Featured Product: dōTERRA's Lavender
Lavender is one of the foundational essential oils to build your repertoire and a great oil for beginners due to its versatility. From soothing scent inducing calmness and sweet sleep to many other applications, lavender is one you want to keep close at hand.
Brief History and Origins
Lavender is part of the Lamiaceae, or mint family of plants. The origins for the word lavender, is derived from the Latin root “lavare,” which means “to wash.” Some of the earliest records of lavender is its oil form used in Egypt in the mummification process. Later, Rome, Persia, and Greece held records of incorporating lavender in the bathing process with the belief that it helped to purify the mind and body (hence its Latin root meaning).
Forms of Lavender
Forms that lavender can be used include aromatherapy, topical, or internal uses.
For aromatherapy, simply enjoy the scent produced by fresh or dried plants, or from the essential oil (i.g. diffusers, candles).
To enjoy topically, lavender botanical or essential oils can be mixed into salves, balms, lotions, or carrier oils. Using the essential oil alone may cause irritation with some bodies. Additionally, some of the medicinal benefits may be lost as the oil evaporates off the skin. By mixing the oil with a carrier oil or into a salve, balm, or lotion, the oil is then bonded with another fatty, viscous material (oil or cream) which prolongs the contact with the skin and aids its absorption into the body.
Internally, you can consume in the form of a tea, infusion, or other foods and beverages containing lavender. (One of our favorites is the Lavender Latte at Praha!) Some oils can be portioned out into capsules for consumption as well, however not all essential oils are the same quality and as such, not all essential oils are safe to consume. Always do your research to verify the quality of whatever you ingest.
Benefits of Lavender
As mentioned, lavender has many benefits. Some uses include:
Promotes calm relaxation
Soothes bug bites
Enhances the health and appearance of skin
Moisturizes skin and eczema
Aids wound healing (antimicrobial)
Chemical Composition of Lavender
How does lavender give so many benefits? It works on a cellular level with the body. The key component of lavender is L-Theamine which enables the body to calm down into a deep, restorative sleep. It's believed that this is accomplished through L-Theanine's influence on the neurotransmitter activity, thus calming the nervous system in the body.
Increasing research suggest that other components of linalool and linalyl acetate aid in skin health related to dryness, itching, and rashes (i.e. eczema, rashes, bug bites, ect.). Linalool, which gives lavender its floral aroma, makes up 30% of lavender's chemical makeup and contains cleansing and soothing properties.
Lavender also contains antimicrobial properties (PubMed) which aids in ensuring burns and wounds stay clean to facilitate complete healing. It also boosts collagen production and the rate of tissue remodeling process which plays a role in the accelerated recovery that the oil prompts.
In Conclusion Lavender stands up for itself with its potency for wellbeing in the body. Having traveled to other countries or even short distances, I keep lavender in my go-bag as part of my homeopathic first aid kit. It's friendly to most bodies (I have not personally encountered anyone who has had an allergy or aversion to lavender), and the dōTERRA bottles are easy to fit in the quart bag in compliance with TSA regulations -just in case you were planning on traveling for the holidays. If anything, breathing in the soothing scent of lavender can give you at least a 2 minute reprieve in our active and sometimes riotous world.
As always, do your homework to confirm the quality of the lavender that you use for your intended purpose. Not all lavender is safe for consumption or topical use. When using topically, it's always smart to use a carrier oil (apricot, coconut oil, grapeseed, ect.) and to test it on a section of your skin first to verify that you have no allergies. Every body is different, so while lavender may work for some, you might have a different herb that agrees with your body and needs best. Always listen to your own body.
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Bowman, J. (2023, October 30). The Many Benefits of Lavender for Mood, Sleep, Hair, and Skin [blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/what-lavender-can-do-for-you
dōTERRA (2017, May 3). Linalool [blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.doterra.com/US/en/search/fullsearch?text=lavender&contentType=BLOG&saveSearch=truedōTERRA (2017, May 3). Sleep: Lavender & L-Theanine [blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.doterra.com/US/en/blog/science-wellness-sleep-lavender-l-theanine
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dōTERRA (2020, June 21). Reduce Sad Feelings with Essential Oils [blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.doterra.com/US/en/blog/science-research-news-reduce-sad-feelings-with-essential-oils
Kozuharova, E., Simeonov, V., Batovska, D., Stoycheva, C., Valchev, H., & Benbassat, N. (2023). Chemical composition and comparative analysis of lavender essential oil samples from Bulgaria in relation to the pharmacological effects. Pharmacia (70, Issue 2, 395–403). doi: 10.3897/pharmacia.70.e104404