Sunday, October 14, 2012

Top Ten Uses for Lavender Essential Oil

Scientific name: Lavendula Augustifolia. Lavender is perhaps the most well-known and least understood of the essential oils. Practically everyone knows that lavender is great for burns, but few understand that there are over 30 (some say 40) different species of lavender and that many of the lavender essential oils are not even lavender, they are lavenda essential oils (smell similar, very cheap to produce, and containing very few if any of the healing properties of true lavender). The best lavender essential oil is from true lavender plants (Lavendula Augustifolia, previously known as Lavendula Officinalis Vera {Vera optional}) grown at altitudes of 5,000 feet or higher. This is the truly universal oil, a natural anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial (being currently tested against MRSA), antimicrobial, hormone balancing, skin cell regenerating, diuretic, muscle feeding, histamine blocking, anti-fungal, and overall body tonic essential oil! A true, pure lavender essential oil will contain properties that will affect all ten of the body's systems and still be gentle enough to use with a newborn baby (remember to dilute appropriately 0-2 years 1 drop essential oil to 3 drops carrier oil, 2-3 years 50/50 dilution, 3+ no dilution needed), earning it the name of The Universal oil.

1. The first oil to grab for any kind of burn. If the burned area is large and tender to the touch you may want to add 5-10 drops of lavender to one ounce of purified water in a spray bottle, shake well (and often) and spray the burnt area.

2. Reduces scarring and assists in removing old scars. Simply apply to the affected area several times a day. If you are preventing a scar from forming you have the added bonus of its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties!

3. Insect repellant and great for bites and stings. It soothes the wound, calms the emotions, reduces any inflammation, and has an antihistamine affect. (Note: if you have a known life-threatening allergy to stings please visit the emergency room, but go ahead and apply the lavender oil on the way.) You can also use it in a sachet to repel bugs that may be hiding out in your dresser or closet.

4. Not only is lavender great for all skin issues, it has the double benefit of addressing hormonal imbalance skin issues (not just acne, but any way the hormone imbalance may present itself, psoriasis, rashes, cold sores, even boils). While you are using it on your skin it is also prevents wrinkles, scars, and encourages skin cell regeneration!

5. Diffuse lavender in a sick room, it relaxes both the patient and the caregiver, strengthens the immune system, and it cleanses the air. A great disinfectant, it was carried by soldiers and medics in World War I and II to use on wounds.

6. Assists in reducing the pain associated with migraine or tension headaches. Apply to the back of the neck, temples, and tops of the ears to relax the muscles and the emotions and thus reduce (or eliminate) the headache. Also great for emotional imbalances, mood swings, and depression that often accompany headaches.

7. A drop or two applied to the pulse points of the wrists can drop high blood pressure or calm someone who is overexcited. Great for use before visiting the doctor, not only will it protect you from any germs you may be exposed to, but it will also help calm any fears you may experience by being there. Also great to use before visiting the dentist. You can even apply it directly to a toothache and it will help relieve the pain there!

8. Great for insomnia! Add 5-8 drops to 1/4 cup Be Young Starflake Bath salts (highly crystalized bath salts that are great for absorbing essential oils), then add to a tub of water, soak for 20 minutes (or more), rinse off (because the soak will bring toxins out of the body and to the skin and you do not want to reabsorb them) and you will be ready for bed. Don't want to soak? Put a drop on the back of the neck, temples, and tops of the ears. Add 5-10 drops to one ounce of water in a spray bottle, shake well and often and lightly spray your pillow, bed linens, or just spray around the bedroom. This also works well as "Monster spray" to scare away the monsters who are keeping your little ones from sleeping. It will calm their emotions and allow them to relax and go to sleep.

9. Great for any respiratory challenges, clears mucus, calms spasms, even aids in stopping an asthma attack or in dealing with hay fever challenges. Take a whiff; apply to the chest and under the nose.

10. Marvelous for muscle aches and pains, it feeds the muscles by increasing nitric oxide in the body (a free radical, one of those marvelous chemical molecules produced during lightning storms that makes the world so fresh and alive afterwards); this enables the muscles to perform with more strength. Additionally, it reduces inflammation and muscle spasms.

*Only use essential oils internally that are truly 100% pure, such as Be Young oils. Oils that are cut or synthetic can have dangerous side effects if used internally. Always error on the side of caution and use common sense.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Magnificent Lavender Oils Loaded With Therapeutic Uses

Lavender oils are nature's blessing. Integrating booming qualities, this essential oil is serving the mankind in amazing way. There are loads of benefits which are associated with oil and a aid to manage skin and health related issues.Lubricants are very necessary and vital in our life as they can cause movement. These are great source of lubricants and provide the smoothness which is also coupled with the benefits of curing many things. Since ancient times our forefathers highly focused on the advantages which are integrated in these. Though not sticky, but essential oils are keys to cure many illness and health related issues.

Essentials oils are used in aromatherapy to take care of health and skin. Great benefits can be tapped from the oils as there are great way to take care. There are varieties of essential oils which are available in the market having their own unique qualities in them. Amongst many, lavender oil is versatile oil as it is most widely used in aromatherapy and also in perfumes due to the fragrance. lavender oil also has great therapeutic benefits. The oil is extracted using flower of lavender Augustinian. The source of extraction is pure and natural which can be safely used.

The aroma of lavenders help in gaining relaxation and also calm downs anxiety. Though there are essential oils which are extracted using plants which are nurtured using pesticides but such oils have no therapeutic advantages. High quality therapeutic grade lavender oil is pure and natural helping to cure from tension, stress and headaches. The oil is laced with amazing benefits, as it is pain reliever, maintains body balance, smoothing agent and also cure ailments.

The multiple purpose lavender oil is desired due the magic which is present in it. Inhalation of 2-3 drops of pure lavender oil help in curing headaches and fight against cough and cold. The oil is good checker of health and blood circulation. Lavender oil is blessed with the qualities of antiseptic. It provides complete relief from minor burns, injuries, insect bites etc. Beside it is also a source to keep insects and bugs at bay. Smearing this oil on body can manage scarring, stretch marks and wrinkles.

The entire day you would remain fresh and energetic, if few drops of lavender oils are mixed in the bathing water. The natural oil is safest and is highly effective against stretch marks during pregnancy. Few drops of this oil on the pillow ensure good sleep. Magnificence of the lavender oil has made it to rule to the heart of every user which craves for beautiful skin and perfect health.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Tips of Home Usage of Lavender Essential Oil

Essential oils have become an important part of our well-being. We use numerous types of essential oils for different purposes on daily basis. One of the most popular oil praised for its soothing fragrance and medicinal properties is Lavender oil. This multi-purpose oil is helpful in reducing anxiety, fatigue and stress, improve blood pressure, increase immune response and in curbing pain. Lavender essential oil is analgesic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and has anti-tumor properties.

Lavender oil should not be applied directly to the skin. To utilize the benefits of Lavender oil at home, dilute it by mixing 10 drops of oil with an ounce of jojoba oil or unscented lotion. Listed below are few tips on home usage of Lavender essential oil:

Headaches: The best way to treat headaches using Lavender oil is to inhale it. Add few drops of this to a bowl of warm water and breathe by bringing your face close to the bowl and covering it with a towel. You can also use diluted lavender oil on forehead and base of the neck to get relief from headaches.

Colds: Lavender essential oil can help in curing cold and removing cough. According to aroma-therapists, regular use of essential oils such as Lavender can help keep away cold and other viral or infectious diseases. You can also add few drops of the oil in a vaporizer to clear cold.

Stress: Lavender oil is very effective in removing stress and depression. Just before sleeping at night, a warm water bath mixed with six to eight drops of Lavender oil can help in melting away stress and removing fatigue. Dip your leg in a bowl of warm water mixed with three drops of the oil and relax. For toddlers, apply a drop of Lavender massage oil below their feet to calm them. If you have problem in sleeping add two or three drops of this at the corner side of your pillow and get a good sleep.

Ear-aches: For treating ear-aches, dab one drop of diluted lavender oil behind the ear and rub gently. You can also place a cotton ball dipped with one drop of this at the outer area of the ear.

While using Lavender essential oil at home, you should make sure that you use it with proper dilution. If you are pregnant, have asthma, or you are allergic to things, you should take doctor's advice before using the oil.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Natural Beauty Products: Lavender and Why You Need It

All sorts of natural beauty products use lavender essential oil as one of their main ingredients, from soap, to cleanser, face cream and shampoo. It's easy to assume that this is a fragrance issue, that lavender is included in these products because of its scent, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. Modern chemical trials have shown that there's a lot more to lavender than just the smell.

The power of lavender seems to have been known from ancient times. Lavender ointments were discovered in Egyptian tombs, and lavender is mentioned in the Bible under its original name of nard. Roman soldiers traveled with lavender and bathed in it for its antiseptic properties and because it repels insects. Far from being the unpleasantly aromatic place we imagine, the ancient world may actually have smelled of lavender and other sweet smelling herbs!

The invading Romans brought lavender from the Mediterranean to the UK and over time the plant became associated with English country gardens, in fact the best and most aromatic lavender essential oils are said to come from what is now known as English lavender.

Throughout the centuries, lavender has been a popular scent and a popular remedy. Queen Victoria enjoyed lavender and in World War I it was used in hospitals as other, more conventional products were difficult to obtain. Modern studies of the benefits of lavender oil had begun just a few years before. Rene Gattefosse, a member of one of the great perfume 'families' of France, studied not just the perfumes and essential oils, but their medicinal effects. When, in July 1910, he was badly burned in a fire, he made note that his skin was covered with a 'rapidly expanding gas gangrene.' Having researched lavender for 3 years, he plunged his damaged skin into lavender oil. He noticed that it not only healed quickly, it stayed free from infection and left no scar. Gatefosse went on to become the founder of aromatherapy.

Recent studies have shown that lavender essential oil is extremely beneficial in many ways: as an anti bacterial, an anti-inflammatory and an antiseptic. Although all substances can cause allergies, allergic reactions to lavender appear to be extremely rare, making it an ideal ingredient for natural beauty products. Lavender is one of the few essential oils which can be applied to the skin directly without first being diluted.

These days English lavender, or lavandula angustifolia (narrow leafed lavender) is famous world wide for its very sweet scent and the power of its essential oil, but there are many products around which are merely lavender scented, how can you be sure that you have a genuine lavender product with all its associated skin care benefits?

Always check the label for ingredients, avoid those with long chemical names and look for 'lavandula augustifolia' or 'organic lavender extract', then you can be sure you're buying natural beauty products which include pure essential oils.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Lavender Essential Oil: The Top Ten List of Healing Uses

The genus Lavandula comes from the Latin word lavare meaning "to wash," and L. angustifolia, known as true or common lavender, is the species used medicinally. Lavender essential oil is steam-distilled from fresh flowers and is mainly produced in Bulgaria and France. Be sure to use a reputable supplier when purchasing lavender essential oil as it is one of the most commonly adulterated essential oils. A genuine and authentic essential oil should always list the botanical name, the part of the plant used, the country of origin and the method of extraction. The synthetic scent of lavender from fragrance oil is not the same as a pure essential oil - there are no health benefits from synthetic fragrance oils!

When I refer to "neat" application, this means applying a drop of lavender essential oil directly on the skin. While this is generally recognized as safe, instances of sensitization have occurred. Furthermore, it is not recommended to use other essential oils in this fashion, with the exception of tea tree. When I talk about using lavender in a carrier oil, this means diluting a few drops of the essential oil in a base oil. Different oils can be used for different purposes, but with this article focusing on first aid remedies, extra virgin olive oil is a great and convenient choice. As there are approximately 600 drops in one ounce, use six to eighteen drops of pure lavender essential oil per ounce (by volume) of carrier oil for a one to three percent dilution.

Here we go, my top ten healing uses for lavender essential oil:

# 10 - Bruises

Lavender is great for bruises because it is anti-inflammatory and analgesic which aids in the healing process while decreasing pain. Using lavender in a carrier oil, gently massage into bruised area. For best results, dilute lavender in arnica-infused oil. Arnica contains sesquiterpene lactones and polysacharides that stimulate phagocytosis, thus cleaning up debris and reducing healing time. Please note that arnica should not be applied to broken skin.

# 9 - Muscle Aches and Menstrual Cramps

Massage lavender diluted in a carrier oil (arnica-infused oil for additional relief) into painful area or, my favorite, add a few drops of lavender essential oil to a warm Epsom salt bath for a deep muscle soak.

# 8 - Bug Bites and Bee Stings

Lavender's antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and healing properties make it a great choice for bites and stings as it reduces infection, swelling, and itching. To use, simply apply one drop of lavender essential oil neat to affected area.

# 7 - Earaches

There are two effective ways to ease the pain of an earache with lavender. The first is to gently massage lavender in a carrier oil into the outer ear and back of the ear. The second method is to put a drop of lavender on a cotton ball and gently place it on the outer ear. Never put it directly in the ear canal.

# 6 - Depression

Lavender is a restorative herb and is classified as a nervine, meaning that it has a calming effect on the mind and body. It works in powerful ways to bring feelings of comfort and peace and also helps with fatigue. Suggestions include inhaling lavender essential oil directly from a vial, spritzing your room with lavender diluted in distilled water, and infusing your space with lavender from a candle or incense. The options are endless.

# 5 - Headaches

Lavender's sedative effects make it a great remedy for headaches, especially when the headaches are caused by stress. Massage a drop of lavender diluted in a carrier oil into the temples and back of the neck, followed by a few deep, relaxing breaths of lavender essential oil directly from a vial. Add peppermint essential oil to the mix for even better headache relief.

# 4 - Sanitizer

Lavender was used in hospitals during World War I to disinfect floors and walls. Use lavender essential oil in a soap to cleanse, in water and vinegar for household cleaning, or try it in a base of grain alcohol as a hand sanitizer.

# 3 - Insomnia

Lavender works particularly well if insomnia is due to a restless and anxious mind. Before bed, spray your pillow and face with lavender diluted in distilled water, take a few deep breaths, inhaling lavender directly from the vial or from a drop on a tissue, or place dried lavender buds in a sachet in your pillow case.

# 2 - Burns and Sunburns

It was the French chemist, Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, who is famously cited for treating his severe burns and resulting infection with lavender essential oil. Apply a drop of lavender essential oil neat to minor burns. For sunburns, spray your body with lavender diluted in distilled water. Please seek medical attention for severe burns.

...And my number one healing use for lavender - Stress

lavender has balancing and harmonizing effects on the autonomic nervous system. In panic attack situations, inhale lavender essential oil directly from the vial and seek medical attention if necessary. For general stress and anxiety, spritz your face and room with lavender diluted in distilled water, take a relaxing bath with a few drops of lavender diluted in sea salt, or enjoy a massage using lavender-infused oil.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Lavender Essential Oil to the Rescue

Whenever I travel I always take an "emergency kit" of essential oils with me. One of the essential oils I find most useful to have on hand is lavender. Thinking back to the times away from home when I've had to use it, many incidents come to mind. The most dramatic was the time in Florida when my husband was checking under the hood of the car and the radiator cap exploded into his face, hitting him on the forehead. The water bubbled up and his entire upper body was scorched.

I immediately doused him with undiluted lavender oil, then applied aloe vera gel, which I also had with me. I kept reapplying the lavender until the soreness subsided and also gave him a couple of Aspirins for the shock. Luckily, we had access to a swimming pool close by, and got there as soon as we could.

My husband stayed neck deep in the pool for about twenty minutes. When he came out, there wasn't a mark on his body except for where the radiator cap had struck his forehead. Our friends who witnessed this said it was a miracle - they had never seen burns heal like this.

One time when I was telling this story, a lady told me that this same type of accident had happened to her husband and he had to spend time in the hospital with third degree burns. Thank goodness for lavender!

Another time lavender came to my rescue was when my son picked me up at the Vancouver airport, saying we'd have to hurry to get to an emergency clinic, as he had just been stung by a bee. He has a history of violent allergic reactions to bee stings; each one getting a little worse. His hand was already swollen to twice its normal size and the swelling was rapidly moving up his arm. Fortunately I was wearing a pendant that contained lavender and I immediately applied it to his bite, stopping the swelling and eliminating the rush. We didn't go to the clinic.

Over the years I have used lavender on numerous people who have had bad reactions to insect bites. It nearly always helps. It is also great for taking the itch out of mosquito bites.

Lavender is also one of my standbys for treating headaches. Just a drop rubbed into the temples and another under the hairline at the back of the neck will usually do the trick.

Monday, December 5, 2011

How Growing an Aromatic Lavender Hedge Can Be Good for You and Your Garden

There are very good reasons why growing lavender has been so popular with generations of gardeners and farmers. Perhaps the most important reason is that it has a beautiful, fragrant smell. When it flowers we are all immediately reminded of summer, and in many places around the world flowering lavender is cause for celebration. But as well as being admired for its beauty it also has a long history as a healing and restorative plant.

Lavender originates from the mountainous zones of the Mediterranean, but it now flourishes throughout southern Europe, Australia, and the United States. Like another well-known herb, rosemary, it's a heavily branched short shrub that grows to a height of between 2 and 3 feet. For this reason it's an excellent herb for growing as an aromatic garden hedge. In this article I'll explain how you can grow a lavender hedge and how to put its flowers to use in many areas around your home.

To help you understand how easy and straightforward it is to grow a lavender hedge I have structured my article as six short paragraphs:

- Where to plant your lavender hedge
- What sort of lavender to plant
- Buying or growing your lavender?
- How to plant your lavender hedge
- Looking after your lavender
- Putting your lavender to healthy uses

Where to Plant Your lavender hedge

When you are looking for a site to plant your lavender hedge, bear in mind that lavender loves a sunny location and light, dry, well drained alkaline (ph 7.5 to 8) soil. If you plant lavender in moist and shady conditions it won't flourish and becomes prone to fungus.

When you choose a site for your hedge also bear in mind that lavender is excellent at repelling insects (with the exception of bees and butterflies which it attracts). This makes it a good companion plant for orchards and other areas of your garden where insects such as flies and mosquitoes are a nuisance.

What Sort of lavender to Plant

Don't just buy the first lavender you see in your garden center or shop. There are many types of lavender plants available, but to keep things simple I'll introduce you to just two of them, both of which are suitable for growing a lavender hedge.

Lavandula stoechas (commonly called French lavender) has short, fat spikes of dark purple flowers topped with butterfly wing bracts (small leaves attached to a flower)

Lavendula augustifolia (commonly called English lavender) which has small purple flowers.

French lavender will grow a little taller than English lavender (up to 3ft instead of 2ft), but English lavender has a stronger smell which is good if you intend to harvest the flowers to make potpourri and aromatic oils.

Buying or Growing Your lavender

I don't recommend trying to grow your lavender from seed because seeds frequently don't produce plants that are true to type. Either buy small plants that are ready for transplanting or take your own cuttings from another plant. If you decide to take cuttings, take 2 inch stems from the tips of the lavender in mid to late summer. Trim off the upper and lower leaves of these stems and then plant them in a mixture of 2/3 course sand and 1/3 peat moss. Keep the soil on the dry side until the roots have formed and shoots appear, and then replant the young plants in pots ready for planting out.

How to Plant Your lavender hedge

Plant your lavender hedge in either the spring or the fall. Make a trench about 16 inches deep and 18 inches wide, and fill this up with a mix of potting compost and coarse sand. Plant your young lavender plants about 2 feet apart (which will to allow for growth). If you plant in the spring, remove any blooms to force the energy into root growth. If you plant in the fall all the plant's energy will be directed into growing its roots.

Looking After Your lavender

Keep your plants watered, even during the winter, although in the winter months the plants are largely dormant, and you'll see no new growth until mid-May. Feed your lavender plants with a suitable fertilizer in early spring and again in mid-summer.

Lavender tends to get woody and needs to be maintained by pruning. Do this in March/Early April before new shoots have formed and at the end of the season when flowering has finished. It's a good idea to shape your lavender hedge. I prune mine to create a circular bush in the spring, and aim to take off about 1/3 of its height when I carry out a major prune at the end of the summer.

Pruning your lavender plants at the beginning and end of the season will encourage healthy growth and lots of flowers. I also dry my pruned cuttings and use them as kindling wood during the winter. They release a wonderful scent as they burn.

You will also probably want to cut lavender flowers during the growing season to use in the home in some of the ways I have described in the final part of my article. Flowers can be cut from the early spring before they open and during the summer.

Although lavender is a perennial herb your hedge will start to get quite woody after a few years depending on growing conditions. I recommend that when the hedge begins to look a bit ragged you take lots of cuttings and replant it either at the end of the season or in the spring.

Putting Your lavender to Healthy Uses

Whilst growing lavender in your garden will bring endless pleasure, it also has many other uses:

Oil of lavender:
Make this by immersing your lavender flowers in neutral oil. The aromatic oil has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. In fact it was used in hospitals during WWI to disinfect floors and walls. This oil can also be used as a fragrance for bath products.

Dried lavender flowers:
These are used to perfume linen. The dried flowers have a powerful, aromatic odor which repels moths, flies and mosquitoes

Culinary lavender:
Use fresh or dried flowers to flavor sugars jellies, ice-cream and cheeses. you can also crystallize flowers and use as decorations on cakes.

In conclusion I hope I have been able to show you that creating a lavender hedge isn't difficult. If you follow the instructions I have provided you will end up with a healthy, strong, attractive hedge. It might take a couple of years to really establish itself, but whilst this is happening you can harvest and preserve the flowers so you can enjoy the results of your hard work throughout the winter months.

This article by Adam Gilpin has been produced to encourage more people to create their own herb gardens and discover the 100's of different ways in which herbs such as lavender can be used in the garden and around the house.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lavender Bridesmaid Dresses Bring Natural And Romantic Flavor To Your Wedding

Because of the great convenience on most matters in modern people' s life, lots of fashion-conscious persons have been accustomed to seeing various trends go in and out from the fashion clothing, accessories and footwear industry in a fast pace. Certainly, people living in the present era are lucky. They can follow the vogue mainstream without spending a small fortune. They can look as elegant as their favorite celebrities without shopping around in many malls. Instead of obeying fixed fashion rules, modern people tend to break lousy clich├ęs and open new paths on their fashion styles. It' s nothing strange to see a young girl charms the crowd by a uniquely appealing semblance. She may not spend a lot on her clothing and shoes. But allure oozing out from her entire appearance feels really irresistible for everybody who passes by her side. Of course, you can also show your best in a thrifty way. Just find the perfect item to accentuate your femininity please.

Nowadays, understated elegance becomes a hot theme embraced by both trend setters and followers. To enhance your glamour, exaggerating or lavish elegance has become a no-no in today' s period. You can also flatter a rich taste. But avoid twinkling colors or overdoing elegance please. If possible, try to add some natural and romantic touches to your appearance please. Certainly, there are so many chic articles for personal adornment that will well cater to this kind of beauty appreciation. Let' s just take choosing a wedding dress as an example this time.

Different with usual fashion clothing, wedding dresses carry special and memorable meaning for every girl. In most cases, brides-to-be are prone to set a big budget on their wedding gowns to make sure they will seem incredibly elegant on the most important day throughout their life. Yes, this is rather understandable. So many celebrities show us extremely luxurious wedding gowns that usually cost thousands of dollars or even one billion. They seem incredibly ornate and absolutely queens on their nuptials. However, how many people have the economic capability to afford the highest-end bridal dresses on earth? I' m afraid the amount will not be large. Thus, come back to reality please. Instead of breaking the wallet to buy an expensive wedding dress, you can really express your personality and ideally adorn your figure by a moderately gorgeous wedding gown, which usually costs you much less if you buy it online. At present, off the shoulder and empire waist wedding dresses are definitely fashion darlings. White continues to be impressive. But to accentuate the natural and romantic sense on a spring wedding, lavender becomes hot recently. Both wedding gowns and bridesmaid dresses are made to be lavender, seeming chic, dolce and graceful. If you are conscious enough about signals released from the fashion clothing industry, you will know lavender is always a popular color on various exquisite dresses. Less profane than purple, its freshness and quietness have created eye-catching scenes on the solemn date for several times.