13 Surprising Benefits of Lavender Essential Oil

The health benefits of lavender essential oil include its ability to eliminate nervous tension, relieve pain, disinfect the scalp and skin, enhance blood circulation and treat respiratory problems. The Latin name of lavender is Lavare, which means “to wash”, due to its aroma which has a particularly clean aroma.

Lavender oil is extracted mostly from the flowers of the lavender plant, primarily through steam distillation. The flowers of lavender are fragrant in nature and have been used for making potpourri for centuries. Traditionally, lavender essential oil has also been used in making perfumes. The oil is very useful in aromatherapy and many aromatic preparations and combinations are made using lavender oil.

Lavender oil blends well with many other essential oils including cedarwood, pine, clary sage, geranium, and nutmeg. Today, lavender essential oil is frequently used in various forms including aromatherapy oil, gels, infusion, lotion, and soaps.

Health Benefits of Lavender Essential Oil

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

Bug Repellent: The smell of lavender essential oil is potent for many types of bugs like mosquitoes, midges, and moths. Apply some of the lavender oil on the exposed skin when outside to prevent these irritating bites. Furthermore, if you do happen to be bitten by one of those bugs, the lavender essential oil has anti-inflammatory qualities that will reduce the irritation and the pain associated with bug bites.

Sleep: Lavender essential oil induces sleep which has made it a common recommendation for an alternative treatment of insomnia. Frequent studies on elderly patients have shown an increase in their sleep regularity  when their normal sleep medication is replaced with some lavender essential oil being placed on their pillows. It has such a relaxing impact on people that it can often replace modern medicine for sleep issues.

Nervous system: Lavender essential oil has a calming scent which makes it an excellent tonic for the nerves and anxiety issues. Therefore, it can also be helpful in treating migraines, headaches, depression, nervous tension and emotional stress. The refreshing aroma removes nervous exhaustion and restlessness while also increasing mental activity. It has a well-researched impact on the autonomic nervous system, which is why it is frequently used as a treatment for insomnia and also as a way to regulate heart-rate variability. One study showed that people taking tests showed a significant decrease in mental stress and anxiety, as well as increased cognitive function when they inhaled lavender oil and rosemary oil before taking the exam!

LavenderessentialoilAcne: According to dermatologists and aromatherapists, lavender essential oil is one of the most beneficial oils in the treatment of acne, which is a very uncomfortable and embarrassing condition that primarily affects young people as they move through puberty, but can also afflict adults. It is characterized by red, raised sores on the face and body that develop due to a bacterial infection near the sebum gland. When sebum cannot be properly secreted from the sebum glands on the face, it begins to build up, particularly because puberty stimulates extra sebum and bacteria feeds off of it, creating a vicious cycle of irritation, infection, and visible sores that can result in serious scarring.

Lavender essential oil inhibits the bacteria that cause the initial infection, helps to regulate some of the over-excretion of sebum by hormonal manipulation, and can reduce the signs of scarring after the acne has begun to heal. Adding a small amount of lavender essential oil to other skin creams or ointments can greatly increase the potential for relief and healing.

Pain relief: Lavender essential oil is known as an excellent remedy for various types of pains including those caused by sore and tense muscles, muscular aches, rheumatism, sprains, backache and lumbago. A regular massage with lavender oil can also provide relief from pain in the joints. A study done on postoperative pain relief showed that combining lavender essential oil vapor into the oxygen significantly reduced the amount of pain experienced, versus those patients only revived with oxygen after a major surgery.

Urine flow: Lavender essential oil is good for urinary disorders because of its stimulating effect on urine production. Furthermore, it helps in restoring hormonal balance and reducing cystitis or inflammation of the urinary bladder. It also reduces any associated cramps with these and other disorders.

Respiratory disorders: Lavender oil is widely used for various respiratory problems including throat infections, flu, cough, cold, asthma, sinus congestion, bronchitis, whooping cough, laryngitis, and tonsillitis. The oil is either used in the form of vapor or is applied on the skin of the neck, chest and back. It is also added to many vaporizers and inhalers that are commonly used for colds and coughs. The stimulating nature of lavender essential oil can also loosen up the phlegm and relieve the congestion associated with respiratory conditions, speeding up the recovery process and helping the body naturally eliminate phlegm and other unwanted material. The vapor of lavender essential oil also has antibacterial qualities which can battle respiratory tract infections.

Hair care: Lavender essential oil is useful for hair care because it has been shown to be very effective on lice, lice eggs, and nits. Furthermore, lavender essential oil has also been shown to be very helpful in the treatment of hair loss, particularly for patients who suffer from alopecia, an autoimmune disease where the body rejects its own hair follicles. A Sottish study reported that more than 40% of alopecia patients in the study reported an increase in hair growth when they regularly rubbed lavender essential oil into their scalp. Therefore, lavender oil is sometimes recommended as a preventative measure for male pattern baldness!

Cancer: Although more research needs to be done on human subjects, there is significant research on the effects of lavender, in combination with other essential oils, as a way to prevent the occurrence of breast cancer in mice. However, this could be an indication of an increased chance of lavender battling other carcinogenic effects and the presence of cancer.

Blood circulation: Lavender essential oil is also good for improving the circulation of blood in the body. Research suggests that aromatherapy using lavender oil has beneficial effects on coronary circulation. It also lowers blood pressure and is often used for hypertension. This means that not only do the organs increase their levels of oxygenation, promoting muscle strength and health, but brain activity can have a noticeable boost, skin remains bright and flushed with blood, and the body is protected from the risks of heart attack and artherosclerosis that is often associated with poor circulation.

Digestion: Lavender oil is useful for digestion because it increases the mobility of food within the intestine. The oil also stimulates the production of gastric juices and bile, thus aiding in the treatment of indigestion, stomach pain, colic, flatulence, vomiting and diarrhea.

lavenderoilImmunity: Regular use of lavender essential oil provides resistance to a variety of diseases. It is well-known that lavender has antibacterial and antiviral qualities that make it perfect for defending the body against rare diseases like TB, typhoid, and diphtheria, according to early research in the 20th century.

General Skin care: The health benefits of lavender oil for the skin can be attributed to its antiseptic and antifungal properties. It is used to treat various skin disorders such as acne, wrinkles, psoriasis, and other inflammatory conditions. It is commonly used to speed up the healing process of wounds, cuts, burns, and sunburns because it improves the formation of scar tissues. Lavender oil is also added to chamomile to treat eczema.

Other: Other health benefits of lavender essential oil include its ability to treat leucorrhoea. The oil can also used to repel mosquitoes and moths, which is why you will find many mosquito repellents that contain lavender oil as one of the primary ingredients.

As with many other essential oils, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using lavender essential oil. It is also recommended that patients with diabetes stay away from lavender oil. It may also cause allergic reactions to people that have unusually sensitive skin. Some people may also witness nausea, vomiting and headaches due to either common or excessive use of lavender oil.

Perhaps most importantly, lavender oil should never be ingested, only topically applied or inhaled through means of aromatherapy or similar activities. Ingestion can cause serious health complications, characterized by blurred vision, difficult breathing, burning eyes, vomiting, and diarrhea. So, even if you think that lavender oil is a wonderful miracle cure, don’t get excited and start putting it on your food!

List of Essential Oils with their Health Benefits

What do you think?

  • Betty

    I am using my Lavender PURE in our bedroom diffuser tonight! Stressful time with the high winds and all the damages in our area today with 81mph winds! I am finding the lavender truly does help us sleep better at night! Love my mela oils

  • Alex Yearham

    I don’t understand why people try to make eating or ingesting Lavender fearful. It does NOT cause those reactions, in fact I have ingested Lavender for years and have not experienced anything but amazing healing.

    • Jessica Hinton

      I use young living lavender and take it in a capsule…. works like a gem… Lavender and Chamomile tea are great too….

  • patriotsongs

    There is more than one species of lavender, more than one kind of lavender oil. Which is this referring to, because they are NOT the same.

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  • Anonymous

    How to use lavender oil for cancer?

    • josephine waddleton

      I Would Like To Know The Answer To This Question How To Use Lavender Oil For Cancer.

  • Dinello

    Thanks a lot Daniel, I think I’ll take my cat to the vet, although I avoid it ,most of the times vets prescribe antibiotics, I have also tried bee pollen topicaslly on the wound, no effect so far.
    Do you think that spraying the house with dilluted in water lavender essential oil could also harm the cats?

  • Dinello

    Can I use lavender essential oil to treat my cat’s eczema and what;s the dosage, thanks!

    • Daniel Bodt

      I don’t recommend it. Using essential oils on a cat or even just in an area where cats reside can cause serious problems for them, possibly death. Unlike humans and dogs, cats lack a specific liver enzyme that’s needed to break down the hydrocarbons, phenols, and terpenoids that make up essential oils. In cats, these otherwise harmless substances can build up in the liver, sometimes very quickly, depending on the amount of exposure. This can cause toxicity problems and liver damage. It’s usually a slow process and doesn’t show up until it’s too late.

      Some people will tell you using essential oils on cats is safe if you dilute 80-90% and use pure, high quality oils with no chemical fillers. It’s not that simple. Some oils have very high concentrations of phenols and are never safe to use on cats. Though there are a few essential oils that have only a small amount of phenols and pose less risk, all essential oils should be administrated with extreme caution when it comes to cats. From personal experience, it’s really not something to mess around with. My mom almost inadvertantly poisoned her cat after sprinkling peppermint oil around the house to ward off bugs and spiders. Just a few hours later after inhaling the peppermint, Minnie became lethargic, which progressed to labored breathing, lack of appetite… My sister, certified cat lady and expert, came over to assess the situation and quickly realized she was suffering from liver toxicity from the peppermint. We quickly got Minne to a well ventilated area of the house away from any trace if the peppermint. Thankfully Minnie survived but it took a few days for her to get back to her normal cat self. I say be careful, every cat is different and you can’t assume what worked on someone else’s cat will work on yours.

  • Gill Peacham

    I used lavender oil when l went into hospital l disenfected the toilet,shower and bath to eliminate bugs and germs not only was my room fragrant and calming l came home OK …….two drops on a cloth swished around the sink toilet and shower and the bath ………is this the answer to those super bugs ???

  • TIMMY188

    This was a good article on the use as topical only and not to be used in your foods as it could cause some allergic reactions. We should always consult our doctors about how we should use these products.

  • JFK

    can i use it for my lower back pai

  • nicolle

    I have seen it asked a couple times with no answers, but I am curious as to why diabetics should avoid lavender oil. I have never seen this information anywhere else before in researching essential oils. In fact, the opposite. A new study in 2014 actually claims lavender oil to be BENEFICIAL to diabetics.
    Also, the claim that pregnant women should avoid it is a little sketchy as well. No, we don’t know what ANY essential oils can do to a fetus, because we haven’t done testing. But testing done on pregnant animals have shown no harm in lavender oil during pregnancy. There are some essential oils, like rosemary, nutmeg, sage, rose, and a few others, that have the potential to cause harm. Lavender can be used to regulate periods but that in NO way makes it more likely to miscarry (which I am assuming is the risk this article is suggesting since it doesn’t clearly state).
    This article went into great detail explaining benefits but was pretty vague as to when to avoid. Perhaps next time we could get some clarification?

  • Evi Kamen

    I gave my husband about 5 or 6 drops of lavender oil diluted with a bit of water to swallow. we used it by mistake. we meant to use Oregano oil. Is that OK? is it poison? I am really worried . please answer quickly.

  • mj

    From my reading you use edible lavender sprinkled on top of yogurt for digestion not lavender oil.

  • mel

    Given that lavender oil is beneficial for so many ailments and conditions, something is missing in this otherwise informative article:

    How is it used – for example for digestion? All I can see right at the end of the article is that it should never be ingested.

    So, what do you do with it? Do you sniff it, apply it, inject it, wear it around your neck or what? And in what dosages?

    Without this important information the article is of dubious use.

    • nicolle

      The final paragraph states that it should be used topically or aromatically. Some lavender products are edible (which they will say) but essential oils are not. You can use the oils alone and dab right on your skin (in the affected area), or you could find a lotion containing the oil (make sure it’s the essential oils and not a faux oil as they don’t provide the health benefits just are used as a perfume). Otherwise use the oils in a diffuser for aromatherapy.
      If using for insomnia or night time relaxing, you can put a couple drops on a cotton ball and throw inside your pillow as well.

      • zwutzsky

        Thank you, nicolle.

  • Jodie

    Lavare is Italian, not Latin

    • Tatianna

      Yu obviiuslyy dnt undrstnd that Ital¡an comes frm Latin rootz. As do French && Spanish. Do ya hom3work!

      • Concerned teacher

        Do your English homework

      • gulam

        how to apply levender oil for face to get fair look

      • kiran224

        Hello Gulam, do not use any essential oil directly. They need to be mixed with carrier oils etc. before applying on skin.

  • pam

    How do use the lavender oil

  • Katy

    why is it recommended that people with diabetes , not take lavender oil

  • winnie camarillo

    where I can buy lavender essential oil here in qatar..thanks

    • Hello Winnie, you can check in your local market or you can buy it online.

  • winnie camarillo

    how can I buy lavender essential oil here in qatar..thanks

  • Andsalts

    Using Lavender in a nice cup of hot tea can help as a nice wind-down drink after dinner or with a decaffeinated tea before bed. It can also be used with a nice Chamomile tea or Sleepy time tea before bed or when trying to relax.

  • Gifts Ready To Go

    Love lavender essential oil it is so soothing and helps to relieve stress and anxiety. Plus smells great!

  • Joey

    Lavender oil, wowwww great for cuts , heals it super fast also good for long time injury with scarring, takes it away, wonderfull stuff this lavender.

  • Manlio Cadelo

    DThanks Prof. M. cadeloear Sir, are there any products of lavender in softgels or capsules, similar where can I buy???

  • Brenda

    I would like to know how to make lavender oil or something out of my live lavender plants.

    • Paul

      Cut some lavender into small pieces and put it in a clear glass jar and fill it with olive oil or oil of sorts and place the lid on the jar. Put the jarin indirect sunlight for 3 weeks then strain the ingredients out and into a dark colored bottle. All done

  • mkparashar

    i want to use Lavender oil for ring worms..nr inner thighs// and there are some redness and irritation …how to use essential oil…thanx

    • Laura

      Young Living Thieves oil got rid of my sons ring worm on his calf.

    • Brie

      Tea tree oil is the absolute best for ring worms. Topical only. But it will take care of it. Also, tea tree oil is good for killing flees, lice, and as a strong deodorizer

    • Meenakshi Nagdeve

      Hello mkparashar,

      Use of essential oil may cause allergic reaction in people with super sensitive skin. If you are developing rashes, its better to seek opinion from your health expert.

  • mkparashar

    I want to use Lavender oil for ring worms nr inner thighs /// how to use it///

  • nyasha anstee

    Good to know about this lavender.

  • Sue Anne Ward

    Baby powder is the most dangerous thing you can use on anyone let alone, a baby! All powders kill the lungs in the long run.

    • Sue – you are 100% correct. Its the “talc” in the powder. Talc has similar properties to asbestos and the area where they get it from is right next to an asbestos mine. They have now linked talc to some forms of uterine cancer. My mother used to use a ton of talcum powder when I was young. She ended up passing away from mesothelioma even though she was never exposed to “asbestos”.

  • Victoria Chavez

    The Best think to help a nail fungus, is applying Tea Tree Oil & Olive Leaf Extract, to a clean, freshly cut nail. Tea Tree Oil & Olive Leaf combined act as an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and
    anti-biotic. I make an all natural ointment that has these ingredients and many more that may be helpful.

    • Brie

      Yes. I agree. ☺

    • Laura

      I use Young Living oils and I cannot put lavender on my skin. I tried it a few times very diluted and each time I itched for about a month. Once I used a tiny bit only in my hair and my head and face itched. My headache was gone but not worth it! I have only been able to use one blend on my skin, Valour, if very diluted and only used occasionally. I used to use them on the bottom of my feet every night, diluted, and I developed an itchy spot that won’t go away. Now I just inhale from the bottle or put on/under my tongue, maybe with honey. Even diffusing them makes me itch all over.

      • Olga Graham

        Hi: We noticed some silver fish in our library and were devastated because we have a lot of academic and old precious books. Our research revealed that lavender oil sprinkled around would help with silver fish infestation. Yes, it worked. As well, the lavender oil provided a lovely atmosphere and aided in deep relaxing sleep as well as a good mood enhancer. I would not ingest it–only sprinkle it around the house.

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