Lavender Essential Oil: Benefits, Uses & Side-Effects

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated - Medically reviewed by Scott Johnson (AMP, CEEOS, CCMA, CPC)

No shade to other essential oils, but we are familiar with a lot of them who have a plethora of health benefits. Now, when it comes to beautiful homegrown products, how can we not mention lavender? Lavender is a pretty purple plant that is such a treat to the eyes. Moreover, in the form of essential oil, it has several benefits, which include relieving stress and anxiety, reducing nervous tension, and decreasing pain. It is also used for skin and hair care purposes like disinfecting the scalp, boosting hair growth, and relieving acne. Moreover, this oil also helps in enhancing blood circulation. Lavender oil is used extensively in aromatherapy and works as a natural sleep aid. Its potent antibacterial nature makes it a wonderful household cleaner and deodorant.

What is Lavender Essential Oil?

The lavender essential oil is extracted from the flowers of the lavender plant (Lavandula angustifolia), primarily through steam distillation. Lavender flowers have a calming fragrance and are used for making potpourri for centuries. The Latin name of lavender is Lavare, which means “to wash”. This is because lavender flowers and lavender essential oil have been used since ancient times by the Romans, Persians, Greeks, and Egyptians as a bath additive and perfume.

The lavender essential oil is pure and differs from commercial lavender oils that are further diluted and sold as perfumes. On the other hand, the pure lavender essential oil is also used as aromatherapy oil, in gels, infusions, lotions, soaps, baby products, and candles. It is beneficial to make tea, lemonades, syrups, aromatic beverages, and baked dishes. Here is our step-by-step guide on how to make lavender oil.

Watch Video: 13 Surprising Benefits Of Lavender Essential Oil

13 Surprising Benefits Of Lavender Essential Oil For Skin, Hair, And More | Organic Facts

Lavender Essential Oil Benefits

The powerful health benefits of the lavender essential oil include the following:

Promotes Wound Healing

The lavender essential oil helps heal minor cuts, bruises, and burns. According to a 2016 study published in the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal, it boosts the synthesis of collagen and heals skin tissues.

Two bottles with lavender oil and a bowl of sea salt with lavender flowers on a wooden table

Inhaling the fragrance of lavender essential oil helps to rejuvenate you. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Neuroprotective Effect

A study published in Brain Research showed that lavender oil reduces brain edema and improves functional ability. Furthermore, it also helps increase antioxidant capacity in the body and inhibits oxidative stress.

Relieves Stress & Anxiety

A 2018 research in The Mental Health Clinician journal shows that lavender oil is an excellent tonic for anxiety issues. Multiple studies suggest that oral administration of lavender preparations reduces anxiety. Furthermore, another study verified that aromatherapy helps manage chronic pain, anxiety, and insomnia. Let us know more about lavender essential oil for anxiety.

Promotes Sleep

A team of researchers studied the effects of lavender aromatherapy on 67 women in Taiwan aged 45-55 years. The volunteers showed a significant improvement in sleep quality and a persistent positive effect of heart rate variability with an increase in parasympathetic modulation.

Relieves Acne

According to Essential Oils for Healing handbook, pure lavender essential oil inhibits the bacteria causing acne infection and regulates the over-excretion of sebum. Read more on the 8 proven benefits & uses of lavender oil for skin.

Hair Care

The lavender essential oil has shown to be effective on lice, lice eggs, and nits. Moreover, therapeutic grade lavender essential oil is helpful against hair loss, particularly for people with alopecia. According to a Scottish study, more than 40% of alopecia patients in the study reported an increase in hair growth with a regular lavender essential oil massage. Here is our comprehensive guide on lavender oil for hair: top benefits & how to use.

Relieves Pain

The lavender essential oil gives relief from various types of pain, which include sprains, backaches, and sore muscles. A regular massage with lavender oil can provide relief from pain in the joints. Moreover, according to a study in the Royal College of Physicians’ journal, lavender essential oil improved satisfaction rate with pain control, versus those patients who were only revived with oxygen after major surgery. 

Improves Blood Circulation

The lavender essential oil is effective in improving blood circulation in the body. A 2008 research in the International Journal of Cardiology suggests that lavender aromatherapy has calming effects on coronary circulation.

An infographic on health benefits of lavender essential oil

Lavender oil helps you get a good night’s sleep. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Other Benefits

Other health benefits of the lavender essential oil include its ability to help against leucorrhoea. Furthermore, this oil repels mosquitoes and moths and is an active ingredient in mosquito repellents.

How to Use Lavender Essential Oil?

  • The most popular use of lavender oil is to mix it with a carrier oil like sweet almond oil or jojoba oil for a relaxing massage.
  • You can also add this infusion to your baths for a relaxing effect.
  • Use it as a perfume every day while starting your day. It will help you stay fresh for longer.
  • Many people use lavender oil as a lip balm. We suggest you do a patch testing before anything so that there are no unwanted side effects.
  • Use it in a diffuser.
  • Adding a small amount of lavender essential oil to other skin creams or ointments can greatly increase the potential for relief and healing.
  • Apply a few drops of lavender oil to your temples may provide some relief from migraines, headaches, depression, nervous tension, and emotional stress.
  • Rub a few drops of lavender essential oil on the bruised area or on burns to increase blood circulation and healing. It can also be used to soothe skin irritation, razor bumps, and sunburn.
  • Put a few drops of the fragrant oil in your palms and rub it on your pillowcase and bedsheets. It will ensure a good night’s sleep.

Side Effects of Lavender Essential Oil

According to the National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health, oral intake is not safe and while using this oil some people may experience:

  • Skin irritation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Pain in joints
  • Stomach issues

Risks

There are some risks to this potent oil. They are:

  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women: As with many other essential oils, pregnant and breastfeeding women should consult their healthcare practitioner before using lavender essential oil.
  • Children: Caution should be exercised while using the oil especially on children.
  • Allergy: It may cause allergic skin reactions to people who have sensitive skin.
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About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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