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The Basics of Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender has been loved for many thousands of years and is documented to have been used by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. It was so dear to the Romans that the price of a pound of lavender was equal to a month’s wages for a laborer! I’m glad my precious bottle doesn’t set me back that much. 🙂 Queen Victoria was so enamored by lavender that she actually appointed a Purveyor of Lavender as an official government position.

The popularity of lavender skyrocketed during and after the Victorian era. Lavender was carried to America by the Pilgrims and commercial farming in the America was begun by the Shakers who used it in a number of folk remedies which they manufactured and sold. In 1910, Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, one of the founding fathers of aromatherapy, wrote of the application of lavender healing and regenerating tissue in his arm after severely burning it in a lab accident. This incident precipitated a lifetime of study of essential oils. Lavender was used in WWI in wound dressings and has continued to be used around the world right up to modern times.

Lavender has been the focus of countless clinical studies. Here are just a few:

Lavender and job stress: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24238073
Lavender and insomnia and depression http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16520572
Lavender and headaches http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22517298
Lavender and high blood pressure http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17211115
Lavender and anxiety http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19962288

So, what are some ways to use this awesome oil?

  1. Add a drop or two of lavender oil to a glass of lemonade for a super yummy and relaxing treat!
  2. You can use lavender on your pets!! Dilute a few drops of lavender in some carrier oil to soothe skin irritation on your dog.
  3. Add a diffuser charm to your dog’s collar with a drop or two of lavender to calm them during anxious situations such as fireworks or car rides. If you don’t have a diffuser charm, simply apply a couple of drops to your dog’s collar. This works for humans too, by the way. Wear a diffuser pendant or charm on a bracelet to help calm you as well.
  4. You can also rub lavender on your feet, or your child’s feet to help them have a wonderful night’s sleep.
  5. Diffuse it! We love it at bedtime on its own or combined with Cedarwood. It’s also wonderful combined with Lemon or Lemon and Peppermint any time of day!
  6. A drop or two on a cotton ball can help to repel moths or insects. Place them in your closets or drawers to keep moths and insects away.
  7. It is excellent for skin irritations of all kinds!
  8. Lavender is called “The Swiss Army Knife of Essential Oils.” When in doubt, use lavender!

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