Why Lavender ?
Lavender has been known to relieve stress, uplift the spirit and induce relaxation. This captivating herb has been used throughout history for these purposes and its healing and therapeutic qualities. It’s unique, sweet scent with woody undertones appeals to both men and women. With lavender’s history of healing properties, glorious colors, and enchanting perfume it is no surprise it is the queen of herbs. Lavender is the aromatherapist’s answer to health and well being.
Lavender produces an anti-allergic oil with an inherent antibiotic action. It also acts as an astringent, yet is moisturizing to the skin. It is a staple of any home first aid kit, with its natural antibacterial and antiseptic properties, along with the rapid healing it can provide. It has been used for centuries to soothe, purify, refresh, and calm. By the way, lavender isn’t an oil, that’s a misnomer. It’s not oily; but is the most potent essence of the plant.
Lavender is a unique, very chemically complex plant with over 100 chemical constituents and 350 distinct aromatic molecules. The only plant with more aromatic molecules is the rose, but it has nowhere near the naturally inherent properties and benefits that lavender has.
Essential Oils are at least 50x more potent than the herbs from which they are derived. One drop of EO represents the potency of approximately 1 ounce of plant material.
In the early 1900’s, a chemist named Otto Wallach decided to unlock the secrets of essential oils. He began testing the validity of all of the anecdotal information recorded through the centuries about the uses and therapeutic benefits of lavender. His research was so significant that in 1910 he won the Nobel Prize for chemistry. He discovered a class of chemical compounds called terpenes that are very prevalent in lavender. Much of what we know today comes from his research and also from the Japanese who do an extensive amount of research on natural herbs and remedies. One of the significant properties Otto Wallach reported on was lavender’s ability to increase cell regeneration which equates to rapid healing.
Lavender is one of the safest essential oils. It’s only one of two essential oils that you can use directly on the skin undiluted, that’s called “neat”. The other is chamomile. It’s also only one of two essential oils that can be used on babies. However, for children under 1 year old we recommend that you NOT use it undiluted. It’s very potent and powerful, but gentle at the same time. It is potent enough, that if you accidentally spill it on a varnished tabletop, it will remove the varnish. But gentle enough that you can use it for the entire family! When we say use just one drop, we really mean ONE drop. As Americans we belong to the club that if a little is good, more is better. It won’t work any faster, so if you use more you’re just wasting it, and could sensitize yourself to it.
There are 3 ways to use lavender for health, beauty and well-being.
Which method you use depends on what benefit you are trying to achieve.
You can use multiple methods simultaneously.
Apply lavender essential oil (or a product containing it) topically to the skin. Keep in mind that over 60% of what we apply to our skin is absorbed into the bloodstream. Essential oils are absorbed through the skin because of their small molecular size, their lipid solubility and the oiliness of our skin. Thry enter the bloodstream through small capillaries.
The bioavailability (the amount that reaches the systemic blood circulation) with inhalation is estimated at 70% and provides the quickest and strongest response. If diffusing into the air, it is recommended not to exceed 60 minutes each time. But this can be repeated multiple times throughout the day.
Consume in food and drink. Unlike conventional antibiotic drugs which may cause undesirable side effects, EO’s are probiotic – they not only kill pathogenic bacteria but leave beneficial bacteria (intestinal flora) intact.
EO’s (essential oils) have a unique ability to penetrate cell membranes and diffuse through the blood and tissues. The unique, lipid-soluble structure of EO’s is very similar to the makeup of our cell membranes. In the human body EO’s stimulate the secretion of antibodies, neurotransmitters, endorphins, hormones and enzymes. Lavender essential oil increases the uptake of oxygen and ATP which is the fuel for individual cells. Research shows it boosts the body’s immunity to disease by stimulating the production of infection fighting white corpuscles.
Research indicates that when EO’s are diffused into the air, they create atmospheric oxygen and provide negative ions, which in turn inhibits bacterial growth. Because of their ionizing action they have the ability to break down potentially harmful chemicals and render them non-toxic. In short, lavender essential oil purifies the air!
Bacteria don’t acquire a tolerance and resistance to EO’s. So, lavender essential oil’s antibacterial property will remain effective indefinitely and without any adverse effects like the man-made chemical alternatives that are now being banned.
The most common and well known use for lavender is for sleep.
The Japanese discovered that when you breathe lavender in, it changes brain chemistry which in turn changes brain waves. If your internal body clock says it’s time to sleep, the waves it changes to are the sedative waves. Several years ago an American University conducted a study and concurred with the Japanese, but they also reported that it helped you get to the deeper more restorative levels of sleep. So, yes, lavender is a sedative. It is also anti-depressant, relaxing, calming, soothing and reduces high blood pressure because breathing it in also releases dopamine (the feel good chemical) and serotonin.
The second most common use for lavender is for the skin.
It balances sebum protection so whether your skin is oily or dry, it normalizes the skin. It’s effective on skin conditions as diverse as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, acne and all other rashes or dermatitis including poison ivy.
It helps pets with inflammatory skin conditions like hot spots or excess itching and anxiety too!
Lavender has some significant anti-aging properties.
We know when we age, the dermal layer of the skin buckles and creases, which shows on the surface as lines and wrinkles. There is an enzyme called elastase on this dermal layer that allows this to occur and lavender inhibits it. So, it significantly slows down the appearance of aging. It also fades brown spots too.
Lavender is also a very effective natural insect repellant.
It will repel mosquitos, chiggers, flies, fleas, ticks, bedbugs, ants and scorpions. Just spray your body before going outdoors. It can also be used on pets too. If you do get a bite, our Lavender Tincture will stop the itch and make it heal faster.