Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is in the mint family of botanical plants. The name Lavender comes from the Latin lavare, meaning "to wash." The Romans used to scent their bath water with the fragrant flowers of this plant. Lavender has a long history as a healing agent for both body and mind. Hildegard of Bingen spoke highly of its use and recommended it for many ailments. The English lavender or "true lavender," has the most medicinal properties among the various varieties. Today lavender is a popular oil in the perfume industry and is used in a host of products including skin care. Lavender will be one of your most used healing oils, it is truly an oil of calmness.
Why is Lavender Considered a Universal Healing Oil?
Lavender is good for just about everything. The most celebrated use of lavender is for burns. René Gattafossé, the father of aromatherapy suffered a severe burn over most of his body and used Lavender oil to heal his wounds without scarring. Lavender oil is also good for other skin conditions and insect bites and stings. It is good for repelling lice as well. Lavender can help problems like colic, irritable bowel, menstrual pain, and muscular stiffness and aching. Its antiseptic properties make it an effective treatment for flu, bronchitis and pneumonia and it may help with genital-urinary infections when added to bath water. Lavender has been called "a universal healing oil." Lavender oil calms and stabilizes the mind and heart bringing about a sense of equilibrium. It can ease nervous tension and decrease feelings of panic and hysteria. In this regard, it is a wonderful "rescue remedy" calming strong emotions that threaten to overwhelm the person. Lavender is helpful in lifting sadness and depression. For emotional healing, it can be used to encourage security, gentleness, compassion, reconciliation, vitality, clarity, comfort, acceptance, awareness, and emotional balance.
Lavender mixes well with Roman and German chamomile, lemon, geranium, eucalyptus, thyme linalool, rosemary, tea tree, peppermint, grapefruit, clary sage, palmarosa, juniper, cypress, pine, angelica, marjoram, cedarwood, bergamot, lemongrass, and ravensara.
As for application, lavender can be diffused, inhaled with steam, used with warm compresses, and applied neat (undiluted) on the body at places of discomfort. It can be used as an anointing oil for the brow, hands, feet and energy centers. It can be applied to the healers hands and run through the energy field to clear stagnant energy and to calm fears. Lavender is non-toxic, non-irritating and non-sensitizing. Want to learn more about the healing properties of lavender and other essential oils? Consider becoming a certified aromatherapist. Educational courses in healing energy and aromatherapy can help you understand how essential oils heal the body/mind/spirit. The Institute of Spiritual Healing & Aromatherapy is teaching courses on the healing properties of essential oils throughout the United States including lavender oil.