Skeptics may be inclined to ‘pooh-pooh’ the advantages of Aromatherapy, believing that the sense of smell and health cannot be interrelated. However, people who have taken recourse in this novel form of therapy, vouch for its beneficial effects. Although there are several kinds of oils available, Lavender essential oil is a favorite. This is evinced by the fact that users consider it indispensable for the maintenance of good health.
When you take a hike in the mountainous areas of the Mediterranean region, especially in the Western half, you may come across a 3-foot (1 meter) high shrub exhibiting a profusion of brilliantly hued flowers in mauve, blue, or purplish-blue. Well, this is the Lavender plant, also known as Lavendula. The woody shrub is evergreen, comprising of linear-shaped leaves, which are a marvelous grey-green in color.
The Ancient Romans and Greeks were enamored by this plant. The Romans made the flowers and stems an integral part of their bathing routines, since the very name (derived from the Latin ‘lavere’) means, to wash. People even strewed them on the floor and walked over them, creating an aromatic atmosphere all round. The Greeks, called it ‘Nardus’ or ‘Nard’. Glove makers added Lavender oil to their leathers, in order to ward off the effects of plague, the scent kept away the fleas. Over the centuries, the Romans and Greeks disseminated their knowledge about the Lavendula plant to various geographical locations, beginning with the UK.
Although there are 39 species of Lavendula, only a few, including Lavendula officinalis, Lavendula augustifolia and Lavendula latifolia are utilized for preparing Lavender essential oil. The reason being that these particular species emit a rich and fresh fragrance, which is necessary for successful aromatherapy. Stems and flowers are removed from fully bloomed plants, which have begun to show signs of withering. They are then placed in compact steel pots for carefully monitored steam distillation. The oil that is obtained at the end of the process is volatile in nature (can evaporate quickly), clear in appearance, fragrant, and watery in viscosity.
o you have ‘little ones’ in your house? Well then, there are bound to be minor medical emergencies such as wounds and cuts. A small amount of concentrated Lavender essential oil should serve to remove the pain and keep away infections. The same goes for burns, bug bites and minor irritations caused by microbes. In case of fever, mix a few drops of oil in tepid water, before giving your child a sponge bath. Running around after your toddlers is bound to leave you with a headache, fatigue and aching muscles at the end of the day. Your headache will disappear with the application of oil onto the nape of the neck, temples and forehead. Otherwise, soak a muslin handkerchief in icy water, sprinkle some drops of oil on it, and place the compress on your forehead. At the same time, soak your feet in hot water containing 5 to 6 drops of oil, and relax. This will dissipate your fatigue almost immediately. In the case of aching muscles a complete soak in a bathtub with lavender oil is the best option.
Lavender essential oil comes in handy for specific purposes too. For instance, worried teenagers can get rid of acne, merely by adding a few drops of oil to their daily creams. Similarly, eczema can be cured with a combination of calamine lotion and Lavender essential oil or carrier oil and Lavender oil. A person infected with scabies should get a complete body massage with this oil, on the first day. Add alcohol to the oil, before continuing the practice on subsequent days. Even sprinkle a few drops of oil on the mattress and bed linen.
While inhalation is good for sinusitis, a compress is highly useful for painful Shingles. Menstrual cramps can be relieved. It is possible to get rid of earache by massaging a few drops of warm oil on the area around the throat and ears; the bottle of oil has to be warmed in hot water for a couple of minutes. A few drops on your pillow at night should help you sleep better, as well as keep nasty insects away from your body. Moths will not dare to approach your clothes if your cupboard emits a lavender fragrance. Finally, this is oil is great for sunburn, stress and anxiety, and dizziness too. Do remember, however, to keep the bottle tightly closed always.
As indicated above, the Lavendula stems and flowers possess several therapeutic properties. It is a pain reliever (analgesic, anti-rheumatic and anti-spasmodic), prevents bacterial and viral infections from getting worse it is antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, bactericide and anti-viral and reduces stress, nausea and dizziness, it is also anti-depressant and anti-convulsant and helps insomniacs to sleep. It helps that Lavender essential oil blends beautifully with other oils such as nutmeg, citrus, cedarwood, pine, clary sage and geranium. As a result, there is no end to the therapeutic usage of Lavender essential oil. In fact, you may safely experiment with it for all kinds of ailments, including those related to the digestive system, respiratory system, nervous system and the integumentary (skin) system.
According to Aromatherapy practitioners, inhalation of strong, but not intoxicating, scents tend to awaken the olfactory system within the human brain, this is the ‘smell’ region of the brain. As a result, the individual’s limbic system begins to re-experience certain positive emotions and relive some positive memories. Ultimately, all tensions are relieved, and there is only calmness.
It is rare, but you just might exhibit an allergic reaction to the application of the oil, or observe previous allergies being reactivated. Please discontinue usage of the oil and visit the doctor.
There is no denying that Lavender essential oil offers untold benefits, if used wisely and well. Go ahead and make it an integral part of your medicine cabinet. Watch your physical and mental woes disappear!ntal woes disappear!