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essential oils: lavender

Those who use aromatherapy and essential oils regularly might use the phrase “when in doubt use Lavender”. That is true in many cases and for the majority of people lavender oil will not hurt them. But just like any natural substance, including oils, one can be allergic so caution is advised with all oils until one knows how they react. Lavender can potentially cause seizure activity in epileptics, especially “spike” lavender (see below for pure lavender discernment). That being said lavender oil is liked by most and can be used by most. Lavender is well known for its calming effect on people and is ideal for helping most people get better rest, especially children. (When using oil on children, apply to bottoms of feet and be sure to use a carrier oil when applying directly to skin). This is a great oil to make “monster” spray (10-15 drops lavender in small spray bottle of water). It not only helps them sleep but empowers them so they can get rid of their own monsters.

Lavender is beneficial for skin irritations, especially burns, acne, dermatitis, bug bites, and rashes. It is also useful for easing headaches, allergies, insomnia, depression, PMS, and menopausal symptoms. These are just the tip of the iceberg for the uses of Lavender essential oil. In fact, Lavender is used today for so many things that I really only have room enough to be writing what it doesn’t help with!

Make sure that you have pure or “true” lavender before using it on burns. If lavendin is used it could actually cause more skin irritation on sensitive areas. Here is how you can tell the difference: The smells are totally different. Once you smell the difference you will know it! But for beginners look at the label. If the essential oil that you are purchasing says the botanical name of Lavandula angustifolia, officinalis, or vera, then use it on your burns. This is the true lavender. If it says anything else such as Lavandula spica, or latifolia, ask the seller if the lavender is a hybrid, lavendin or specialty lavender. Ask questions. The other lavenders are still great for use in detergents, scents for rooms, and can be used for some therapeutic reasons. Stick with the pure Lavender for certain skin contacts and more sensitive therapeutic use. Ask questions, experiment, and then enjoy the calm of Lavender!



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