Health Beauty

Lovely lavender

Lovely lavender

Nikki Gray


Lavender oil

There are so many wonderful natural remedies it seems you can't possibly try all of them. Recently I was intrigued by lavender oil. I would sometimes take Epsom salt baths scented with lavender and knew it was supposed to be relaxing but that's about it. A few weeks ago I was getting a massage by this lady who had a wonderful, calming vibe. After the amazing massage she informed me I was tense in my shoulders, neck and jaw, which I was aware of, and told me to put lavender oil on my pillow at night and on my feet before bed. I was excited to try it considering I had done everything to ease my TMJ. I will get more into TMJ, tomorrow I will be posting an in depth article, but today I wanted to focus on the many amazing uses of lavender oil. 

I was just in Hood River, Oregon and a hairstylist told me about an amazing lavender farm. I was in the process of writing this article so it was a nice surprise. I quickly changed my plans and went straight there. It was absolutely breathtaking and just being around that much lavender aroma kind of put me in a trance, definitely a state of relaxation. I talked to the owner Diane Orcutt about all things lavender, she is an expert so who better? She and her husband own lavender farms(pictures below) and sell wonderful organic lavender oil there among other lavender products. I bought the lavender linen spray because it's a hassle and can get a bit messy trying to put a little essential oil on your pillow. I also got the lavender pet salve for my sisters dog. It heals dog's wounds or insect bites rapidly and keeps fleas away naturally. I also got the lavender facial soap bars. My skin is very sensitive and usually gets horribly dried out from anything with strong chemicals so I love the natural stuff. It is also made with tea tree oil, rose hip seed oil and Egyptian geranium essential oil(only $8.95). I honestly love the way their oil smells. It's not too strong, just right...perfection. I'm a big fan of The Vitamin Shoppe, but the lavender oil I purchased there was too strong and just didn't smell that great in my opinion. I loved the oil at Hood River lavender so much I bought a couple bottles. If you want the best lavender products, without having to travel to Oregon, Hood River Lavender's site is    ENJOY!!!!

The many benefits and uses of lavender oil:

Headache/migraine relief- Many people with headache and even migraine problems swear by lavender oil for relief. Lavender is a nerve tonic and can relieve the tension that causes these issues. Dilute the oil in some water and spritz it on your pillow or take a bath with lavender essential oil to ease the pain away. 

Insomnia- The relaxing properties of lavender help de-stress and relax you into a deep peaceful sleep. It has been shown to help many with insomnia issues without the harsh side effects of sleeping pills. Researchers from the University of Miami found the inhalation of lavender showed increased beta waves in the brain, suggesting a state of heightened relaxation. 

TMJ- If you suffer from TMJ or clench your jaw at night while you're sleeping, lavender can be a great help. Spritzing lavender oil mixed with water onto your pillow at night or rubbing some on your neck, behind your ears, can completely stop your jaw from tensing up while you're sleeping. I know this can work firsthand.  

Depression and anxiety- Lavender has been used for centuries for treatment of depression and anxiety. With all the horrible side effects of today's anti depressant medications it's always best to try a natural treatment for mild depression. There have been recent studies that show the use of lavender oil to be as effective as Ativan and other prescription anti-anxiety medications. Using a natural treatment is best as some anti-anxiety medications when used regularly can cause a "hangover" type groggy feeling the next day and they have potential for addiction. Lavender works wonders for many with anxiety so it's worth a shot! If you're having a bad day a lavender oil massage is a great idea. Either have a professional or you can have a loved one do it. It doesn't have to be 80 minutes, even 10 minutes of a lavender oil massage can be a huge stress reliever. 

Acne- Acne occurs when sebum becomes trapped under the skin. Lavender actually helps regulate the production of sebum. Lavender oil is a natural antiseptic and can be applied directly to the pimple. In some the pure essential oil can cause increased redness at the site of the pimple at first since it can cause histamine to occur(which is part of the expedited healing process). If you notice more redness occurring you can dilute the lavender oil with a little water, a small amount of water in a spritz bottle and add the drops of lavender. You can also use witch hazel instead of water. As your skin gets used to the potent antiseptic properties of lavender, you can start using more oil, less water and eventually using pure lavender essential oil alone for spot treatments. When combined with wheat germ(which is in the facial bar I bought from Hood River farms) promotes new cell growth and helps minimize scarring.

Stretch marks and scars- Lavender is commonly used for many skin issues and has been shown to reduce the appearance and help scars disappear. The same goes for stretch marks.

All natural mosquito repellant-

Staph infections and skin infections such as cellulitis- Amazingly lavender can actually fight these dangerous infections. Staph infections are very dangerous considering they are resistant against many medications, sometimes the natural way is the best way. I have a client I got on zinc after having repeated cellulitus infections. They never came back ever since I put her on zinc. The same can not be said for the antibiotics, they were not working. She was losing nerve function and was looking at maybe losing a limb it was getting so bad. Natural sometimes is the only way. There's always hope and other options if traditional medicine is failing. Lavender naturally has a potent anti-fungal effect. It can also be used on nail fungus.

Bruises- Lavender can be applied directly to bruises. This helps with the pain and can also speed up the healing process.

Strep/sore throat- Lavender is a natural antiseptic and is a soothing agent. Putting a couple drops on your tongue or in a cup of hot tea can be very beneficial when you're feeling under the weather. Also rubbing some essential oil onto the neck and around the throat and lymph nodes can be a relief to anyone suffering from a sore throat. The calming effect of lavender is an added  plus when you're not feeling well.

Allergies- Many people swear by lavender essential oil for allergy relief and it has actually gotten them off their allergy medicine. Apply to the wrists, behind ears, neck, wherever is comfortable for you. Or you can also put a couple drops in your tea of choice. 

Hangover- Many people claim lavender oil helps lessen their hangover. Put some on your forehead, or if you're going to sleep or taking a nap spray some on your pillow or dab some behind your ears and/or just below your nose. 

Insect bites and bee stings- It is fairly well known that lavender helps provide relief from wasp and bee stings. Apply just one drop to the affected area.

Burns- The healing power of lavender on burns was found out by accident. French scientist, René Gattefossé, was severely burned in a laboratory accident and randomly dipped his hand in a vat of lavender. This led him to discover that lavender oil promoted tissue regeneration and healed the burn with absolutely no scarring. 

Menstrual cramp relief - Massage a few drops into the area of the pain(lower abdomen) or apply a hot compress that has been sprinkled with essential lavender oil. This has been shown to work wonders and also relaxes your mind and body.

Hair growth- Lavender oil can actually stop hair loss. In fact, it is so effective that many people suffering from alopecia use it as a natural treatment to boost hair growth and reduce loss. One of the reasons for this is lavender oil increases circulation which helps keep hair healthy, growing and thick. Massaging daily in the scalp or even a few times a week ensures hair re-growth. Regular use can decrease hair loss and improve hair growth. It is perfect before bed to give yourself a nice lavender scalp massage for your hair health and since it is a relaxant will get you ready for a peaceful sleep

Rids your scalp of dandruff-  Mix five drops of lavender and geranium oil, two drops sandalwood and 30 ml(1 & 1/2 oz) of base oil. Apply all over scalp to wet hair and leave on for a minimum of two hours. After use a mild shampoo and rinse thoroughly. Give your hair a final rinse with the same blend of essential oils mixed into a jug of warm water(mix/shake well before applying). Repeat everyday until your dandruff starts to disappear then decrease to twice a week. (recipe from the book 'Lavender' by Phillip Waring)

Sunburn soother- Add a few drops of lavender oil to water to help soothe a sunburn.

Cold sores- Lavender oil boosts your immune function and is a prophylactic(helps prevent flus and colds). If you have a cold sore, that is a sign your immune system is weakened so it is a great idea to take a bath with lavender oil. Do not apply topically as this can be to harsh on the sore.

For your pets: Lavender is a natural flea repellant. It also calms your pet down and fights anxiety. It helps heal sores and bites more rapidly as well.

Lavender oil can lower high blood pressure in some.

Rub lavender oil on the bottoms of your feet. This is very beneficial. In Eastern medicine they believe that everything comes out of your body through your feet including toxins.   

With so many benefits it almost seems too good to be true but it's one of those powerful, miraculous gifts from nature that has countless healing powers. Lavender IS lovely <3

Nikki Gray