Lavender oil has long been valued not only for its fresh, sweet smell, but also for its therapeutic properties. Its history goes back at least as far as the Roman Empire where lavender was used to freshen the wash water and the oil was used to treat battle wounds. In modern times lavender oil has many uses from aromatherapy to scent for bath products. Learn about this amazing natural substance from plant to product.
What is it? - Lavender oil is the essential oil of a lavender plant, derived from the stalks (peduncles) and flowers. The plant material is subjected to a steam distillation process that yields lavender hydrosol and oil.
Where does it come from? - Lavender grows well in a wide variety of climates and can be found in many parts of the world. It grows wild in several Mediterranean countries, and there are many lavender farms in this area. Provence, France is famous for its lavender farms and festivals. Other large production locales include Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.
How is it used? - The wide variety of uses for this remarkable oil is truly astonishing, but can be grouped into two broad categories: Therapeutic and Scents.
Therapeutic Applications - Lavender is probably the most common essential oil used in aromatherapy, which is an alternative health treatment that makes use of essential oils. Breathing the aroma of lavender has been shown to have a calming effect on many people and is often used for insomnia. The aroma is often distributed using a diffuser or burner, but you can enjoy the benefits by simply placing a few drops of lavender oil in your bath water or in a cotton ball to sit on your nightstand.
Lavender oil has pain killing properties and provides temporary relief from aching joints. Rubbing the oil directly into can help ease childhood "growing pains" or even mild arthritis.
The antibiotic properties of lavender make the oil a great natural choice for preventing infection in minor cuts and burns. Simply apply the oil directly to the wound and appreciate both the pain killing and germ killing effects.
Lavender Scent - Lavender has an especially sweet scent and the oil has been used for hundreds if not thousands of years as an enjoyable aroma. The scent of lavender can be found in many products, from soaps and lotions to air fresheners. Lavender is a favorite aroma in spas, and is a major component of many massage oils and facial creams. Lavender sugar scrubs and salt scrubs are wonderful ways to exfoliate the skin while enjoying the relaxing aroma.
These uses for lavender oil are but a few of the many ways that one can take advantage of the wonderful aroma and health benefits. It truly is one of the simple blessings of nature.