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I've been a fan of the use of essential oils for a long time, and Lavender has to be said to be one of the staple contents of my oils box. Partly this is because it's so safe to use, but also because it has so many excellent properties and is such a useful oil to include in mixes.
Most people are aware that lavender is relaxing - and many people find it helps them to sleep too. Having said this, for some people lavender doesn't make them sleepy at all and they'll find that although they feel relaxed by it, it can leave them feeling more energised than sleepy. Despite this, you'll find it in many natural sleep aid products.
Actually lavender can be found in a very wide variety of things from candles to bath products, body lotions to headache relief products and more. I think that as long as you enjoy the smell these are worthwhile buying, but it's also important to note if the product is chemical based with added lavender, or if they're using the lavender as one of the key ingredients in something much more natural.
An example of a very good ready made remedy that uses lavender is the migrastick - it's a blend of lavender, peppermint and isopropyl myristate and so it's the lavender and peppermint that are the 'active' ingredients in this. Alternatively a regular bubble bath might be full of chemicals, but just use the lavender as a scent to make it smell nice.
My favourite uses
I find lavender to be a very calming essential oil, and I also find it excellent for helping to relax muscles, so one of the main uses I have for lavender is as a muscle rub or massage oil mixed with a simple carrier oil of sweet almond oil (my normal preferred carrier oil). 10ml of sweet almond oil with 10 drops of lavender in it is about right for me personally I find. Because I have fibromyalgia, my muscles have a tendency to knot up and go into spasm very easily and as lavender has antispasmodic properties too I find this a great rub for tired aching muscles. I also use this when I'm getting tummy cramps from my period too, just rubbing it over my belly area often helps to ease these nicely, although an alternative for this is to pop the lavender in the bath.
My second favourite use for lavender has to be as a method of keeping the insects away in the summer time. It can be used alone for this, or mixed with a number of other oils - personally I prefer to mix it with rosemary and either add it to purified water (just 5 drops of each to 500ml of water) and then spray it round the room, or burn it in an oil burner for a more intense smell and purpose. It works quite well to keep the mosquitoes and other bugs at bay on a summer evening when the backdoor is open.
My third method is to use actual lavender flower heads in with wheat or rice in a heat bag. I do tend to add the essential oil to the rice as well to infuse the smell better, but then when I make the bags, I add actual lavender too. They're sooo easy to make and make lovely gifts for people. Simply take some regular long grain rice, and add some lavender essential oil to it in a glass jar - leave this for a few days turning it daily and then add some more drops and do the same again. After a few weeks the rice is then ready for use. Make up your heat bag as a long sausage like affair around 12cm by 36cm and fill it about 2/3rds full of the infused rice. Add a small handful of dried lavender and then stitch the end up. To heat, microwave in bursts of 30seconds at a time till it's hot enough and then use it for neck, shoulders, feet etc.
Cost & Availability
Lavender oil is available in all sorts of places these days, but you do have to watch what you are buying. As with most oils there is a difference between essential oil and oil designed just for use in an oil burner. Where essential oil can be burned, burner oil cannot be used on the skin! Most essential oils you get you're likely to only want small containers of, but lavender I find is one I use so much that I actually buy mine in 50ml or 100ml bottles instead of the usual 10ml containers. It's also cheaper this way as a 10ml bottle will generally cost around £2-4 depending on where you get it and if it's organic or not, whereas the larger bottles work out much more cost effective. The last 100ml bottle I bought cost me about £18 - it wasn't organic however and that tends to be about twice the cost.
Dried lavender is a little harder to get hold of, but can be bought off the internet fairly easily. I think the last lot I got came from ebay, and cost me about £10 for 500g and that goes quite a long way too.
If you have never indulged in trying out essential oils and all their uses, then I would recommend lavender as a very good starting place. It's one of the safest oils you can buy and can even be used direct onto the skin although this isn't recommended it will not at least cause you any damage the way it would if you did it with many other oils. It's got plenty of uses, and you can get lots of books from bookshops or the library which give you a great starting point for learning how to use it most effectively.
Lavender is one of the most common herbs used for calming,soothing and relaxing a body than all the other herbs known. You can buy lots of things that have lavender in them, like candles, bath salts soap, bubble bath and many other things. It can be grown in the garden and will produce loverly scented purple flowers year after year. In todays society herbal and natural remedies are fastly catching on and essential oiols are all the rage. Lavender again is one ofthe most common essential oils used, it can be droppind into your bath water or burned in an oil burner, you can also add it to a base oil to use in the soothing stokes of a massage. You can buy Lavender oil from most health shops and a little bottle will set you back at the cheap price of £2.00 to £2.50 shop around if it's priced higher as your getting ripped off. The healing properties of Lavender are used for a tonic, hence the wide use in bath and shower products, this is why you feel refreshed after using anything with lavender in. It is also good for a failing appetite, you can burn it in an oil burner to help increase your appetite. It is alsa an antispasmodic and therefore helps to relax tired and aching muscles. It is also an antiseptic and burning lavender in an oil burner during the hot summer months will repell wasps, flies and other insects. For headaches and soothing back pains a nice hot bath should do the trick. The same goes for us women who suffer the dreaded monthly pains. Although lavender is a funny scent it does help to ease pain and relax, you can also buy jossticks from the markets or hippie shops to burn in the rooms to freshen and repell insects. I like the smell of lavender and we grow it in our garden, fresh and dried it can be sewn into little bits of material squares to freshen the clothes drawers. Or sprinkled into the bathwater or used as pot-purri. There are numerous ways to use lavender and if like me you
r into alternative medicines then you should give it a try.
I think at some point or other in our lifes we have all come across Lavender. It's very versatile and can be used in lots of ways. In our gardens it brightens up the place with its loverly bluey purple flowers and loverly scent and you can even use it for cooking, it can be added to cream for making ice-cream or a little in the pot when braising a rabbit. You can even add it to rice to give it a different flavour. Some people use it in pot-purri or make little cloth bags with it to freshen their clothes in the drawers. it can be dried and sprinkled into the bath water too. You can find it in beauty products like soap, bubble bath, bath bombs, bath salts or hand creams and other things. It is also used in airfresheners and toilet cleaners for added scent. It's very versatile. Lavender is also made into an essential oil and this is probably one of the most common essential oils as the benefits of a couple of drops of it in your bath are huge. It is good for relaxing and is a tonic, as well as an antiseptic it can also bring back a lost appetite and is effective for the treatment of minor burns and scalds, wounds and sores. A lot of women find it helpful at period times to ease the stresses of p.m.t and women going through the change of life find it helpful too as it has a soothing effect which helps get rid of headaches and tension. Used for a massage it will help to ease aches and pains and relax you. Lavender is also used as a herbal remedy. When taken internakky it can be good for the heart, faintness and colic but it is always best to consult a properly qualified herbalist before you go taking any remedy. The safest and easiest way to use Lavender is by putting the essential oil in your bath water, after a long soak you will definately feel the benefits. Lavender is quite a strong smelling plant, oil or herb and may not be to everyone's taste, but the healing properties are well worth a try. I ho
pe this has been of some help to you. Stay happy.
Are you feeling stressed out? Perhaps you have been trailing around the shops hunting for bargains, or you have just had a long drive home after the christmas holidays visiting family and friends? Maybe, like me me, you have dooyoo-itus, you know, neck hanging down for hours reading opinions, because you have lots of catching up to do? Whether any of the above apply to you or not,I have something for you that will make you go Ooooooooh, Arhhhhhhhhhhhh, 'Oh yes!, that is just soooooo lovely, just a little bit to the right,Oh yes, that feels so good'! Is it my very own masseuse? No. Have I just sat in a hot tub? No. What I have got, and what does make me feel good is, my Aroma Soother. What in heavens name is that?. It's a long velvet, oblong shaped cushion type bag filled with gorgeous, beautiful lavender! You pop it into the microwave for a couple of minutes to warm up, this releases even more of the wonderful aroma. You then place it where you have an ache or pain. Here are some of it's wonderful uses:- ~ Neck Pillow~ Pop it around your neck and it will gently soothe your stress and any niggly aches and pains away.'Mmmmm'. ~ Back Pillow~ Snuggle and position it in your back and allow the gentle heat and the gorgeous and relaxing fragrance quietly calm your aches and pains. 'Ahhhhhhhh, Ohhhh Yesssssssss!. ~Travel Pillow~ Be a chilled out passenger, drape it around your neck and shoulders, it will give you excellent suppport and relaxation and ease the tension of the journey. 'Shhhhhh I'm just dropping off'. It doesn't need to be heated, but it is designed to be, if required, and believe me you will. It's simple, just pop it in the microwave oven, on full power for 2-2.5 minutes.This is for 650-800 watts, adjust the time accordingly if yours is higher than that. To the touch it feels like a bea
nie, but is filled with lavender. Mine was a present from The National Trust Shop, but the price was left on, saying it was £14.99, I find when the price has been left on it usually means that it didn't cost that much, it was in the sale, but they want you to think it did!, or is that me being cynical?.I have seen smaller ones for about £8.00. My one came with a small bottle of relax spray, it can be spayed on the pillow to enhance and refresh. Lavender is effective for easing the sympoms of Rheumatism, Arthiritis, poor circulation and easing aches and pains, I have a horrendous back and it eases it wonderfully. It is said that aromatherapy oils are not to be used by pregnant women, always check with your Doctor/Nurse/Midwife first before using any, not just Lavender, and do not apply oils directly to the skin. I love my Aroma Pillow, I'm sure you would too. The National Trust (Enterprises) Ltd, The Stable Block, Heywood House, Westbury, Wiltshire. Sweet Dreams, Julie.
Lavander has long been a favorite of mine especially in the bath in the form of oils and foam baths but I have since started using lavander oil to help me off to sleep. About 3 weeks ago I was suffering with insomina and could not sleep even tried getting absolutly pissed but still no good so when I was in the health shop the other day I asked what might help me get some sleep and the lady behind the counter suggested that I try lavander oil. So at great expence I bought a small bottle for about £7. That night before I went to bed I put a couple of drops on my pillow and for the first time in ages got a really good nights sleep so good in fact that I had trouble waking up in the morning. It really was an absolute success and has been the answer to my sleep problems ever since. But last week my daughter started to play up at bed time and really just would stay awake in her cot making loads of noise until late into the night so I thought I would try using it on her but because she is only 3 years old I did not want to use something so strong as the oil so I went out to the garden in the morning and picked some lavander off of a plant we have that is still flowering. We dried it out and my ex partner sewed it into a small pillow(I am crap with needle and thread)and that night gave it to my daughter to sleep with and she grabbed it and layed down clutching it whilst I read her a story and before I had got to the end of the book she was spark out. Lavander really is a great natural sleep enhancer but be warned it really will knock you out for hours so have a loud alarm clock if you have to get up in the morning. Another thing that I have found that works really well at relaxing the body before sleep is Epsom Bath Salts available at all Boots stores for about £1.25 a box of 500g pour half into a bath before bed and it sucks out all the toxins in your body leaving you feeling relaxed and worry free well at le
ast until the morning. WARNING it is not advisable to have an Epsom bath more than once a fortnight or at all if you have any medical complaints or are PREGNANT also do not use for CHILDREN. These suggestions really do work as I use them all myself so if you are having troble sleeping give them a whirl.
Okay, hands up, confess, who thought that lavender was what old ladies use to scent their undies' drawer? Well. it is what they use. At least the actual dried lavender in bags is what they use. However, you don't need to be an old lady, or wear ladies undies to benefit from lavender in the essential oil form. Lavender is the only essential oil which is commercially produced in UK (as far as I'm aware) so when you go to buy it, you should always find it among the cheapest oils. (French lavender is in my opinion, better than the English equivalent...sorry about that!) The low price is because it is produced within UK and it takes relatively little lavender to produce the oil. There shouldn't be much difference between the prices for French and English lavender. Where it takes a lot of the plant material to produce a similar quantity of oil, the price will be higher. If the lavender isn't cheap then ask why! Most people are familiar with the smell of lavender. It's botanical name is Lavendula augustifolia, for anybody who wants to know. The essential oil is extracted by steam distillation from the actual lavender flowers. USES: +++++ Relaxation Good for easing tired muscles especially in the feet after a long day. Aids sleep. Amazingly effective in the treatment of burns. (No home should be without a bottle of this oil in the kitchen.) Skin conditioner, Astringent, For treating sunburn but it's better, of course, not to get burnt in the first place! Lots of other uses best studied in a textbook, or consult an aromatherapist. How to use: +++++++++++ Add a couple of drops to a pillow or sheet to help peaceful sleep but don't let it get into the eyes. Use a small amount neat on burns to ease pain and reduce scarring. Blends well with patchouli oil, rosemary, clary sage or ro
se, although I prefer to use it on its own. Use for massage, mixed with a carrier oil for smooth skin and a feeling of great relaxation. Add a few drops to a warm bath and you will feel relaxed and refreshed. Warning: ++++++++ Although you can use lavender oil undiluted on burns take care not to use too much. In general essential oils should always be diluted with a carrier oil (or milk), to avoid burns to the skin. Most skins will tolerate lavender oil and it is unlikely that you will get a reaction but if you are in doubt test it out first. Do not get this oil into the mucus membranes of the nose or eyes as it may cause damage. This means that extra care needs to be taken with children as they frequently have their hands on their eyes and noses. We have all seen them rubbing eyes and noses when they are tired. Verdict: ++++++++ A must have for every household. Keep it in the kitchen for burns and use a little undiluted to reduce scarring. A real treat when added to a warm bath after a hectic day. It's cheap (compared with other oils) and very versatile. Get some and you'll wonder how you managed without it.
I was so stubborn when it came to lavender, I refused to try it because of the smell. It's quite a potent smell, but I gave in as a friend recommended it to me as I suffer frequently from headaches. This was after trying every painkiller I could buy over the counter along with prescription medicine. I dread to think what I've consumed over the years in search for a headache relief, so it's refreshing to find something completely natural that works. After looking up various information about this herb, lavender is claimed to be effective on the following : 1) Headaches 2) Rheumatism 3) Poor Circulation 4) Insomnia 5) Sprains 6) Stress and anxiety Of course, there may be more uses I'm unaware of, but this just demonstrates how versatile this herb is. I can't assure all of the above (thankfully), but I can tell you how it has benefitted me. Regarding headaches, just a few drops of Lavender oil massaged into the temples doesn't make a headache magically disappear, but because of it's relaxation properties it eases tention and has a subtle calming effect therefore reducing the pain. The other reason why I can't live without Lavender is my sleeping paterns. Just occasionally, I go through phases of being unable to sleep (as with a lot of people) for whatever reason. A good tip for sleeping problems is to either burn Lavender oil before you go to bed, or what I tend to most is pour a few drops on my pillow and duvet. This relaxes you nicely until you drift off to sleep without the side-effects of many insomnia cures. This gem of a herb is available in many forms. You can drink it as a tea, use it as a tincture, take it in tablet form, add it to bath water or use oil for massage and burning. As lavender is so common in this country (you may have some in your garden) it's ridicul
ously cheap to buy. I tend to buy it as an oil which usually costs £2-3 for a bottle that lasts 4 or 5 months with regular use. So, there you go, lavender is worth a try. After all, there's little risk of side effects and although it may not be a proven cure by the medical profession there's no harm in giving it a go. One thing still bugs me though....the nasty smell!
I was a bit sceptical about aromatherapy, I had heard that lavender was good for headaches. This I was a bit dubious about,but having suffered from seemingly incurable headaches I thought I'd give this a try. I had found out that not only was it good for headaches,it also happened to relax you a great deal too! All I did was apply 3-4 drops of lavender oil to the temples and relax.By the end of this I had certainly got rid of my headache, and was so relaxed you wouldn't believe. I had also found out that it worked just as well in bath water (5-6 drops), or mixed with sweet almond oil and massaged!(great fun and very relaxing!). If aspirin or paracetamol is no longer doing the trick,try this instead. It's more natural, more relaxing and it might just work!
Essential oils are very in vogue at the moment, well I have been using them for years and one of the best I have in my medicine cupboard is my lavender oil. You can put it to so many uses, if you have a headache rub a couple of drops on your temples in a circular motion. Also if you have period pains do the same thing to the lower half of your stomach, gently and in larger circular motions covering the affected areas. If you have trouble sleeping try putting a few drops on your pillow, this will help you have a calm and relaxed night's sleep. It also works on children too. The smell of lavender releases the same chemicals in the brain as sex and chocolate, endorfins, which helps us to relax. The oil itself when rubbed on to the skin has a mild anathestic chemical which can help relieve pains. If you have a lavender plant in the garden, it will attract bees, which for some people may not be a good thing, but bees keep wasps away, and I know which one I prefer in my garden. From the plant you can remove the flower heads and leaves to make lavender pillows and lavender hangers for your wardrobe, which keep moths away and leave your clothes smelling nice. On a final note, remember all things in moderation, even though lavender is a versatile and nice smelling herb, some people do not appriciate used on everything, every 5 minutes of the day, trust me I know!
Lavender oil. What can one say. I always, always have some Lavender oil in the house. It has so many uses! Apart from it's delightful aroma which makes it an ideal oil for fragrancing your house with, it has many physical and emotional benefits and is one of the oils I use extensively with my children - it is ideal for children's applications. It is perfect for promoting sleep and when they are a little agitaged at night, a few drops on the pillow or on a lamp ring settle them down grand. My son particularly reacts very well as he does tend to suffer rom insomnia fairly regularly. For headaches it is ideal, either on it's own or blended with a little peppermint oil. Rub the oil (diluted in a carrier) onto temples or forhead for almost instant relief. Another good use for Lavender is on burns. In this application it can be applied neat to the skin (it is one of the few oils you can put straight onto the skin) and it will immediately take the sting out of minor burns or scalds. It can also be used as a disinfectant in the kitchen. It's wonderful!
Much of the well-known information about lavender EO has already been stated here, so I'm going to concentrate on some of the lesser-known properties of this indispensible oil. One of the common misconceptions, about lavender, however, perhaps ought to be mentioned first, namely that it has a soporific/sedative effect. This is largely erroneous. Lavender, in fact, has both a sedative and tonic effect, and also works to normalise and balance. Without getting into complex biochemistry, this means that its effects can be indiosyncratic, ie person A may be relaxed by it (arguably because relaxation is what would benefit them at that point) whereas person B will be energised and revived. The point is that unless you are fully conversant with how the oil affects you or a person you are treating individually, don't reply on it making you sleepy. One of the less commonly recognised properties of lavender is that it is cytophylactic - encouraging the regeneration of the skin. This makes it good for scarring, eczema, acne etc. It most instances it should be used in a very dilute quantity, about one per cent, for these conditions. Often the best way to use it is to add a few drops to a bubble bath, favourite skin cream or whatever, that you already have. Do note, however, that petrochemical ingredients can mitigate against the effectiveness of essential oils. Lavender also, most usually, but not necessarily, in combination with other EOs, can be used to treat various conditions of the mind, including depression, panic attacks, nervous exhaustion etc. Not that I'm recommending anyone should scrap their medication in favour of a bottle of oil! People have found, however, that lavender can work alson the same lines as Bach's Rescue Remedy and having some handy to inhale at times of stress and tension can help to prevent a crisis becoming a more long-term problem.
Lavender Oil is the only essential oil I own and as far as I can see is the only one I need. I'm sure the other many essential oils work wonders but I don't think any of them can be as versatile as Lavender. Get hold of some of this oil. Imagine you've just had the most stressful day ever. You have the biggest headache,you get home, screaming kids want taxi-ing around, hubby wants his dinner, phone's ringing, doorbell's going and all you need is a rest. Well, when you get your rest, have a bath and put a few drops of lavender oil in it. Your headache, as if by magic, will disspear and you'll relax. You'll wonder how you ever coped without this oil for so long!
Another must have in your collection. Just like the plant it has a very distinctive scent. If you have ever got the flower of a lavender and rubbed it on your hand, you will know that lavender has healing properties almost instantaniously. It’s great for bruises, burns, tension, tiredness, depression, skin problems… the list goes on. This is an essential oil to have in the household for anyone. I use it all the time. (a little less than Jasmine though). You can use it anywhere, the bath, and the burner and even by putting a couple of drops onto the hem of your curtain will have beneficial effects. Another MUST HAVE for your collection!
Lavender is one of the most widely used, and easy to use of all the essential oils. Along with tea-tree, it's safe for everybody to use with no specialist information or training - as long as a few common-sense precautions are observed. Like tea-tree it's one of very few that can be used neat on the skin and which is very unlikely to produce irritation. The main caveat to that, however, is that recent research has shown that repeated/constant use of the neat oil can lead to sensitisation, so don't overdo it! Lavender's uses are also quite widely known and include: * A few drops on the pillow or sheets to aid sleep * vaporising in a burner for relaxation * gently massaged into temples and/or wrists for migraine and tension headaches * dabbed neat onto insect bites and stings Here's a few more that I'm particularly keen on: * Mix 50/50 wih peppermint oil in a carrier oil and massage gently on abdomen for IBS and period paid * About 10 drops in a footbath for athletes' foot * mix with olive or sunflower oil, massage into scalp and leave overnight for dandruff * About 15 drops in a bowl of hot/boiling water and inhale the steam for respiratory infections and chronic bronchitis It's also highly effective against ringworm in both humans and animals (and is one of few oils safe to use, in moderation, on cats - not that they'll thank you for it!) Like so many oils, it's becoming harder to ensure you get the real thing. 'Proper' lavender will be labelled with one of the following latin names lavandula.angustifolia; l.officianalis or l.Vera (they're all the same thing). On the other hand L.latifolia (spike lavender) has not dissimilar properties to l.officianalis but is more irritating and less effective; while l.intermedia (lavandin) is much cheaper and is sometimes used by unscrupulous companies to dilute 'true' lavender
. If you get some lavender oil that smells 'herby' rather than flowery, it may well have been adulterated in this way. Lavandin, again, has some similar properties to true lavender but is much more stimulating to the nervous system Just for the record, not everyone loves the smell of this. I for one can't stand it!