Walking through a field of lavender in the early morning, watching the lovely purplish-blue blossoms swaying to the gentle breeze, taking a deep breath of the fresh and fragrant morning air is something that I always dream of. Well, like most aromatherapy practitioners, learning about lavender pure essential oil is almost religiously a beginner’s must-do because this amazingkly versatile oil seems to be like first-aid-kit-in-a-bottle and a-must-have oil in an aromatherapist’s box. An entire book can be written just on lavender pure essential oils alone!
This amazing plant with brilliant blue flowers is very much at home on rocky and barren soil where no other plants can thrive. It can flourish at 6000 feet above the sea level. It’s very vibrant, energetic and radiates with positive energy soaked from the blue heaven above.
You’ll find several specimens of lavender essential oil from different regions of the world available in the market. You’ll find the essential oils of Bulgarian lavender, French ‘mailette’ lavender, Himalayan lavender grown mainly about 5000ft above the sea-level, French high-altitide lavender, Pacific blue lavender from Australia and New Zealand and the most potent of all, the wild mountain lavender from the French Alps. All these lavender pure essential oils are antibacterial, antifungal, analgesic and antispasmodic. They are aromatically soothing, calming, balancing, strenghtening and relaxing to the mind and spirit. The metaphysical character of this oil is almost neutral, leaning slightly towards the ‘yang’. Traditionally it was associated with the planet Mercury. This essential oil is an adaptogen that can help restores the energy balance between the body and the spirit. It also reacts to your system’s particular needs.
What you need to look out for is the INCI name (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredient) on the label. It should read either lavendula officinalis or lavendula angustifolia. I remembered coming across a lavender essential oil but with an INCI of lavendula latifolia. This is lavandin oil which has a different therapeutic quality than true lavender oil. And please be very, very wary of any lavender oil that smells strongly of camphor at your first whiff. It could be adulterated with lavandin or it could be inferior oil distilled from the flower-heads mixed with a large amount of the stems and leaves to stretch its volume. Just steer clear of this type of essential oil because they have no therapeutic value and could be a potential hazard to your health.
The best lavender essential oil should be distilled from the flower heads. Experienced aromatherapy practitioners will know that there will be no such things as ‘discount’ or ‘cheap’ pure essential oils. You’ll usually get what you pay for. The best therapeutically,of course, is the pure essential oil distilled from the wild-harvested mountain lavender from the French Alps, the lavender officinalis ‘vera’. This lavender plant is smaller with a less dense flower heads. This oil is very rare, expensive and available only in limited quantity each harvesting season. Sometimes, this type of lavender essential oil is called “lavender extra”. I have a small vial of it that I guarded zealously like million bucks worth of diamonds. The aroma is just divine! Intense and deeper than others. Its frequency is more vibrant and powerful than other variety of lavender pure essential oils. I reserved this only for physical ailments and emergency especially when any of my daughters caught a nasty bug or when my little Nuha had one of her eczema outbreaks.
Organic, wildcrafted alpine lavender essential oil is not cheap. But it is one essential oil worth buying. Anyway, I believe that every home should keep at least a small vial of any type of therapeutic-grade lavender pure essential oil. It is the safest essential oil to be applied topically neat to the skin and safe to be used on young children. It is really indispensable to me. This is my tiny savior for my children’s small scrapes, bruises and bumps. I remembered the time when my little Widad banged her head on the tv console really bad, I rushed to the fridge for a pack of frozen peas, wrapped it in a small towel, place 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil on it and use it as a compress. The aroma of the lavender calms Widad down and its analgesic property relieve the pain instantly, the nasty bump reduced in size almost immediately and the bruising disappears within a day. As for small scrapes, scratches, wounds, insect-bites and minor burn, I’d apply a small drop of lavender oil neat to affected area. It relieves the pain immediately!
The possibility of lavender pure essential oil being antiviral is still being clinically studied. However, inhaling a small amount of lavender oil when colds and flu threatens can be a good preventative measure. I usually rub the chest, throat and back of my daughters with the diluted oil whenever they are down with these illnesses. It does seem to soothe their discomforts and make them sleep better.
Anyway, the oil has also been successfully used to help relieve asthmatic spasms. It is always the first oil that I reached for to relieve bronchial coughs and spasms. 3-5 drops to a tablespoon of base oil is enough for an adult while for children 1-2 drops per tablespoon base oil. I do not recommend using any kind of essential oil for infants less than 6 month old though… and if you’re not familliar with pure essential oils, it’s always a good habit to consult with your doctor or holistic practitioner before using any essential oils.
In aromatherapy, lavender pure essential oil is indispensable in treating psychological problems such as nervousness, melancholy, stress, depression, extreme mood swings, excessive anger and insomnia. For relaxation, use lavender in a massage or diffuse it in a room for a calming and soothing ambience. If you suffer from sinus headache, try this as a natural relief…. add 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil to a tablespoon of base oil, use it like a balm by rubbing or gently massaging the forehead, temples, and neck and the cheek areas nearer to the nose.
I took organic lavender extra pure essential oil internally once a month as a preventative measure againts urinary tract infection. When I was 5 months pregnant with my eldest daughter Nuha, I caught a really bad UTI, I was put on antibiotics by my physician but it didn’t really go away. After the birth, it became worst. My clinical aromatherapist mentor and friend suggested that I take 2 drops of lavender oil every morning diluted in a tablespoon of honey and mixed in a glass of warm water. The UTI clears out after about 3 weeks. However, never take lavender internally with any preparation containing iodine or iron.
I also use lavender essential oil in a sitz bath 2-3 times a month and a lavender sitz bath. If you suffer from dandruff and hair loss, adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to your shampoo makes a good treatment. Add about 6-12 drops of it to your bath water for a blissfully relaxing soak after a long, tiring day. If you’re into the OCM (Oil Cleansing Method) add it to your oil blend to make a skin rejuvenating oil. Lavender also encourages development of new skin tissue and it also help prevent blockage by stimulating the lymphatic system.
As a word of caution, like I’ve said in my previous entry, don’t mix homeopathic treatment with pure essential oils or conventional treatment. Always consult a professional (or two or more) before going about a particular treatment. Uninformed/uneducated decisions can lead to fatal mistakes.