Lavender is one of the most versatile herbs. Its various health benefits range from pain relief and mental clarity to use as an anti-bacterial cleanser and a natural deodorant. Lavender can be applied as an essential oil, dried herb, distilled in water, and as (edible) therapeutic-grade oil.
Lavender is also an emmenagogue, meaning that it promotes menstruation and blood flow to the pelvic area. Pregnant and nursing women should consult with their physician before using this oil for any application.
A powerful anti-bacterial herb, lavender oil can be mixed with natural surfactants to create more efficient household cleaners. Use a few drops of lavender oil to clean infected wounds, prevent infection, and promote faster healing.
2. Insect Repellent
Many flying insects dislike the smell of lavender, making it a safe alternative to other topical insect repellents. Plant lavender around windows and doors to prevent bugs from entering your house. Hang bags of dried lavender in closets or stow them in drawers to repel moths. Rub on skin infected with burrowing mites (scabies) then follow up daily by treating skin with a mixture of lavender oil and rubbing alcohol. Sprinkle lavender oil on a mattress to ward off insects in the bedroom.
3. Calm Nerves
Lavender oil or lavender-infused water can help to calm nerves and cure anxiety. Rub or spray on temples, forehead, and back of jaw to relieve stress or use as a preventative before entering a stressful environment.
4. Clear the Mind
Fight off fatigue by adding a few drops of lavender oil to a warm foot soak. Combine dried lavender with rosemary, clary sage, and fankincense in a small pouch to create an aromatherapy aid for mental clarity during a long flight or car ride. Add lavender, peppermint, and basil oil to sea salt to create your own home-made smelling salts.
5. Alleviate Pain
Lavender oil can be used to soothe pain from minor burns, cuts, and bruises. Rub a few drops of oil on and around wounded skin to promote circulation and healing. Massage lavender oil into the temples, behind the jaw, and on forehead to soothe a headache. Gently rub lavender oil onto the abdomen then follow up with a hot compress to ward off menstrual cramps. Apply lavender oil to insect bites or stings to alleviate pain and itching.
6. Promote Respiratory Health
Lavender oil added to boiling water may be steam-inhaled to open nasal passages and help clear up sinus infections. Rub a few drops near nasal passages (avoid contact with eyes), around forehead and temples, and on the back of the neck for lasting relief from sinus pressure and inflammation. Brew tea with dried lavender or use lavender-infused steam inhalation to help with coughing, sneezing, and throat irritation.
7. Improve Digestion
Drink lavender tea after a meal to relieve indigestion and reduce acid-reflux. Alternately, try a drop of therapeutic-grade lavender oil (safe for ingestion) on the back of the tongue to soothe the stomach and improve digestion.
8. Sleep Aid
Lavender oil in the bedroom can help you sleep better. Sprinkle on pillows or add lavender oil to a diffuser to beat insomnia. Add a couple of drops of lavender to a baby’s evening bath to help with sleep. Alternately, you can sprinkle a few drops onto a favorite stuffed animal or blanket for similar effect. Blend dried lavender with your favorite tea to brew yourself a relaxing bedtime beverage.
9. Reduce Fever
Add a drop or two of lavender oil to lukewarm water and gently wash the body to reduce fever in adults and children.
10. Natural Deodorizer
Add lavender oil to your laundry to kill odor-causing bacteria during the wash cycle. Sprinkle lavender oil on drier sheets to add a pleasant floral aroma to clothes, bedding, curtains, towels, etc.