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  • Resilient Practice

Living with Lavender

Forgiveness is the smell that lavender gives out when you tread on it

- Mark Twain

The practice of Aromatherapy is the use of aromatic plant extracts and essential oils for healing and cosmetic purposes. This week we want to talk about lavender oil and its uses and benefits. We recently discussed the evocative effect of smell. The nose connects into the limbic system and so aromas do have an effect on the brain.

Lavender essential oil is reported to have anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antidepressant, antiseptic and antimicrobial properties, as well as antispasmodic, analgesic, detoxifying, hypotensive, antioxidant and sedative effects. This means it is useful for

  • Relaxation

  • Anxiety

  • Insomnia

  • Acne eczema and dry skin

  • Burns

  • Insect bites

  • Wound healing[1]

  • Wrinkles

There is research into the neuroprotective effects of lavender oil in dementia, Parkinson’s disease and after a stroke and there is evidence for beneficial effect on pain.

Lavender has been used medicinally since ancient times. It is used as an inhalation and applied to the skin topically. It is usually added to a carrier oil but, in fact, it can be applied directly to the skin in small amounts. (For children always use a carrier oil.) It can also be ingested and is used in many recipes both sweet and savoury (always follow the recipe and use culinary lavender).

It can cause skin irritation or a reaction. If this happens, or you experience any nausea, vomiting or headaches then obviously stop using it.

Lavender is a very attractive plant that is easy to grow and very hardy. Plant it in early spring for lush flowers throughout the summer months. It looks gorgeous and attracts butterflies and bees. Prune it back at the end of august to prevent it getting woody. There are many different varieties of lavender investigate and find one that is right for you. Every garden should have some and planting it is thought to attract both love and money! It grows well in a pot so even if you don’t have a garden you can enjoy it.

Try this:

We have come up with a list of ways in which you can use lavender essential oil and the beautiful lavender spikes.

In an oil burner or diffuser to make your home smell delightful.

A drop on the corner of your pillow to help you get a good night sleep.

Dried lavender makes a lovely decoration.

3-4 drops in the bath to de-stress after a busy day.

When a child gets a graze add a drop of lavender oil to the water you use to clean their scrape. The smell calms everyone down and the oil promotes healing.

Lavender oil in a carrier oil is great for sunburn due to its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Add 1-2 drops directly to athletes foot or other fungal infections.

Mix 15 drops of lavender and 15 drops of tea tree oil with 30ml of a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil and use as a deodorant. The essential oils get rid of the bacterial that produce the smell of body odour.

Add a drop of lavender oil to the water you rinse your hair with for extra shine.

Lavender in the bath can help promote healing after having a baby.

Add directly to burns and wounds to promote healing.

A few drops in a bowel of boiling water creates a steam that is great for acne.

Pick lavender spikes, let them dry and then use them to scent cupboards and draws.

A lavender massage is a wonderful way to bond with your baby and promote their sleep (always use a carrier oil and just 1 drop of essential oil).

A drop of oil on a cloth is useful to smell anytime you are feeling anxious.

Dab a little on each temple before you go into a stressful situation.

Living with lavender is a truly positive lifestyle choice.

[1]Samuelson R, Lobl M, Higgins S, Clarey D, Wysong A. The Effects of Lavender Essential Oil on Wound Healing: A Review of the Current Evidence. J Altern Complement Med. 2020 Aug;26(8):680-690.

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