Lavender is one of the safest and most versatile of all the essential oils used in aromatherapy. According to Patricia Davis: Aromatherapy, an A–Z (Random House, UK, 2004), Lavender oil is, among other things, pain relieving, antiseptic, antiviral and antibacterial, a decongestant, sedative and insect repellent. The oil of Lavender is a safe oil for most people and rarely causes any allergic reactions.
There are many varieties of Lavender, but the most used and best known for its beautiful scent is the common Lavender or Lavandula angustifolia, sometimes also called Lavandula officinalis. Here are three ways to use Lavender essential oil at home.
Use Lavender in Steam Inhalation for Colds or Flu’s
Because Lavender essential oil is antiviral, bactericidal and decongestant, it is a safe and effective home remedy to use during colds and flus. Add a couple of drops of Lavender to a bowl of steaming hot water, sit by the bowl and cover your head and the bowl with a large bath towel. Inhale the hot steam and Lavender vapor for up to ten minutes.
Relieve Headaches with Lavender Oil
Lavender’s pain relieving and relaxing effects can work wonders on headaches. Essential oils must usually be diluted in base oil (cold pressed vegetable oil such as sweet almond or jojoba) before using them on skin, but Lavender is one of the few very safe oils that can sometimes be used without diluting. If you are suffering from a headache, massage a little bit (just one drop is enough) of neat Lavender essential oil on your temples. Make sure you avoid the eyes.
Or, try a cold Lavender compress on the forehead: simply add a drop or two of Lavender oil in a bowl of cold water, dip a small towel into the water and then wring out the excess water. Lie down, close your eyes and place the compress on your forehead.
Lavender Makes a Safe Natural Insect Repellent
Lavender can be used as a natural insect repellent and as a natural home remedy for insect bites. Dried Lavender flowers or small pouches filled with Lavender, placed in the wardrobe, have traditionally been used to keep moths away from textiles. Lavender bags can also be placed with sheets and towels to give them a delicate Lavender scent.
Lavender oil can be used in aromatherapy diffusers or essential oil burners as a natural insect repellent, and a drop of neat Lavender oil applied on a mosquito bite can relieve the itching. Make sure you buy a pure, natural essential oil and not adulterated perfume oil.
Pregnant women should avoid most essential oils especially during the first trimester, and although Lavender is one of the safest oils, it should still be diluted when using on children, using 1 drop to a teaspoon of vegetable oil.