The most useful essential oil is the lavender essential oil. It is derived from the lavender plant. People have been deriving lavender for more than 2500 years. The lavender essential oil has a wide variety of therapeutic properties and uses that range from cosmetic to medicinal to its use in aromatherapy.
- The lavender essential oil has a calming fragrance that enhances emotional and physical balance. Due to these properties, it is commonly used for relaxing the body.
- The lavender essential oil has medicinal and cosmetic uses. It is also used in aromatherapy. It demonstrates sedative, calming, and soothing effects in every form in which it is used. The forms include oils, lotions, soaps, gels, sprays, candles, and shampoos.
- More than 30 species of lavender essential oil are present with numerous genotypes. You can distinguish them by their pattern of growth and the chemical ingredients present in their essential oils.
- The quality of the lavender essential oil depends upon the growing conditions of the lavender plant including the climate, season, cloud coverage, soil quality, and moisture levels.
- You can get the premium quality lavender essential oil by doing steam distillation of only the fresh flowers of the lavender plant. No other plant part can provide such high-quality oil.
- You should avoid the use of lavender essential oil during pregnancy, when taking medicines that may cause drowsiness, or while having surgery under anesthesia.
Let us deep-dive into understanding all about the Lavender Oil question by question.
Which plant is used to derive lavender essential oil?
Lavender essential oil is derived from the Lavandula Angustifolia plant, also referred to as lavender. It is a type of perennial plant that grows in an oceanic climate with rocky, dry, and sandy terrain. You can find the lavender plant in many places. This includes Europe, the Mediterranean region, the Canary Islands, Africa, India, and the Middle East.
What is the history of lavender essential oil?
The oil has been used all over the world for more than 2500 years. According to old texts, the purpose of the oil ranges from spiritual to medicinal. It was not only used as a sacred scent for religious practices but also used to soothe skin irritations, bruises, and clean cuts.
It was also used in perfumery and mummification by Egyptians while the Romans used it in cooking and bathing.
The word lavender comes from the word (Latin) “lavare,” which means “to wash.” It was given this name since it was very frequently used in laundry and bath due to its fragrance. As a matter of fact, it has a calming fragrance that balances the body, both emotionally and physically. Hence, it is commonly used to relax the body.
What are the various medicinal benefits or advantages of lavender oil?
The lavender essential oil has the following benefits:
- It helps in eliminating harmful bacteria.
- It helps in relieving muscle spasms.
- It helps in relieving flatulence.
- It helps in soothing inflamed skin particularly when it results from an itchy and poisonous bug bite.
- It helps in promoting faster healing of scarred and irritated skin.
- When used as a part of massage oil, it helps in relieving muscle tension.
What are the various benefits of lavender essential oil in aromatherapy?
The lavender essential oil has the following benefits in aromatherapy:
- It acts as a mild sedative and helps in reducing stress
- It also helps in reducing the levels of the stress hormone
- By reducing stress, it helps in supporting your immune system
- It has also been found useful in reducing feelings of sadness and depression in some individuals
- It acts as a relaxing and calming agent; thereby, relieving the problem of insomnia in some people
What are the various cosmetic benefits of lavender essential oil?
- Anti-septic (It helps in killing germs)
- Anti-inflammatory (It helps in relieving inflammation)
- Cytophylactic (It helps in cell regeneration)
- Cicatrisant (It helps in healing of a wound by forming scar tissue)
What are the various benefits of lavender essential oil in aromatherapy?
- Anti-depressant (It helps in relieving depression)
- Anti-spasmodic (It helps in relieving spasms)
- Decongestant (It helps in relieving congestion)
- Sedative (It helps in producing sleep)
- Nervine (It helps in calming of nerves)
What are the various medicinal benefits of lavender essential oil?
- Anti-convulsant (It helps in relieving convulsions)
- Analgesic (It helps in relieving pain)
- Anti-rheumatic (It helps in relieving rheumatic pains)
- Bactericidal (It helps in killing the bacteria)
- Anti-viral (It helps in killing viruses)
- Hypotensive (It helps in lowering blood pressure)
- Diuretic (It helps in increasing the passing of urine)
- Emmenagogue (It helps in increasing the flow of menstrual blood)
- Carminative (It helps in relieving gas)
How is quality lavender essential oil harvested and cultivated?
The growing conditions of the lavender plant determine the final quality of the essential oil. Hence, the climate, season, and moisture levels all affect what will be the quality of the oil. Another major factor that may affect the quality of the oil is soil quality. For example, a high quantity of nitrogen present in the soil may cause disease in the lavender plant.
The quality and yield of the lavender essential oil depend on the weather and how old the bushes of lavender are.
The flowers of lavender vary in size and shape and grow on long stems or spikes. The lavender essential oil is found in the leaves, the microscopic glands present on the corolla (the inside flower petal rings), the calyx (the outside flower petal rings), and on the branches and stalks.
What is the best time to harvest lavender essential oil?
The best time to harvest lavender essential oil is while the flowers are fully developed or are blooming fully. If you harvest lavender before the plant reaches full maturity, the oil will not be of high quality.
The months in which you should harvest lavender are between the end of July and August. The time to harvest the plant can take four to ten days. You should harvest on a day when the weather is clear and bright and not too cold, hot or windy.
If you harvest lavender by hand, you can cut the flower spikes by using shears or sickles. If you harvest lavender commercially, then harvesters are taken into the fields of the lavender plant with flowers in full bloom and the stems of the plant are cut. The lavender flowers are kept in a cart and are later sent to a distillery.
How does the extraction of the lavender essential oil occur?
The lavender essential oil of the highest quality is derived by steam distillation of only the fresh flowers of the lavender plant. The first distillation process produces an essential oil, which is of the highest quality and clear. The second process of steam distillation produces oil that has a strong scent and pale amber color.
What are the various uses or applications of lavender essential oil?
The lavender essential oil has a wide variety of uses and they range from cosmetics to medicinal to use in aromatherapy. It may be used in many forms including gels, oils, soaps, lotions, shampoos, candles, and sprays.
What are the uses of lavender essential oil in aromatherapy?
When you inhale the fragrance of lavender essential oil in aromatherapy, the scent receptors present in your brain process this smell as soothing and calming. This allows your body and brain to relax.
Similarly, if you put several drops of the oil on your pillow, it can promote rapid onset of sleep, particularly deep sleep and you will have lesser sleep disturbances.
It helps in relieving emotional stress, feelings of anxiety, and headaches. It also has the ability to improve mood and reduce motion sickness.
Deep inhalation of lavender essential oil may help in reducing symptoms and signs of hay fever.
What are the uses of lavender essential oil on your skin?
Due to its anti-fungal and antiseptic properties, it may also help in reducing swelling and itching that occurs due to insect bites.
It also soothes minor cuts and burns, reduces pain and inhibits bleeding while at the same time eliminates bacteria and other germs from the skin wound (as it has anti-microbial property).
It also has the capability to restore complexion of the skin due to which it is used on acne-prone and aging skin. Due to its potent antioxidant properties, it slows down the process of aging and reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
It also improves the feel and looks of skin affected by psoriasis and eczema.
What are the uses of lavender essential oil in hair care?
Due to its antiseptic properties, it helps in effectively eliminating dandruff, nits, and lice when you rub the oil on your scalp.
What are the uses of lavender essential oil as a spray?
You may use lavender essential oil as a non-toxic and natural air freshener that relaxes the atmosphere, particularly for your bedroom. You may also use it as a natural perfume. In your bathroom, you may spray the oil on the towels for a calming and refreshing scent.
What are the different varieties of lavender essential oil?
There exist three main species of the lavender plant that belong to the genus “Lavendula” producing essential oils. Two of these are Lavandula latifolia (Spike Lavender) and Lavandula angustifolia (English Lavender).
What are the chemical ingredients present in the lavender essential oil?
More than 100 constituents are present in lavender essential oil including linalool, camphor, linalyl acetate, limonene, tannins, cineole, coumarins, triterpenes, perillyl alcohol, and flavonoids.
The main constituents of lavender essential oil are 1, 8-cineole, linalool, limonene, camphor, lavendulyl acetate, linalyl acetate, a-pinene, terpinen-4-ol, 3-octanone, cis-ocimene, caryophyllene, and trans-ocimene.
What are the most popular types of lavender essential oil?
The most popular types of lavender essential oil are as follows:
- Lavendula augustifolia (Lavender Organic): It is commonly present in Bulgaria, France, Spain, Italy, South Africa, and Croatia.
- Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender Bulgarian): It is commonly present in Bulgaria.
- Lavandula augustifolia (Lavender Population): It is commonly present in France.
- Lavandula stoechas (Lavender Spanish; also known as butterfly lavender): It is commonly present in Spain, Madeira Islands, North-west Africa, The Canary Islands, Western Asia, and Southern Europe.
- Lavender Essential Oil (Natural Blend): It is commonly present in France.
- Lavandula officinalis (Lavender 40/42- it is a blend of lavender oils of different origins to get economical oil; the meaning of 40/42 is the particular ratio in which the main chemical ingredients Linalool and Linalyl acetate are present): It is commonly present in France.
- Lavendula Angustifolia (Lavender Floral Water-the residual constituents from the plant that are soluble in water are present in it. They remain after the extraction of essential oils from the plant by way of water or steam distillation).
What are the benefits of lavender organic?
It helps in relieving inflammation and headaches, boosting immunity, healing skin, and promoting healthy sleep.
What are the benefits of lavender Bulgarian?
It helps in reducing stress, relieving headaches, relaxing the mind and body, and improving pain in the joints.
What are the benefits of the lavender population?
It helps in effectively reducing colds and coughs, promoting easy breathing, and relieving anxiety and insomnia (difficulty in sleep).
What are the benefits of lavender Spanish?
It is an effective remedy for cold. It helps in increasing your mental capacity, reducing fatigue, and improving moods.
What are the benefits of lavender essential oil (natural blend)?
The natural blend is not medical grade lavender essential oil; instead, it is completely natural without containing any aromatic compounds or synthetic ingredients. No artificial colorants and flavours are present in it.
It is used in the preparation of all-natural products. It is also used to provide fragrance to various skincare and cosmetic products.
What are the benefits of lavender 40/42?
It is perfect to use in the production of candles, perfumes, cosmetics, and soaps. It contains the perfect percentage of Linalyl acetate and Linalool mixed to provide a harmonious floral scent.
What are the benefits of lavender floral water?
You may use it on its own or as a base for various cosmetic products. You can use it to make room/air fresheners.
What caution you should take while using lavender essential oil?
As per the guidelines of NAHA, you should not ingest any of the essential oils. You should avoid the use of lavender essential oil when having surgery under anesthesia. The oil has the potential to increase the efficacy of medicines; for instance, those given for depression or sleep disorders.
Similarly, you should avoid using lavender essential oil if you are taking any medicine for flu or cough that produces sleep as this oil causes drowsiness or sleepiness.
Who should not use lavender essential oil?
Since the oil may relax the muscles and affect the levels of hormones, it cannot be used safely during any of the pregnancy stages. Pregnant and lactating women should not use lavender essential oil, particularly pregnant females who are in their last trimester before consulting a doctor.
Though it is thought that you can use lavender essential oil safely in children, the effect of the oil on hormonal levels implies that it may potentially harm boys in their pre-pubescent years. Hence, parents should use caution while using oil in children who are in this age group.