7 Health Benefits of Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is extracted from lavender flowers, mostly through steam distillation. It is traditionally used in aromatherapy treatments, massage therapies, and for making perfumes. The oil is now widely manufactured thank to its health benefits for human. Some of the common health benefits of lavender oil are briefly outlined below.

1. Cures Headaches

The smell of lavender produces relaxing effects for the mind. In aromatherapy, lavender is known to be effective to relief muscle tensions and emotional stress. Massaging the oil around neck and forehead areas will also promote relaxation and relieve headache or migraine. It is not used as an orally-taken medication or drug, but massage therapy with the oil is equally effective to cure general headaches.

2. Relieves Nausea

Lavender oil can be used for treating common digestion problems including nausea. To relieve this problem, put a drop of lavender oil under the navel, behind the ears, or on end of your tongue. The oil stimulates the production of bile and gastric juice which help the stomach to digest foods. Besides nausea, lavender oil is as well effective to treat stomach pain, diarrhea, flatulence, and colic.

3. Stops Bleeding

In general, applying lavender oil to wounds helps to quicken the healing process and halt bleeding. Especially for nosebleed, you can pour a drop of lavender on a tissue and wrap it around a chip of ice. Push the tissue to the base of the nose and hold it for few minutes. Please put in mind that if you hold it for too long, the ice may freeze your lip.

4. Heals Wounds

As previously mentioned, lavender oil can help to quicken healing process of wounds. It also has antifungal and antiseptic properties to relive skin inflammations and other conditions such as acne and wrinkles. The oil is able to promote or improve the formation of scar tissues thus it halts bleeding and cures minor wounds including cuts and burns.

5. Anxiety and Depression Treatment

The most popular health benefit of lavender oil is its ability to promote relaxation to cure depression and anxiety. The oil produces calming and sedative yet anti-convulsive effects. The best thing is that you don’t have to apply it directly to your body since you only need its smell. People who have problems with restlessness or depression can simply place lavender plant in their rooms to promote relaxation. The plant will spread its smell all across the room and trigger its relaxing effects. Moreover, the smell repels insects such as mosquitoes.

6. Helps in Proper Digestion

Drinking lavender tea is a good way to promote healthy digestion. It soothes your digestive tracts and promotes the production of bile. It is also a natural remedy for gas and constipation problems. To make lavender tea, cook 1 tablespoon of lavender buds with water. You will not drink the water, but use it to make your regular tea.

7. Insomnia Treatment

The relaxing effects of lavender oil can treat insomnia and other sleeping difficulty problems. The scent of the oil basically soothes your nervous system to relive exhaustion and restless leg syndrome, which are often associated with insomnia. The soothing effect directly goes to part of the brain responsible for relaxation, so it helps you have a good sleep.

6 Lavender Oil Side Effects You Should Aware

Taking medications to treat diseases generally has possible side effects. If taken without precautions, either prescription drugs or herbal medicines possibly trigger unwanted interaction in human body. The same thing applies to lavender oil which actually offers great benefits for human health. The most common side effects of lavender oil are as follows.

1. Allergies

Lavender oil is a potential allergen to some people. Allergic reactions may include vomiting, headaches, nausea, and chills. People who are allergic to lavender should avoid using it either topically or through inhalation. If you have sensitive skin, you may need to run a patch test before applying lavender oil topically for any treatment. If any allergic reaction appears within minutes, you must stop using it or call a doctor to prevent more severe reactions.

2. Not be safe for children

Applying lavender products in young boys who have not reached puberty yet may not be safe. Lavender is known to trigger certain hormonal effects that cause abnormal breast growth in young boys’ bodies called gynecomastia. Running a patch test may not be enough to figure out if your boys are allergic to lavender, so it is recommended to consult doctor before treating your boys with the oil. Side effects of lavender oil to young girls are not known.

3. Interactions with drugs

Lavender is a natural sedative which produces relaxing effects to human. Certain sedatives such as CNS depressants, barbiturates and chloral hydrate can interact with lavender oil, intensifying the sedative effects. In most cases, the noticeable side effect is drowsiness. It is worth mentioning that lavender oil is basically a traditional medicine thus you will want to check with your health care provider before you start using it.

4. Headaches

Either in food or medicinal amounts, lavender oil is generally safe to consume orally for most adults. Everyone may need a different dose, so doctor’s advice is necessary to prevent some common side effects such as increased appetite, constipation, and headache.

5. Slow down the central nervous system

Lavender oil produces its relaxing effects by slowing down your nervous system. When used at the same time with anesthesia or other drugs during and after surgery, the combination may slow down the nervous system too much. If you are scheduled to undergo a surgical operation, you should stop using lavender oil at least two weeks before the surgery.

6. Not be safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women

Pregnant women should avoid using lavender oil since it promotes menstruation thus it increases the risk of miscarriage. If you are pregnant, avoid any treatment with lavender oil in any condition unless your doctor allows you to use it. There is not enough clear evidence on how lavender can affect breastfeeding women. However, it is always necessary to stay safe and consult doctor regarding this issue.

How to Make Lavender Oil At Home?

Lavender extract or oil is widely available in most health and food stores or you can even buy it online. Nevertheless, you can also extract the oil by using simple equipment at home. The following instructions describe a step-by-step guide, required ingredients, and the necessary tools to make lavender oil manually at home.

1. Preparing Ingredients

Extracting lavender oil from the flower of lavender plant is easy but there are plenty of processes required. You will need 24 tablespoons of lavender flowers, a mixture of safflower oil, sesame seed oil, and olive oil (14 ounces), large jar or glass container with lid, muslin, plastic wrap, glass bowl, paper towels, and dark bottle. Make sure you get dry lavender flowers ready to chop. Place the flowers on paper towels and chop them finely. You need to get 24 tablespoons of finely-chopped flowers for the extraction.

2. Infusions

Pour the mixture of safflower oil, sesame seed oil, and olive oil into the large jar. Please make sure that the mixture is exactly 14 ounces. Now you can add 8 tablespoons of lavender flowers into the jar and stir them well. Close the jar tightly and put a plastic wrap over the top. Place you jar in a place where direct sunlight can come through such as windowsill for approximately 48 hours.

If you are doing this in the cold winter days, you may not get enough sunlight for the infusion. To accommodate this issue, place the jar in cold water and heat it for about ten minutes each day. Do not overheat the water since it may affect the integrity of the oil. Simply heat it until the jar is warm enough for you to touch.

Please remember to shake it every 12 hours. After 48 hours, you have to filter the oil out. Place muslin on top of the jar and strain the oil out through it. You may need to squeeze the muslin to get more amount of oil. For the best result, this extraction requires at least three infusions but you can do more infusions until you get the desired scent.

You have to put the oil into the container again and repeat the processes two more times. Each infusion will use 8 tablespoons of chopped lavender flowers. Since each infusion requires 8 tablespoons of the flower, you will use 24 tablespoons after three times. If more infusions are necessary, you have to get more lavender flowers as well. Once again, you have to chop the flowers finely before using them.

3. Store the Oil

After 3 x 48 hours and last straining, use the dark bottle to store the oil. It is best to use a bottle with lid or cork. You should keep the bottle in a dark cold place to keep it fresh. When stored properly, the oil should remain fresh for quite long time approximately 6 months to 1 year period. If you extract a considerable amount of the oil from the infusions, you may not need to repeat the processes very often.