WHAT IS LAVENDER OIL?
Lavender oil is an substance that has been manufactured which has long been used in ancient medicines. Produced and stored in tiny glands at the base of each floret, lavender oil is an essential oil obtained by the relatively simple process of steam distillation.
Today, lavender oil is still used in the production of perfume, and for the practice of aromatherapy. The scent alone has a calming effect which may aid in relaxation and the reduction of anxiety and stress. In fact, the name lavender come from the Latin word 'Lavare' which means 'to wash', due to its 'cleansing' aroma.
Over the centuries, lavender oil has been used to treat a variety of common ailments, such as sunburn and sunstroke. It can also be used in massage oil mixtures, which may be effective in the relief of joint and muscle pain, or even in chest rub mixtures for the relief of asthmatic and bronchitic spasm. It is also said to treat head lice when used in a hair rinse mixture, or on a fine comb to eliminate nits.
One study suggests application of lavender essential oil instead of povidone-iodine for episiotomy wound care.
The benefits of lavender oil
Nervous System: Lavender essential oil has a calming scent which makes it an excellent tonic for the nerves. Therefore, it helps in treating migraines, headaches, anxiety, depression, nervous tension and emotional stress. The refreshing aroma removes nervous exhaustion and restlessness and increases mental activity.
Sleep: Lavender essential oil induces sleep and hence it is often recommended for insomnia.
Urine Flow: Lavender essential oil is good for urinary disorders as it stimulates urine production. It helps in restoring hormonal balance and reduces cystitis or inflammation of the urinary bladder. It also reduces any associated cramps.
Respiratory Disorders: Lavender oil is extensively used for various respiratory problems including throat infections, flu, cough, cold, asthma, sinus congestion, bronchitis, whooping cough, laryngitis, and tonsillitis. The oil is either used in the form of vapour or applied on the skin of neck, chest and back. It is also added in many vaporisers and inhalers used for cold and coughs.
Blood Circulation: Lavender essential oil is also good for improving blood circulation in the body. It also lowers blood pressure and is used for hypertension.
Immunity: Regular use of lavender essential oil provides resistance to diseases.
Skin Care: The health benefits of lavender oil for the skin can be attributed to its antiseptic and antifungal properties. It is used to treat various skin disorders such as acne, wrinkles, psoriasis, and other inflammations. It heals wounds, cuts, burns, and sunburns rapidly as it aids in the formation of scar tissues. Lavender oil is added to chamomile to treat eczema.
Hair Care: Lavender essential oil is useful for the hair care as it can be very effective on lice and lice eggs or nits.
Other health benefits of lavender essential oil include its ability to treat leucorrhoea. It is also effective against insect bites. The oil is also used to repel mosquitoes and moths. You will find many mosquito repellents containing lavender oil as one of the ingredients.
As with many other essential oils, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using lavender essential oil. It is also recommended that diabetics stay away from lavender oil. It may also cause allergic reactions to people having sensitive skin. Some people may also experience nausea, vomiting and headaches due to usage of lavender oil.
Also, be aware though that according to a 2005 study "although it was recently reported that lavender oil, and its major constituent linalyl acetate, are toxic to human skin cells in vitro. Contact dermatitis to lavender oil appears to occur at only a very low frequency.
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