E is for Essential Oils: 10 Uses for Lavender Essential Oil
The smell of lavender is unmistakable and so soothing. The flowers of the lavender plant are gorgeous and delicate both fresh and dried. It is no wonder why lavender is so often associated with relaxation and pampering. Lavender oil was one of the essential oils I was most excited about trying and I continue to use it regularly in my daily life. Here are my top 10 favorite ways to use lavender essential oil:
Lavender essential oil is best known for its calming and soothing properties which makes it ideal for stress relief. It is a great oil to use in a diffuser to spread the relaxing scent through the air. I like to run mine on my nightstand in the evening to create a calming atmosphere before bed. Don’t have an essential oil diffuser? No problem – put a few drops of lavender oil on a cotton ball and place it in a drinking glass or a small jar. Hold it under your nose and breathe deeply. You can also just rub a few drops of lavender oil between your palms and breathe it in deeply from your hands this way. I also like to apply a drop or two of lavender on my temples, under my nose and on the back of my neck for stress relief. Lavender oil is generally safe to use undiluted or “neat” on your skin; however, be sure to do a spot test first to check for sensitivity. Use a carrier oil when using lavender on babies and young children or if you have sensitive skin. Research the oils you purchase to make sure you are getting high quality essential oil*.
This is quite possibly my favorite way to use lavender essential oil. I don’t know why but I can hardly ever use my oven without getting some minor burn on my hand or fingers. I try to be careful and always use good oven mitts but it never fails that I get a burn. Apparently my mother and even my grandmother have always had the same tendency. At least I know I come by it honestly! I also had a particularly nasty run in with my hot glue gun recently. Ouch! After running my burn under cold water or applying ice to it, I always apply a drop of lavender oil directly to the burn. It is amazing how quickly it takes the sting out of the burn and speeds the time it takes to heal. I admit that I was nervous to try this the first time fearing that it would sting on an already painful burn. It feels amazingly soothing and helps with the pain of the burn almost instantly. I keep a bottle of lavender oil on my kitchen counter for just this purpose and it definitely comes in handy. Lavender essential oil can also soothe a sunburn. Try mixing a few drops of lavender in a spray bottle of cool water and spritzing the sunburned skin periodically for soothing relief. Remember, I am by no means a doctor nor is it my intention to offer medical advice of any kind. Please consult your physician and seek medical care for serious burns or burns that don’t heal quickly.
Bites and Skin Irritations
Lavender essential oil also takes the itch and irritation out of bug bites and minor skin rashes. Dab a little on your next mosquito or spider bite. Mix a few drops of lavender oil in with coconut oil or unscented lotion to soothe mild eczema or skin rashes. Apply to minor cuts and scrapes for pain relief and to promote healing. Again please consult your physician or seek medical care for serious bites, rashes or injuries.
Lavender essential oil can also help promote better sleep. Diffuse lavender oil in your bedroom at bedtime. Spritz some on your mattress, sheets or pillow case. Apply to your temples and to the bottom of your feet. I like to sleep with a rice filled eye pillow that has been infused with lavender essential oil. The calming scent plus the gentle weight of the pillow on my eyes helps me fall asleep quickly. It also blocks out unwanted light and is easy to travel with too! Lavender essential oil can also help babies and children fall asleep faster.
Soothe Fussy Babies and Calm Active Children
Just like lavender helps to relieve stress in adults, it can have the same effect on children. I have used lavender oil on both of my girls since they were babies. Babies and young children have more sensitive skin so be sure to dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil. I usually use coconut oil or jojoba oil. If one of my girls is fussy or having a difficult time unwinding, I will give them a mini massage with some lavender making sure to rub a little on their forehead and on the back of their neck. It is amazing how much it helps them to settle down and get sleepy. I will sometimes place the oil on my own neck or chest knowing that they will snuggle in and get the benefits of the lavender without actually applying it directly on them. A spritz of lavender on their sheets and pillows has been helpful as well. There are many popular baby products on the market that contain lavender and are advertised as bedtime baths or lotions. I have found that just a drop of lavender essential oil mixed with something I already have on hand has the same effect and has become one of my secret weapons.
Lavender Linen Spray
What better way to enjoy the amazing smell of lavender than in a linen spray? Just a spritz or two on my pillow before bed sends me off to dreamland. My kiddos love this too! Try a few sprays in the linen closet to freshen up the towels or on a sweater that hasn’t been worn in a while. Refresh the couch, throw pillows and curtains. The possibilities are endless. There are fancy linen sprays on the market, but they can be pricey and full of added chemicals. It is super easy to make your own linen spray at home and then you know exactly what you are spraying all over the house! Find my instructions for making your own Lavender Linen Spray HERE.
Lavender Bath Salts
A relaxing lavender bath is another one of my favorite ways to use lavender essential oil. Mix 4-5 drops of lavender oil with a handful of Epsom salts to help you unwind and soothe tired, tense muscles. Add fresh or dried lavender flowers to this mix for some added pampering. Bath salts can make a lovely gift as well. I gave a small burlap bag of these homemade lavender bath salts to the ladies in my moms group as a little self care gift and they were a huge hit. Take a nice hot soak in the tub and relax!
I keep a small spray bottle with water, lavender essential oil, melaleuca (tea tree) essential oil and eucalyptus oil to spray down surfaces. Combine approximately 12oz of water with 8-10 drops of each essential oil and shake well to combine. It is best to mix essential oils in glass or aluminum spray bottles as oils will eat away at plastic over time. I like to use small metal spray bottles that I find in the hair care aisle of the dollar store. I also have some smaller glass spray bottles that I found online. Spray the solution on whatever surface is to be cleaned and wipe dry with a cleaning cloth or paper towel. I use this spray on counter tops, door knobs, for bathroom touch ups and on other hard surfaces. It cuts through dirt and grime and leaves a fresh and clean scent behind.
Room or Car Freshener
Does your linen closet or coat closet always seems to have a stale smell? What about lingering odors in your car? Freshen it up with some baking soda and lavender essential oil. I like to use a small glass storage container or canning jar. Fill it up with some baking soda and add 5-10 drops of lavender oil. Give it a gentle stir or shake. Cover the opening of the jar with mesh, cheesecloth or even a cupcake liner with a few holes poked through it. Place the jar in the closet, a drawer or in your car and you will notice the freshness in no time! Gently shake the container every so often to renew its freshening powers. This idea works nicely with lemon essential oil too.
Add 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil to your pitcher of lemonade for a refreshing twist on an old favorite. Garnish with a lemon slice and sprig of fresh lavender if you are feeling really fancy. Lavender oil can be a great addition to breads, baked goods and cooking as well.
*There are many choices for essential oils these days. Be sure to look for a pure, therapeutic grade essential oil from a reputable company. Some oils are not truly essential oil and can have unwanted additives. I buy my oils here: http://mydoterra.com/mybalancedlife. This is an affiliate link meaning I will make a small commission if you purchase products using this link.
I hope you find these tips and ideas helpful in your everyday life. I have been so happy with the many ways I have found to incorporate lavender essential oil into my daily life. What other ways do you use lavender essential oil? Leave me a comment and let me know. Experiment with adding the soothing scent of lavender to your daily routine and start reaping its many benefits today.
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