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 Essential Oils
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Lavender Oil

Sensing its disinfectant and antiseptic properties, the Romans utilized lavender oil for bathing, cooking, and scenting the air. Having a rich historical and mythological history, the lavender plant has spread its roots in the ancient times. Interestingly, the plant gained further reputation with its healing properties of warding off the plague. Lavender's popularity with the English royalty gave it a berth in the ranks of a cosmetic herb and it was with Queen Victoria that lavender was recognized as a tonic for nerves.

The plant's name originated from the Latin root name (either lavare-to wash or livendula- livid or bluish). With its history of soothing & healing qualities, the insect repellent effects of the strong scent, and the use of the dried plant in smoking mixtures; lavender has remained the "Swiss Army Knife" of herbs. Witnessing popular usage in aromatherapy, the lavender oil provides calming, refreshing, uplifting, soothing, and purifying effects.
Providing an "adaptagenic" essence with a relationship to all body systems, this essential oil is nicknamed "the ultimate first aid in a bottle". Lavender oil combines well with many other essential oils such as rose, rosemary, cedarwood, clary sage, geranium, pine, nutmeg and all the citrus oils.
 

History of Lavender
Lavender oil is one of the few oils that can be used on your skin without dilution. Having the wonderful qualities with a great smell, the historic use and recognition of lavender is almost as old as the history of man. With a documented use for over 25,00 years, lavender was used for mummification and perfume by the Egyptians, Phoenicians, and people of Arabia. The mention of this plant can also be found in the Bible, by the name used at that time - spikenard. The major reason for lavender oil usage in aromatherapy is its fresh and sweet aroma along with very subtle, gentle, and floral essence. Originally, lavenders were common plants of the Mediterranean region but now they can be found also in Africa. Globally, we can find lavender in regions from North and East Africa, South Europe - France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Arabia, India, and New Zealand.

 

Oil Extraction
Known as lavender essential oil - lavender oil is the perfect blend for relaxation and can also lift depression with its uplifting scent. The oil is created by distilling steam from the flower blossoms of Lavendula Officinalis, which has the botanical name of “Lavendula vera”. You will find the best lavender plants growing on rocky hills along the Mediterranean Sea. The oil is extracted from "this native flower of Portugal", primarily through steam distillation. The common species of Lavender is Lavandula angustifolia. However, there are about 30 different species; out of which the important species for human use are Lavandula abrotanoides, Lavandula angustifolia, Lavandula canariensis, Lavandula dentata, Lavandula lanata, Lavandula latifolia, Lavandula multifida, Lavandula pinnata, Lavandula stoechas, Lavandula viridis, Lavandula x intermedia.

 
Applicable Benefits and Uses
The main chemical components of lavender oil are a-pinene, limonene, 1,8-cineole, cis-ocimene, trans-ocimene, 3-octanone, camphor, linalool, linalyl acetate, caryophyllene, terpinen-4-ol and lavendulyl acetate. Owing to these beneficial ingredients, one of the most versatile-- lavender essential oil provides the benefits of:
  • Nervous System: Lavender oil assures to provide a calming scent wherever placed. Therefore, it makes it an excellent tonic for the nerves and helps in treating migraines, headaches, anxiety, depression, nervous tension and emotional stress. Its refreshing aroma removes nervous exhaustion and restlessness and increases mental activity.
  • Sound Sleep: Lavender essential oil induces sleep, and hence it is often recommended for insomnia.
  • Pain Relief: This oil is also an excellent remedy for various types of pains including those caused by sore muscles, tense muscles, muscular aches, rheumatism, sprains, backache and lumbago.
  • Urine Flow: Lavender essential oil is particularly good for urinary disorders as it stimulates urine production. Further, the oil helps in restoring hormonal balance and reduces cystitis or inflammation of the urinary bladder. It also reduces any associated cramps.
  • Respiratory Disorders: Lavender oil is extensively used for various respiratory problems including throat infections, flu, cough, cold, asthma, sinus congestion, bronchitis, whooping cough, laryngitis, and tonsillitis. Used either in the vapor form or applied on the skin of neck, chest and back. It is also added in many vaporizers and inhalers used for colds and coughs.
  • Skin Care: The health benefits of lavender oil for the skin can be attributed to its antiseptic and antifungal properties. This essential oil is used to treat various skin disorders such as acne, wrinkles, psoriasis, and other inflammations. It heals wounds, cuts, burns, and sunburns rapidly as it aids in the formation of scar tissues. Lavender oil is added to chamomile to treat eczema.
  • Hair Care: Being extremely effective on lice and lice eggs, lavender essential oil is useful for the hair.
  • Blood Circulation: Being used for improving blood circulation, lavender essential oil is also good to lower blood pressure and is also used for hypertension.
  • Digestion: This essential oil increases the mobility of the intestine, thus facilitating in digestion. The oil also stimulates the production of gastric juices and bile that aids in treating indigestion, stomach pain, colic, flatulence, vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Immunity: Regular use of lavender essential oil provides resistance to diseases.
  • Another effective health benefit of lavender essential oil is its ability to treat leucorrhea. It is also effective against insect bites, and to repel mosquitoes and moths.
 
Caution Note: Always consult a doctor while consuming lavender oil internally. Take a patch test before applying it in order to be sure of the allergies. Furthermore, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid the usage of lavender oil. Even the diabetics are advised to stay away from lavender oil. Some people may also witness nausea, vomiting and headaches due to usage of this essential oil.
 
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