HEALING WITH LAVENDER
Lavender oil is well-loved for its relaxing properties, but did you know that it can also be used as a holistic aid to improve the health of your hair and skin?
Lavender is a herb that’s native to northern Africa and the Mediterranean mountains. The plant, most recognisable by its pretty little purple flowers, is often grown for the production of its essential oil (which is harvested from the distillation of the flower spikes from certain specials of lavender). In contrast to its plant form, lavender essential oil can be toxic when swallowed.
Numerous studies have shown that the scent of lavender helps to lower anxiety levels and bring about a sense of relaxation. It is used often as a sleep aid, and helps with insomnia and restlessness. Studies have also shown that lavender helps to alleviate premenstrual emotional symptoms.
This multi-purpose herb is highly regarded for skin and beauty, and is commonly found in the formulations of many fragrances and shampoos because of its purifying properties. Imbued with antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, lavender oil is well-loved for its cosmetic and medicinal purposes, and can benefit the skin in many ways.
Whilst lavender has many benefits in maintaining healthy skin, research has also shown that lavender may be effective for the treatment of alopecia areata (a condition in which hair is lost from some or all areas of the body). An older study from 1998 shows that lavender can promote hair growth by up to 44 percent after seven months of treatment. But in a more recent study, researchers found that applying lavender oil to the back of mice, helped to promote hair growth over a four-week duration.
HOW TO USE LAVENDER OIL FOR THE SKIN
This amazing oil has many uses for treating the skin and can be used on your face, hands, or legs, but its usage depends on what you’re treating. if you’re applying it to a damaged part of the skin, it’s always best to use a cotton ball as that’s cleaner than using your fingers. If you’re just using the oil for wrinkles or dry skin, then simply apply the oil directly with your hands. Note that lavender oil can be put on the skin with or without a carrier oil to form a lotion.
Lavender oil can also be used in aromatherapy of ingested in pill form. While its relatively safe, stop using the oil if you experience any negative side effects of if it causes any form of discomfort.
Here are five great ways to harness the benefits of lavender oil for your skin:
Lavender oil is great for preventing and healing acne breakouts. It works to kill bacteria, and helps to reduce inflammation and unclog pores when applied onto the skin.
How to use: To use Lavender oil for acne, dilute it in a carrier oil (such as coconut oil) and apply it to your face after washing. For particularly stubborn pimples, mix one drop of lavender oil with one drop of argan oil and apply it directly to the troubled spots twice a day.
TO ACCELERATE WOUND-HEALING
A study by the National Institutes of Health found that lavender oil promotes the healing of skin tissue. So if you’ve got a cut, scrape, or burn, lavender oil may help to speed up the wound-healing process. Lavender oil also helps to reduce blotchiness and discolouration, making it great for scar reduction as well.
How to use: To use lavender oil on small wounds, mix three or four drops of lavender oil with equal amounts of coconut oil. Gently apply the mixture on your wound with a cotton ball. And if your wound has already healed, lavender oil can be used to lighten and reduce the remaining scares too.
FOR RELIEVING SUNBURN
Lavender oil has pain-relieving and numbing effects, making it suitable for the treatment of painful inflammation. It also contains beta-caryophyllene which is a natural anti-inflammatory.
How to use: To relief sunburn, try using a lavender oil spray. Combine 10 to 12 drops of lavender oil together with a quarter cup of aloe vera juice, two tablespoons of distilled water, and 10 drops of jojoba oil, in a spray bottle. Shake the mixture before spraying it onto sunburnt areas. Repeat application two to three times a day until the skin heals.
FOR ITCH RELIEF
When it comes to insect bites, lavender oil does double duty. Lavender oil is found as an ingredient in many commercially produced mosquito repellents, but not only does it act as an insect repellent, it also helps to relieve itching after a bite occurs. Insect bites can cause itching, redness and pain. Sometimes, they also get infected. Lavender oil can provide relief by keeping bacteria at bay and reducing inflammation. It’s also a natural pain reliever.
How to use: To treat insect bites, mix two drops with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, and apply the mixture twice a day. Adding a drop of peppermint oil into the mixture can help to numb the pain if the bite stings.
TO REDUCE WRINKLES AND FINE LINES
Free radicals contribute to skin ageing, which leads to fines lines and wrinkles appearing on our face. The good news is, lavender oil is full of anti-oxidants, making it a great tool in your arsenal to help your skin fight against free radical damage.
How to use: To use lavender oil for wrinkles, create a DIY moisturiser by mixing a few drops of lavender essential oil with coconut oil. Apply it to your skin twice a day.