This is the first of what I hope to be an informative series on essential oils! Just as a preface, I use Young Living Essential Oils for their quality. Not all essential oils are created equal – I know, having spent months and months buying more generic brands on amazon. I would not feel as comfortable using lower quality oils for all the purposes I list out below.
I would venture to assume that lavender is probably the most commonly known essential oil out there. I know it was pretty well-known to me, but the lavender I thought I knew was most definitely not the real thing. We see the label everywhere: lavender scented soap, candles, lotion, shampoo, perfume, bath salts, etc. But way more often than not, these are just an imitation of the real deal.
To be honest, I didn’t think I was going to use lavender for as much as I do. I had heard of its many uses, but wasn’t convinced that this popular fragrance would actually impress me beyond the relaxing factor. But it did!
Here are several ways we’ve used lavender in our home:
- Better sleep. Yes, cliche, but true. I have had good success with rubbing lavender on the soles of my feet for better sleep. I am not the best sleeper and I tend to wake up several times in the night. Whenever I remember the lavender, I am pleasantly surprised that it works!
- Bug Repellent. This is not a lie. Lavender repels bugs. Upon moving into our house recently, I was horrified to see hundreds of little flies by the windows in our bedroom and bathroom. After getting rid of all the ones we could see, I made a spray bottle of vinegar + water, with 10-15 drops each of both lavender and rosemary. I sprayed the curtains as well as the screens (and re-applied every 1-2 days for a week) and we have had very few, if any, flies since that first spray.
- Rashes/Cuts. Kevin had a bit of a rash/unknown skin thing on the back of his neck a few months ago, and at that point, he wasn’t sold on the oils yet. I told him to put lavender on it, and he did as he was told (maybe just to appease me). He was so excited to tell me that it went away and he gave credit to the lavender. He is no longer a skeptic.
- Scalp/dandruff. Lavender, I hear, is great for scalp health, along with a number of other specific oils. I’ve had some problems with my hair over the past couple years, and I can say there has been a remarked improvement since I’ve been applying the oils over the past several months. I do include lavender in a recipe for a pre-conditioner I use in the shower, but I also occasionally massage a few drops onto my scalp for a more direct application.
- Good smell. Well, obviously this one. Lavender is one of my choice oils for adding a nice smell to the laundry, storage (particularly bins of clothing & closets), and soaps. Just a couple of drops to a cotton ball or a cotton cloth will do!
- Make-up. Since lavender is quite the antiseptic, antifungal, and anti-everything-bad, I like to add a drop to my make-up, whether it’s homemade or not. Mascara, particularly, is the big one. I always have such a fear of what I’m putting so close to my eyes, but I am much more at ease with a drop of lavender shaken up in the tube.
- PMS/Female things. Lavender, along with a few others, are a crucial part to my womanly routine each month. Added to a carrier oil (I use coconut usually), I make sure to apply a couple drops of lavender to my lower abdomen to ease the cramps.
- Skin help. For the longest time, I never thought to use lavender in my facial skincare routine. But it works so well for so much else, I decided to give it a try. Now, I unfortunately have seasons of bad skin, and then once it gets better, I still have issues with scarring. I’ve recently been moisturizing with argan oil and a drop of lavender after washing my face each night, and I am literally amazed. It has done wonders. Now, my face is certainly nowhere near perfection, but it’s improved dramatically given the past few months of stress & hormonal craziness.
I know there are about a million other uses for lavender and I’ve only scratched the surface. What are some of your favorites?