Friday, April 3, 2015

Functional Friday no. 35 Essential Oil of the week - LAVENDER

Lavender is an herb.  The flower and the oil of lavender are used to make medicine. 

This is one of the first oils I started using and when asked by friends it's one I suggest acquiring right away.  The most common use of Lavender is for relaxation, either topically or aromatically.  Now some people are allergic to lavender and I've found testing a small amount of any new oil on the skin is best before bathing in a tub full of the oil, also some people {like my kids} can become energized by the oil {if this is the case, I've heard an energizing oil like peppermint might work to calm them instead}  I often add 5-8 drops to my bath with a cup of epsom salt to detox and relax.  This weekly routine helps keep me calm.  But that's not all Lavender is good for...

Lavender can be used for restlessness, sleeplessness, nervousness, and sadness and for loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, intestinal gas, and upset stomach. Some people use it for toothaches, sprains, nerve discomfort, lesions, and joint stiffness.

I use Lavender in combination with Peppermint and Frankincense to calm my severe head discomfort. According to WebMD, early research suggests that rubbing 2 or 3 drops of lavender oil on the upper lip, so that the vapor is inhaled, might reduce heightened discomfort and nausea, and help stop the head discomfort from spreading.

Lavender can be applied {topically} to the skin for hair loss and pain, and can be used to repel mosquitoes and other insects. Some people add lavender to bathwater to treat circulation disorders and improve mental well being and some people use it in homemade deodorants.

By inhalation {aromatically}, lavender can be used as aromatherapy for sleeplessness, discomforts, and agitation related to memory loss or forgetfulness.

I also made lavender playdough with my kids and they love the smell.

Another friend of mine said her favorite topical use for [lavender] is, "Lavender with a hint of patchouli...perfumes, lotions, sugar scrubs and of course in the diffuser. I have an addiction to it! To make it manly, use patchouli with a hint of lavender"

Besides the common uses of Lavender for relief properties, I also use a calming blend, as a natural 'perfume' I add a drop or two to my lava rock bracelet and the oil's scent is strong for a few hours, and because I find Lavender calming, it soothes me to smell the blend throughout the day.

The healing properties in Lavender come from it's oil that seems to have sedating effects and might relax certain muscles. {source}

I also grow lavender in our backyard, I can harvest the flower and make extracts and simple syrups, it is an herb that can be cooked with! I actually get a latte from a local cafe that serves lavender simple syrup and I love the complex flavor it creates with the slightly bitter espresso.  I think it's really important to remember that food comes from nature and food is what allows our bodies to thrive, without a full range of foods, we wouldn't be able to get all the nutrients we need.  I find Lavender an essential part of my health and think it's great essential oil to start using aromatically and topically, while the flowers are edible, I would not ingest Lavender essential oils. You can find more information about essential oils here.

I also found some Special Precautions & Warnings:
Children: Applying products to the skin that contain lavender oil is POSSIBLY UNSAFE for young boys who have not yet reached puberty. Lavender oil seems to have hormone effects that could disrupt the normal hormones in a boy's body. In some cases, this has resulted in boys developing abnormal breast growth called gynecomastia. The safety of these products when used by young girls is not known. 
Surgery: Lavender might slow down the central nervous system. If used in combination with anesthesia and other medications given during and after surgery, it might slow down the central nervous system too much. Stop using lavender at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Anyway, I hope you find Lavender as functional as I do, and if you do, what do you use it for? Did I leave anything out?  I'd love to hear of any additional resources in the comments below.

Disclaimer; Once again I'd like to clarify I'm a blogger, not a doctor, I do not suggest any of the above uses for you to try, I'm simply sharing what works for me and my family.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Federal Drug Administration. The products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. 

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