Lavender is the most popular plant used in aromatherapy. Widely available in all forms, from soaps and candles to drawer sachets, perfumes, and massage therapy oils, lavender truly is a universal scent that conjures up images of a sunny Provençal afternoon. While there are almost 50 species of lavender, the most commonly cultivated species is called English lavender. But did you know that besides its powerful calming benefits, lavender has many uses? Here are five uses of lavender essential oil that may surprise you:
Keeps the Bugs Away
While we think lavender smells clean, fresh, and floral, bugs seem to hate it. Place a few drops on your skin to keep mosquitos away, or spray yourself with a diluted mixture of lavender and water. There are many benefits of using lavender essential oil instead of store-bought sprays. It’s an all-natural product that contains zero DEET and it smells great. If you have a sensitivity to commercial bug repellents, a gentler, sweeter-smelling application of lavender might help you.
Fights of Skin Infections
Because of its antiseptic properties, lavender was used in World War I to help soldiers fight off infection, sepsis, putrefaction, and gangrene. While we don’t necessarily have to deal with skin putrefaction on a daily basis, lavender is still just as good as fighting infection as it was 100 years ago. Simply add a few drops of oil to a recent cut to help it stop bleeding. At the same time, it will clean the wound and fight off any bacteria.
Lavender is often used to soothe the pain associated with minor burns. Much like aloe vera, lavender is a natural product that soothes your skin and helps get rid of redness and swelling. A word of caution here: anything more than a minor burn should be seen by a doctor. Lavender may be a powerful natural ingredient, but for chemical or third-degree burns, more aggressive treatment may be necessary.
Alleviates Pain from Inflammation
Part of the reason lavender feels so good when you apply it to your burn is that it has anti-inflammatory properties. Rubbing just a little on inflamed or swollen areas can significantly reduce swelling and alleviate pain. And if you have sensitivities to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), then natural topical remedies like lavender are a great alternative.
As a Flavour Enhancer
Have you ever eaten lavender scones, lavender honey, or sugared lavender? It’s no secret that lavender has many culinary uses. But while we mostly associate lavender with teas and desserts, it can also be used as a flavour enhancer. It is often added to sweet or savoury dishes not to add flavour, but to amplify the basic tastes, making them more complex and more delicious.
At Mantra Wellness Centre, we use lavender essential oil in our massage therapy because of its natural anti-anxiety and stress-relieving properties. We also use high-quality blends of essential oils that are specifically formulated to relax muscles, ease tension, and help you make the most of your massage experience. Book your appointment online today.