ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Aromatherapy- Lavender Oil

Updated on September 7, 2014

Lavandula Officinalis

Cultivated primarily in southern France, Lavender is native to the Mediterranean, Africa, and the Indies. Today, with more than fifty different verities, lavender can be found most everywhere, but the most productive plants and the finest of oils are born in Provence. Blossoms, whether carefully cultivated or growing freely can be found blanketing the region's open fields and crawling down the slopes of nearby mountains. Provence's altitude (rising above 3,000 feet) is responsible for the plant's unique ability to resist both heat and cold, and to protect its high concentration of medicinal ingredients.

The use of lavender has been documented for more than 2,000 years. Ancient Romans used the herb for cooking, mixing it with other herbs to flavor meats. They also used it in the bath or by rubbing the petals directly on the body, which served as both a skin treatment and insect repellent. Burning dried lavender also delivered a dual purpose by repelling insects and sweetening the air. The ancient Egyptians however, took the oil's use one-step further using it regularly during the mummification process.

Fields of Lavender
Fields of Lavender

Spikenard, the name most often attributed to lavender in ancient history is documented throughout the Bible. Some Christians believe Adam and Eve took the plant from the Garden of Eden. The gospel of John speaks of Mary using the oil to wash the feet of Jesus, "Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment," (John 12:3) Some translations of the Bible refer to the herb by its ancient Greek name nard.

Medieval Europe, taking its cue from history found a number of ways to use the herb, some uses were religious, others superstitious. Either way, the herb remained popular with royalty and commoners alike. During the 16th century, French glove makers often used lavender to scent their hand wares; strangely enough these craftsmen escaped an epidemic of cholera. A century later, London grave robbers were believed to have eluded the great Plague by using "Four Thieves Vinegar," a concoction made with a vinegar base and the addition of herbs. The wash is thought to have kept these men safe from the plague as they rustled their way through the dead bodies and took their valuables. Others used the herb for the same purpose in a slightly different way by fastening twined bracelets of lavender to their wrists.

European royalty considered lavender's benefits invaluable as well. Charles VI slept on nothing but lavender filled pillows. Queen Elizabeth I expected fresh lavender available and displayed in vases every day of the year regardless of weather, and her dinner table to be set with lavender conserve, a bittersweet and gooey fruit spread similar to our own modern day jams. Louis XIV bathed in water scented with lavender oil, and Queen Victoria indulged in lavender deodorant.

Lavender Flower Harvest
Lavender Flower Harvest

Lavender, particularly lavandula officinalis (French lavender) is harvested during flowering. Picked by hand, the buds are harvested at midday to insure the oil content is at its highest. The buds are then distilled with steam in order to extract the flower's essential oils. Lavender's most important active components are geraniol (a plant based mosquito repellent), cineole (anti-inflammatory, antiseptic properties), and coumarin, which is known to contain blood-thinning, anti-fungicidal and anti-tumor properties (never to be used in addition to blood thinners). Each of these ingredients boasts cleansing and germicidal properties, in addition to being used in the treatment of pain and anti-inflammatory conditions.

One of the few essential oils that can be safely used on the skin in its natural state, lavender is popular for its many benefits. Topically, a combination of lavender oil (ten drops) added to four ounces of water is a handy addition to the beach bag for the relief of sunburn. Kitchen burns may be treated by using the oil in an undiluted form; just a few drops will reduce the risk of blistering and take away the initial sting. Lavender's anti-inflammatory properties are said to aid in lessening the pain and inflammation that accompany neuralgia when mixed with St. John's Wort oil (ten drops of lavender to two tablespoons of St. John's Wort Oil). Beneficial for other skin irritations as well, lavender oil, combined with distilled water (three drops of oil to one quart of water) mixed in a spritzer bottle will calm, moisturize, and help promote circulation. Safe to use on the entire body, this lavender spritz may also be used on the face.

Lavender oil's therapeutic serviceability is inarguable, but for some the aroma itself is reminiscent of a day at the spa. The most luxuriant lavender bath is easily attained at home by mixing five drops of lavender oil, a cup of heavy cream and a small amount of honey together (one to two teaspoons). Added to bathwater, this mixture will leave you rested, free of anxiety, and ready for bed!

When added to the final rinse cycle in your washing machine, lavender will quickly have your clothes smelling like a spring morning, although some people prefer to skip the wash cycle and place an oil infused cloth into the dryer instead. Indulging in the aromatic benefits of this essential oil is actually more cost efficient than buying ready-made bath and laundry products. Just a few drops go a very long way.

Dried lavender is especially fragrant and may be beautifully displayed within the home. The random bowl on a counter top or end table, a lavender wreath hung on the door, or even the freshly picked lavender gathered from your own backyard, tied in a bunch with ribbon and hung in the kitchen. Sachets for the drawer can be made at home by taking those extra socks (the ones you can't find a match for), and filling them with lavender buds. Just stuff, knot, and place in those out of the way places that need some freshening; linen closets, lingerie drawers, and clothing closets.

Another way of adding the fresh fragrance to your home is to place a mixture of lavender oil and water in a pot, turn on the stovetop, simmer, and inhale. If you want to spice up the fragrance a bit, lavender's scent may be blended with citrus oil. A simmering pot of water fused with four drops of lavender oil, two drops of bergamot oil, and two drops of lemon oil is irresistible. This slightly spicy fragrance will permeate and purify the air in your home and lift your spirits at the same time.

A favorite of gardeners for centuries, lavender makes an excellent addition to flower beds. Lavender plants tolerate a large spectrum of growing conditions and the many varieties available almost insure success, even for the novice. Once lavender has grown to maturity it will be a healthy, hearty, and beautiful addition to your yard. Some of you may be thinking, "but I haven't got a yard." The bad news, your lavender crop might be rather small. The good news; lavender roots love to be bound in small places making the plant an excellent choice for an indoor pot. For those who aren't quite that adventurous, numerous lavender products are available for purchase including gels, soaps, lotions, aromatherapy oils, and of course essential lavender oil in its purest form.

© 2014 Awdur


The Complete Guide to Natural Healing . Orangeville, ON: International Masters

Lavenderenchantment Resources and Information


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • awdur profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Chicago

      Yes, it is a fantastic oil. I recently got a pure lavender spritz from Younique that I absolutely love. My daughter had a Younique party and I went through looking for something to buy..... it was a great choice. Thank you for stopping by and commenting! A

    • sangre profile image

      Sp Greaney 

      4 years ago from Ireland

      I use lavender oil in baths. I think it is one those essential oils that is fantastic.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)