It is believed that lavender has been used medicinally since ancient times, and it still proves an effective remedy today. Not only is lavender a wonderful aromatic, but it also has a number of proven medical properties, as a result of its being antiseptic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and calming.
Adding 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil to a carrier oil (such as olive or sweet almond), unperfumed skin cream or lotion, or for an extra soothing effect to aloe vera gel, can help to encourage the skins natural renewal and reduce the appearance and extent of scarring.
In 1620 the Pilgrims took lavender to the New World where it was used to treat depression, and lavender essential oil continues to be used to that effect today. There is a body of scientific evidence that suggests that lavender may slow the activity of the nervous system and thus promote relaxation. Further to this studies suggest that massage with lavender oil (diluted into a carrier oil) may result in a more stable mood and reduced anxiety than when patients were massaged with a carrier oil alone.
Wound & Burn Healing
The same preparation as can be used to aid scar healing, especially the mixture of pure lavender oil into a carrier oil, can be used to aid the recovery of minor wounds and burns. Lavender’s antiseptic and antifungal properties can help to ensure that wounds don’t become infected and thus encourage faster and more successful healing.
The properties of lavender to aid sleep are well known, and there have now been a number of studies that have proven its use in the treatment of insomnia. Putting a lavender sachet under your pillow, adding a couple of drops of lavender oil to a handkerchief and inhaling the vapours, or add a couple of drops of lavender oil to your bath before going to bed have been shown to lengthen total sleep time, increase periods of deep sleep, and to make people feel more refreshed after sleep. It appears to work better for women, possibly because women tend to have a more acute sense of smell.
Due to its anti-inflammatory and sedative properties, lavender essential oil can be used to help ease some of the symptoms of asthma. The constriction of the airways as a result of an asthma attack may be alleviated by using either a chest rub consisting of 8 drops of lavender oil mixed into 60ml of a carrier oil, or by adding a few drops of lavender oil to a bowl of hot water or a humidifier and inhaling the steam.
There is also evidence that lavender oil can be used in the treatment of alopecia, eczema, fungal infections and can be used to help manage pain after surgery.
Please note that Lavender Oil should only be used under the supervision of a qualified medical practitioner or aromatherapist, and should never be used in replacement of any other prescribed medical treatment.