16 Lavender Oil Uses That Go Way Beyond Your Diffuser
If the world feels overwhelming, a few drops of essential oils can help reduce stress (and make every room smell wonderful). We can't get enough of tea tree, rosemary and peppermint oil, and it's no shock that lavender oil is one of these popular beauty items. But how well do you know this popular multi-purpose oil?
What is lavender oil?
Lavender oil is distilled from vegetable lavender (Lavandula angustifolia). It has become one of the most popular forms of aromatherapy, promoting a long list of properties such as anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibacterial and antimicrobial to name a few. A few drops can help with anxiety and insomnia, while treating allergies, sunburn, and dark spots. The herb alone contains components like Linalool and Linalyl that contribute to some of the benefits listed below.
How much should i use?
There is actually no recommended daily use of lavender oil, but most DIY blends only require a few drops each. So be conservative with it. Shrankhla Holeck, founder and CEO of UMA oils, says: "Because they are so concentrated, essential oils need to be treated with care and should be diluted in a vehicle under almost all circumstances before they are applied to your skin." It is important to emphasize that lavender oil should not replace medical treatment and should consult a doctor if there are serious medical needs.
So ... shouldn't I apply lavender oil directly to my skin?
You can ... but not by yourself. Lavender oil is still considered an allergen and people with sensitive skin can react to it. Try a small sample on your skin and always a carrier oil (like coconut, jojoba, and argan oil, to name a few) before trying any of the following. If you do not want to take this risk, contact your doctor.
Roger that. What should I look for when buying lavender oil?
There are many variations of lavender oil. Be sure to check the labels to make sure that no other oils or ingredients are affecting the pure oil you are looking for. If a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba is listed alongside lavender, it is most likely diluted. To find pure lavender oil, they are usually packaged in dark amber or cobalt bottles.
After the important details are no longer in the way, we come to the 16 lavender oil applications that go far beyond your diffuser.
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1. Relieve fear
While there are limited studies and studies showing that lavender oil can finally relieve anxiety, a 2005 study tested patients in a dentist's office and found that it improves their mood and reduces some of their stress while on wait for the dental treatment. Another study found that the oil even helped reduce anxiety, especially in women with postpartum childbirth. This is likely because the oil can affect the limbic system (which is part of the brain that controls emotions) in a positive, anxiety-reducing way.
To try it yourself, mix a few drops with a carrier oil (like coconut, jojoba, or olive oil), apply it to your skin (like your temple, behind your ears, forehead, or wrists, to name a few) and sit down in a cozy place for a much needed break. (It is important to note that lavender oil should not replace treatment for any type of anxiety disorder, and you should ask your doctor for medical help.)
2. Treatment of insomnia
Sleep disorders? According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), studies show that the smell of lavender oil improves the sleep quality of their participants, while another study by NCBI found that inhaling the oil can calm the nervous system.
Simply apply a mixture of lavender oil and a carrier oil of your choice (equal parts for both) to your wrists, palms, or soles of your feet before bed to relax your body for sleep. You can also put a few drops in your diffuser or spray some on your pillow to keep the soothing scent around you for the rest of the night.
3. Improve acne
The antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of lavender oil relieve and cure acne, especially unwanted breakouts. Only a mixture of the oil with a carrier (such as argan or coconut oil) can clog the pores, reduce redness and relieve irritation. Use the combination after cleansing your face to kill bacteria or excess oil.
4. Reduce the appearance of dark spots and scars
Speaking of acne, the essential oil can also improve skin conditions. A component in lavender - linalyl acetate - can reduce hyperpigmentation and discoloration. The dermatologist Dr. Jaggi Rao explains that topical application of the oil can also accelerate the wound healing process.
Simply mix two drops of lavender oil and a carrier oil (such as pomegranate) before dabbing the product on dark spots or irritated areas with a cotton pad.
5. Smooth out wrinkles and fine lines
Let the antioxidant properties work to fade fine lines and wrinkles over time. Just a few drops with coconut oil can be your new daily moisturizer. Although it doesn't completely change the look of your skin overnight, it can be a great addition to your skin care routine.
6. Relieve sunburn
We already know that the anti-inflammatory effects of lavender oil reduce redness and irritation, but you can finally say goodbye to the sunburn you just got from a day at the beach. After a refreshing shower, apply a combination of three drops of lavender oil and two teaspoons of coconut oil to the irritated area.
Consider making a sunburn healing spray by mixing ¼ cup aloe vera, two tablespoons of distilled water, 10 to 12 drops of lavender oil, and a carrier oil. Simply spray the mixture two to three times a day to relieve discomfort or pain.
7. Heal wounds
Although there is limited evidence to support this (aside from a 2016 study on rats), lavender oil may have some properties that suggest that it will stimulate the healing process, soothe the skin, and tissue growth with small scars, scratches, and wounds can promote. If the wound is not severe and you are not sensitive to lavender (always make a test patch on your skin to find out), use three to four drops of lavender oil and two to three drops of coconut oil together and apply to the skin Sore a few times a week for better results.
8. Make a homemade deodorant
Fresh from your usual stick? No problem. Consider a natural alternative by dabbing a few drops under your box.
9. Improve digestion
The aromatic oil is known to relax and calm the body. So adding a small amount to your tea, water or coffee can improve digestive problems (e.g. stomach pain, constipation, etc.).
10. Relief of nasal congestion
A 2016 study looked at how aromatic oils affect patients with allergies, colds and a stuffy nose. The results? Patients with lavender aromatherapy showed significantly higher improvements.
Simply put a few drops in a diffuser or four to six drops in a bowl of hot water and let the steam open your airways.
11. Maintain a dry scalp
The antifungal and antimicrobial properties of lavender oil help to kill unwanted bacteria, dirt and product build-up. A review from 2014 explains that its antimicrobial active ingredients prevent the development of fungi or bacteria and thus minimize scalp problems such as itching, irritation and dandruff. Apply two to three drops to your hair care products or create a combination with a carrier oil. Then massage the mixture onto your scalp and rinse it out.
12. Promotion of hair growth
There is limited research to demonstrate that lavender oil promotes hair growth (apart from the results of a 2016 study in mice). Similar to the antibacterial properties that promote tissue growth in wounds, it can also promote healthy cell growth and increase blood flow to the hair follicles.
While we can't promise it will do the job, it can be a good addition to your hair routine, just for the fragrance alone. Create your own hair mask by applying a combination of lavender oil and carrier oil to your hair, leaving it on for five to ten minutes, and rinsing it out (or you can leave it overnight for the benefits to work in your sleep).
13. Flavor your meals
Whether you're making a sweet treat like lavender shortbread cookies or a hearty meal like pork chops, add a few drops of lavender oil to your meal. (And yes, the FDA says lavender oil is okay for consumption.) The oil gives your dish a floral hint that can add value to any dish. Before using it, be sure to read the instructions on the bottle and add about a teaspoon of oil.
14. Refresh your room with a spray
Speaking of laundry: keep your clothes and bedding fresh all year round with a homemade room spray. Mix two tablespoons of alcohol (can be exchanged for witch hazel), ten to twelve drops of lavender oil and six tablespoons of distilled water. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle, shake, and spray it on almost everything - like bedding, towels, and pillows - to give your home a refreshing scent.
15. Soothing insect bites
Nobody enjoys being eaten alive by mosquitos, so use a DIY repellent to relieve the itching. Mix a cup of water and 4 drops of lavender oil in a spray bottle before you spray the mixture on your bites. (Optionally, a drop of peppermint oil can be added to achieve a moisturizing, tingling effect.) The combination can reduce inflammation and minimize swelling.
16. Relief from sore muscles
After a long day, a nice bath sounds like a great idea. If you have body pain and sore muscles, just add a few drops of lavender oil to your bath. Light a few candles, play soothing music, and dip in the bath for 20 minutes (because you deserve it).
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