5 Incredible Ways to Benefit from Lavender Oil
by Amy Boyington
Essential oils are generally hydrophobic liquids extracted from plants and comprise of volatile aroma compounds. The oils are normally extracted by the process of distillation and are used in manufacturing perfumes, soaps, cosmetics, and flavored food products. There are numerous essential oils available in the market across the globe with different therapeutic properties and applications. Considered as the most versatile essential oil due to its range of applications, both commercially and for household purposes, Lavender oil occupies the top place as an important essential oil.
Lavender: The Origins
Lavender is a well-known species of flowering plant native to Cape Verde in Western Africa and Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. Bulgaria is the largest producer of Lavender in the world. Other major producing regions include England, France, Russia, Spain, Italy, South Africa, and Canada. In fact, France cultivates high quality lavender plants, whose oils are used to manufacture perfumes.
The plants are cultivated through cuttings, division of roots, layering, seeds, and tissue culture, though propagation using seeds is not recommended. The oil is extracted from the flowers through steam distillation. The process is monitored cautiously, as any minor changes in pressure or temperature deters the quality of oil.
Apart from being used to extract oil, Lavender parts are used as condiments in different food preparations such as salads, desserts, pastas, and tea. The oil is also used as an antiseptic, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, decongestant, diuretic, and analgesic due its therapeutic properties. The oil has been used for centuries to treat some of the very common problems through various preparations.
Lavender essential oil benefits are innumerable, ranging from commercial applications in cosmetics to the food industry. The oil is also proven to have an immeasurable positive effect on your body and mind.
5 reasons why lavender is the king of essential oils
A powerful antioxidant
Free radicals present in air pollution are considered unstable molecules and affect your body by altering fundamental structure of cell membranes, proteins, and DNA. Lavender oil essentially acts as a natural antioxidant boosting the performance of our own antioxidants produced in the body – SOD, glutathione, and catalase. Apply lavender oil on your skin while venturing out and protect your skin and body.
Are you stressed out?
One of the standout functionality of lavender oil is its ability to shield you from neurological damage. In many recent studies, researchers discovered that lavender oil can be used to treat migraine, anxiety, stress, and the symptoms of depression.
The International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice has published an evidence-based research study highlighting the use of lavender oil capsules for sleep disturbances, postnatal depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, with zero adverse effects or any other drug interactions. Instill a diffuser with lavender oil by your bed, it soothes your mind and helps you to subside into deep sleep. To avail the same comfort, one can also topically apply the oil to forehead and behind the ears.
Suffering from hair loss and dandruff?
Men and women equally suffer due to this common problem of dry scalp and hair fall. One considers hair as the most fascinating and striking feature of our species, but every beautiful thing declines with time including hair. Lavender’s antioxidant and antimicrobial properties prevent hair loss by strengthening from the root. The oil is highly effective on lice and nits. Moreover, according to a Scotland-based study, patients suffering from alopecia, an autoimmune disease have reported hair growth due to topical application of Lavender oil.
Relieve your pain the most natural way
The oil also acts as a natural painkiller and studies reveal it can be used to alleviate chronic as well as acute pain. Topical application of the oil around the concerned areas reduces pain intensity and inflammation. Massaging lavender oil on your body helps in lowering your blood pressure, respiratory rate, anxiety, and pain. The oil also helps women suffering with dysmenorrhea (lower abdomen cramps and menstrual pain) as well as functions as a natural remedy for post-menopausal syndrome (PMS).
Is acne masking your beauty?
Dermatologists consider lavender oil as the most beneficial and effective treatment for acne, which affects adolescent women and men. The oil kills the bacteria responsible for the infection as well as controls the over-secretion of sebum. Adding small amount of lavender oil to skin ointments and creams compliments the process of healing acne.
Word of caution
Though lavender oil has numerous applications, it does come with some limitations. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are normally advised to avoid using the oil. People with diabetes and sensitive skin are also recommended not to use the oil.