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Latest Articles - Luxury

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Lavender Essential Oil

Saturday, 27 March 2010

lavender essential oilSumptuous, subtle, enveloping, soothing and stimulating at the same time, the scent of lavender was highly valued by our ancestors, and we love it, and buy this scent, captured in every possible product, including detergents. It goes without saying that modern scent is far from its natural counterpart as the manufacturers are merely using our need for peace and harmony, associated with lavender scent. However, there is always a solution and we always can let this divine fragrance into our life by opening a bottle of lavender essential oil.

Throughout history, lavender has been known for its impress healing powers. Its use throughout the ages as a natural antiseptic, antibiotic, anti-depressant, sedative and de-toxifier is still relevant today to promote healing and prevent or diminish unsightly scar from forming. Ancient Greeks used lavender oil to treat throat infections, constipation and chest conditions. Lavender was commonly used in Roman baths to scent the water, and it was thought to restore the skin. Its Latin name was lavandarius, from lavanda (things to be washed), from the verb lavare (to wash). The Greeks discovered early on that lavender if crushed and treated correctly would release a relaxing fume when burned, this is the basis for the lavendine, drug used for medical purposes today.

Many medieval European herbalists used lavender water to help prevent and treat head lice. Small bundles of dried lavender were also placed in the laundry, to make clothes smell fresh and keep moths away. They also treated insomnia and other sleep disorders, by placing small dried bundles inside their pillows. The aroma was also believed to drive away bed bugs. During the height of the Plague, glove makers at Grasse would scent their leathers with lavender oil, and this was claimed to ward off the Plague. Lavender essential oil has great antibacterial properties which are used to this day.

Unlike most essential oils, lavender does not need to be diluted before using it. A few drops on a pillow can aid the healing process, protect the skin from infection and improve sleep. Sniffing its light, floral aroma through a cotton wool pad helps calm frazzled nerves, decreases anxiety and calms the mind and body. Massaging with lavender oils or adding it to a warm bath (possibly, with other herbal oils like vegetable, olive and almond oil) helps to decrease muscle pains caused by tension, exercise or rheumatism. Menstrual pain can be also alleviated by gently massaging lavender over the lower abdomen, in a circular motion. Being so gentle, it is ideal to use on children and babies, to help prevent childhood infections and to soothe temper tantrums and upsets. Ability to improve the overall condition of the respiratory tract is another important benefit of lavender essential oil. Therefore, it is indispensable in inhalation formulas to alleviate the symptoms of asthma, bronchitis, sore throat, and strong cough. It is established that in indoor environments with lavender-scented airing people rarely catch flue, which is particularly important during flu pandemic.

An infusion of lavender is claimed to soothe and heal insect bites. If applied to the temples, lavender oil is said to soothe headaches. If added to a cup of boiling water is recommended as a soothing and relaxing bedtime drink. Lavender essential oil is also said to prevent stress, relieve anxiety and contribute to overall improvement of central and autonomic nervous system functions. Cardiovascular diseases can also be treated lavender essential oil.  Moreover, it is established that the use of lavender oil helps to normalize heart rate in case of arrhythmia and tachycardia, and normalize blood pressure in people suffering from high blood pressure.

An «inhale cocktail» containing lavender, valerian and sage essential oils is claimed to help protect the nervous system from stress and calm the nerves, especially during menopause. Finally, some common day uses for lavender oil in present day society are: for scalds, minor burns (including after-sun), cuts, grazes, inflammation, eczema, dermatitis, fainting, headaches, insomnia, migraines, nausea, bacterial infections, acne, boils, rheumatism and arthritis.

However, lavender essential oil can be a powerful allergen. Ingesting lavender should be avoided during pregnancy (especially during the first trimester) and breastfeeding. Lavender essential oil also contains active components that can interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications and trigger side effects.

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