The Many Healing Properties of This One Sweet Oil

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Lavender. Who doesn’t love the beautiful scent of lavender? Native to Africa and the mountainous regions of the Mediterranean, lavender thrives in sunny, stony landscapes. Its popularity is such that lavender is now grown in Australia, the US and all over southern Europe.

This sweet-scented flowering plant has been used for almost 3,000 years by the Greeks, Romans and Ancient Persians, who loved adding the flowers to their bathwater. In fact, the word lavender comes from the Latin word lavare, which literally means “to wash.”

The Egyptians, Arabians and Phoenicians used lavender as a perfume as well as in their mummification process. In Renaissance and Medieval Europe, lavender flowers were often scattered over floors as a means of deodorizing and disinfecting the locations. People believed that lavender flowers were so powerful that during the Black Death, Londoners tied them around their necks and waists in hopes of fighting off the plague.

Although most people think of lavender flowers as being a light lavender or purple in color, they can actually be many different colors — everything from yellow, to yellowish-green to even almost translucent!

Lavender and lavender oil are highly valued for their fragrance as well as their healing compounds. Lavender oil is known for its antifungal, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. What most people don’t know, however, is that lavender oil also has detoxifying, hypotensive, antispasmodic as well as sedative effects.

If you think you know all the ways to use lavender oil, think again. We have list with some amazing uses for lavender oil that you’ve probably never considered. Keep reading and find out all the ways lavender oil can heal and support the body.

 

1. Diuretic Compounds

Lavender oil can stimulate the production of urine, which will restore your hormonal balance as excess urine removes old hormones, helps to relieve cramps, and stops urinary tract infections.

 

2.  Natural Analgesic

In 1910, a French chemist burned his hand during an experiment. The pain was so intense, he tried many different compounds to help ease it. Finally this chemist, Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, rinsed his hand with lavender essence. Not only did it ease the pain, but he noticed it healing quickly. After this episode, lavender was marketed and sold across Europe as a natural analgesic.

Adding a few drops of lavender oil to any ointment or skin cream can greatly increase its capacity to heal skin, as well as easing the pain of burns, cuts or muscle soreness.

 

3. Improves Digestion

This highly scented herbal oil will stimulate the mobility of the intestines, as well as the production of gastric juices and bile. This will ease most general stomach problems, including gas, diarrhea, colic, and indigestion.

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Bunch of lavender flowers

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4. Respiratory Relief

When inhaled, the vapor of lavender oil can soothe respiratory problems because of  its antibacterial compounds. This is the oil to turn to when you have sinus congestion, coughs, colds or flu and throat infections. In fact, lavender oil is so healing to the entire respiratory system that you will find it in many commercial inhalers and vaporizing products. Lavender oil loosens phlegm and congestion caused by many respiratory problems. Once phlegm and mucus are removed from the body, healing can take place.

 

5. Natural Anti-Fungal

The University of Columbia found that lavender oil kills strains of skin and nail fungus, known as dermatophytes, as well as the notorious Candida. This study, published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology, showed that the oil kills fungi by damaging the cell walls, making them weak and killing them. This method of destruction does not cause resistance, unlike many antibiotics and antifungal medications. Try some lavender oil instead of over-the-counter remedies for toenail or skin fungal infections.

 

6. Hair Restorer

In 2009, a study out of Scotland found that 44 percent of subjects with alopecia had new hair growth after massaging their scalps daily with lavender oil during a seven- month study period. This natural oil could be a promising new remedy for male pattern baldness and other hair growth problems. Lavender oil is also good for killing head lice, killing the fungus that can lead to dandruff and disinfecting the scalp, as well as stimulating hair growth for many people.

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floral frame from flowers of lavender

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7.  Eases Stress

You can use lavender oil as natural massage oil for some welcome relief from joint or muscle pain, as well as for stress relief. If you love warm baths, add a few drops to your bathwater for a stress-relieving soak that will leave you feeling uber refreshed.

 

8.  Super Skin Healing

Lavender oil has incredible benefits when it comes to healing damaged skin. In 2010, The Japanese Society of Anti-Aging Medicine conducted a study that showed lavender and rosemary increased the body’s scavenging activity against free radicals, which had defensive effects in the fight with oxidative stress. Free radicals are known for being a major contributor to many serious diseases, including cancer and arthritis. Lavender oil can heal skin quickly and reduce scarring.

 

9. Eases Premenstrual Syndrome and Other Hormonal Symptoms

Lavender oil can ease the pain of cramps, edema, pelvic inflammation and vaginal infections. Simply add lavender oil to your bath, or massage it directly into the skin a few days before your period. You can also do this when you have cramps or other painful symptoms.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

10.  Insect Deterrent

Mix 15 drops of lavender oil and eight ounces of water in a spray bottle. Shake well before each use, and spray on your skin and clothing for a natural bug repellant that can’t be beat! Avoid the eye area.

 

11. Improves Circulation

The same compounds in lavender oil that make it perfect for healing skin damage also make it a good solution for improving blood circulation. In fact, lavender oil is a natural “warming” oil that has been used traditionally to treat both high and low blood pressure. Improving your circulation can reduce the risk of heart disease, as it is often triggered by poor blood circulation.

 

SEE ALSO: Stop that Headache with Sweet Lavender Lemonade

 

12.  Improves Mood

Lavender oil has an anti-convulsive, calming and sedating effect that increases the effects of other relaxants you might already be taking. An English study from the University of Leicester showed that lavender essential oil was just as effective at encouraging a sound sleep as traditional over-the-counter medications. Many hospitals in Britain offer patients pillows scented with lavender to help them fall asleep and stay asleep. Try some lavender oil to ease feelings of anxiety or depression while giving  yourself the gift of slumber.

Lavender oil is easily and quickly absorbed into the bloodstream by topical application. With more than 150 healing compounds in this one little flower, lavender is one oil you always want to keep on hand.

You can make your own lavender oil by filling a glass jar (such as a Mason jar) with lavender flowers. Cover the flowers with olive oil and seal the jar tightly. Place the jar in a location where it will get a great deal of sunlight. Shake it once per day. Allow the jar to stay in the sunlight for three to six weeks. The longer you let it sit, the stronger your oil. Pour the oil through a cheese cloth or other strainer into another clean jar.

References:

Hindawi.com

Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Umm.edu