More subtle than sight, your sense of smell is no less powerful in evoking a physiological response. The scent of lavender is housed in its oil and is recognized clinically as one of the most evocative herbs. Lavender oil has many uses for us, many of which aren’t obvious.
In fact, thousands of studies have been conducted on the effects of this versatile herb to the human condition. Its fragrance was only a starting point: topical application provides its own set of benefits. An easy-to-grow indoor plant, this lovely aromatic herb can be appreciated for its beauty, its smell, its flavor, and its countless ways of promoting human health. From calming anxiety to reversing hair loss, find the most potent lavender oil uses below.
21 Household Lavender Oil Uses
Lavender oil uses: for topical and aromatic use only, unless cooked in other foods. While not hazardous, ingesting straight lavender oil can cause irritation, stomach upset, and other unpleasant conditions. In addition, it may disturb gut bacteria balance.
The Alliance of International Aromatherapists discourages internal therapeutic use of any essential oil unless recommended by a trained healthcare practitioner. (1)
1. Lavender Oil for Anxiety
Perhaps the best-known lavender oil uses is to induce calm. In 2012, the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand published a study on the effects of inhaling lavender oil on the central nervous system and resulting emotional states of twenty subjects.
“Lavender oil caused significant decreases of blood pressure, heart rate, and skin temperature, which indicated a decrease of autonomic arousal. In terms of mood responses, the subjects in the lavender oil group categorized themselves as more active, fresher relaxed [sic] than subjects just inhaling base oil. Compared with base oil, lavender oil increased the power of theta (4-8 Hz) and alpha (8-13 Hz) brain activities. The topographic map showed obviously more scattering power in alpha range waves particularly in bilateral temporal and central area. The findings provided evidence the relaxing effect of inhaling lavender oil.” (2)
Here are some handy ways to use lavender oil to quickly reduce anxiety:
- Keep a spritzer of water with a few drops of lavender essential to spray on your face during the day.
- You can also spritz the mixture on your bedsheets to create your own personal oasis.
- If you don’t have a spritzer, rub 2-3 drops of lavender oil in your cupped palms, and breathe it in to draw the scent all the way into your amygdala gland (the emotional warehouse of your brain. Then, rub on the feet, temples, wrists (or anywhere) for an immediate calming effect on the body. If you are sensitive to the herb, mix a few drops of lavender oil to a tablespoon of coconut oil and apply the mixture to your skin.
- Alternatively, combine ½ teaspoon of dried lavender with ½ teaspoon of dried chamomile and place in a strainer. Add to a cup of boiling water and steep for up to 10 minutes. Drink in a nice, calm space and breathe deeply as you do so.