Essential oils have many uses, from relieving cold and flu symptoms, to treating pain. However, despite there being so many natural oils and blends to choose from, lavender is possibly the most versatile essential oil of all. It's most commonly known for its relaxing effects on the body - its fragrance is calming and balancing, and it is often used to treat skin conditions. Lavender should be your go-to essential oil to cleanse cuts, bruises and relieve skin irritations.
Disclaimer: Before you use any essential oil, bear these important safety tips in mind. Essential oils should never be directly rubbed onto the skin, unless they have been diluted in a carrier oil (a cold pressed vegetable oil such as coconut oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, olive oil, sesame oil, grapeseed oil or sunflower oil).
Here are 12 ways you can use lavender essential oil as your perfect pick-me-up:
1. Calming benefits: If you're feeling a little anxious, rub two to three drops of lavender essential oil (with half a teaspoon of carrier oil) into your cupped hands. Bring your palms to your nose and inhale, drawing the scent all the way up to your amygdala gland (the part of your brain that processes your emotions). Rub some oil on your feet, temples and wrists to further calm the body. If you find yourself needing to use it fairly often, combine 12 drops lavender oil with 30ml carrier oil and store in a small, dark-colored bottle.
2. Restful sleep: As described in 'calming benefits' above, use the cupping and inhaling method just before bed. You may also add a drop of lavender oil (no carrier oil needed) to your pillow to ensure that you sleep soundly.
3. Soothe a bee string or insect bite: Combine a drop of lavender with half a teaspoon of carrier oil and apply the blend to the bee sting or insect bite. This should stop the itching and reduce the swelling.
4. Minor burns: Add two to three drops of lavender (with half a teaspoon of carrier oil) to a minor burn. The lavender should help reduce the redness, swelling and pain.
5. Treat cuts: Combine a drop of lavender with half a teaspoon of carrier oil and apply to a cut to stop the bleeding, clean the wound and kill any bacteria.
6. Treat eczema or dermatitis: Mix several drops of lavender (you can prepare a small blend of 12 drops combined with 30ml carrier oil) and use topically on eczema and dermatitis.
7. Soothe nausea or motion sickness: Combine one drop of lavender oil with half a teaspoon of carrier oil and rub the blend behind the ears or around the navel to soothe the effects of nausea or motion sickness.
8. Stop a nosebleed: Add a drop of lavender to a tissue, wrapping it round a small chip of ice. Push the tissue-covered ice chip under the middle of the top lip to the base of the nose. Hold it there for as long as comfortable or until the bleeding stops. Be sure not to freeze the lip or gum.
9. Moisturize dry or chapped skin: Simply rub some lavender oil (you can prepare a blend of 12 drops lavender with 30ml carrier oil) on dry or chapped skin. The blend may also be used on chapped or sunburned lips.
10. Relieve hay fever symptoms: Rub a drop of lavender essential oil with half a teaspoon of carrier oil between your palms and inhale deeply to alleviate the symptoms of hay fever.
11. Eliminate dandruff: Rub several drops of lavender oil (12 drops to 30ml carrier oil) into the scalp to help eliminate dandruff.
12. Treat a cold sore: Add one drop of lavender oil to 1/2 teaspoon carrier oil on a cold sore.