lavender oil in a carrier oil like sunflower oil and gently rub it on your skin.
- You can even put a few drops of lavender oil on a cotton ball and put it in your closets and linen drawers to keep insects and moths away. Also, you can add lavender and other essential oils in your homemade bug repellents.
10. Promotes Hair Regrowth (Alopecia Areata)
Alopecia areata, an auto-immune disease that causes hair to fall out of a person’s head in patches, can be treated with lavender essential oil.
A 1998 study published in the Archives of Dermatological Research suggests that lavender oil used along with other essential oils like thyme, rosemary and cedar wood is an effective treatment for alopecia areata.
- Mix a few drops of lavender essential oil in 2 tablespoons of jojoba oil or any other carrier oil.
- Use it to massage your scalp daily for several months to notice hair regrowth.
Though lavender oil is considered safe to use on skin, always do a patch test to rule out the possibility of an allergic reaction. Also, consult your doctor before using this oil during pregnancy.