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I have to make a confession: I don’t really like the scent of lavender. I never have. I’m just not into floral scents; I like things that smell like food. Vanilla, pumpkin, cinnamon, apples? Sign me up!
Even when using the essential oils, my favorite scents are ones reminiscent of food: the lime-vanilla scent of Stress Away, citruses like Lemon and Grapefruit, and the mints like Peppermint and Spearmint. It took me some time to get adjusted to the more floral Joy and even Frankincense, even though I love them now.
But although I find the scent of lavender to be a little off-putting, I can’t deny that it has become a favorite essential oil for me.
Tiffany and I did an event yesterday, and something she said struck me. It’s easy to go to Walgreens and get a headache medicine, an acid reflux medicine, or a sinus medicine. When you look at a couple bottles of essential oils, there’s nothing on them to tell you USE THIS ONE FOR HEADACHE. Partially that is because not every oil is going to work the same for every body. It’s some because there are many, many different oils you can use to relieve some of that headache discomfort, depending on the type of headache it is and just what you’ve found works for you. Oils can take some trial and error (safely!!) to see what brings relief to your certain issues.
But you also can’t go into the drugstore and buy a medicine that helps 14 different things. Which is why an essential oil can actually be an amazing money-saver as well as a natural, detoxifying way to help some issues.
Today I’m going to talk about my favorite uses for Lavender. I have often heard Lavender called the “Swiss-army knife” of oils – it just has a bunch of uses. When in doubt … try lavender! (Please keep in mind these are just my experiences and NOT medical advice!)
The Essential Oils Pocket Reference says lavender can be used for “respiratory infection, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, menstrual problems/PMS, skin conditions (perineal repair, acne, eczema, psoriasis, scarring, stretch marks), burns, hair loss, insomnia, and nervous tension.” Here is how I’ve used it personally.
- First and foremost, SLEEP. I started my Young Living journey by diffusing lavender oil in Libbie’s room, because Kayla said it helped her daughter actually sleep through the night and sleep in later. Libbie still gets up before the crack of dawn, usually, but I believe the lavender helps her calm down and fall asleep much easier than she used to. I also use the Magic Sleeping Potion bath for myself when I am wound up and need to be able to go to sleep quickly. Here is what my friend, Blair, said about the Sleeping Potion: “I tried this last night and it was heavenly!! I was having trouble falling asleep and it was 3 am and I still wasn’t tired. So I made this and took a bath and it worked like a charm!!! Thank you for posting this!! I might just do this every night!”
- Burning or raw skin. Rubbing a little lavender oil on a burn or on raw skin that feels like it’s on fire brings a wonderful cooling sensation and really helps. Try soaking a cotton ball and cooling it in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes, too, and then putting on the ouchy area. Ahhhh!
- Allergies. Lavender is an anti-inflammatory, so along with Lemon and Peppermint it can be a wonderful aid in relieving those seasonal allergies. I don’t know how they are where you are, but around here the pollen is NUUUUUTTTS right now. My David has bad allergies, so I diffuse this trio in his room about every three nights. It seems to help his congestion and cough tremendously. If you don’t want to use Peppermint around your kids, you can do Spearmint instead. I don’t feel like it’s quite as potent, but I love the scent and it also has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Sinus issues. This is probably my favorite use for Lavender, because I get awful sinus headaches. I don’t have a lot of runny nose/cough type allergic reactions, but mine present as painful sinus headaches behind my left eye. Before, nothing seemed to help except trying to sleep it off, which is hard to do when you’re working or the stay-at-home mother of small children. Now, if I wake up with one of these pounding headaches, I rub Lavender oil over the bridge of my nose and along my sinuses on the side that hurts – above the eyebrow and below the eye. Almost all the time, this is enough to ease the headache. If I let it get too bad, there’s no stopping it. But really, it has just been one time that I’ve eventually reached for some pain medicine (and still been in pain even with those, just giving in to sleeping it off).
- Cramps. So this is my newest discovery. When I was having some lovely cycle-related pain last week, I read that Lavender could ease cramps. Huh?? Well, worth a try, right? I rubbed it on my abdomen and waited. And truly, it made a big difference in my pain level. My book tells me it is a relaxant, so maybe it just helps relax those muscles? I don’t know. I do know it helped me, and I was thrilled with that!
So those are my 5 current uses for Lavender oil. I’m sure I will keep discovering more as I keep learning and talking to other people about oils. And even with all that? I have only gone through about two-thirds of a 15ml bottle of Lavender since November.
Lavender is one of the easiest scents for companies to replicate. That is why it’s easy to get your hands on lavender oil that smells great and is cheap. But, as the Pocket Reference warns, “True lavender is often adulterated with hybrid lavender (lavandin), synthetic linalol and linalyl acetate, or synthetic fragrance chemicals like ethyl vanillin.” If you want to get the therapeutic benefits of Lavender, not just a good smell, you will have to get a high-quality, unadulterated oil. I stand behind Young Living because I have heard about their processes, know they inspect their products from Seed to Seal, and will not approve an oil that doesn’t have the highest therapeutic benefits.
So there you have it: why I love an essential oil I don’t even like the smell of.