I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather just recently, and decided to write this post after realising I had used lavender essential oil three times for supporting myself when feeling unwell in one morning. When I’m run down, my glands generally start swelling up, I get achy and tired and sometimes a headache. On this morning I applied some lavender oil to my tender glands on my neck, gargled with a drop of lavender oil, to ease my sore throat, and rubbed a little around the top of my neck that was aching a lot. Later that day when carelessly getting up off the floor and scratching my knuckle with my own fingernail, I applied a drop to the cut as an anti-septic and to help the pain. Since it was in an awkward place, I then applied a plaster, but put a drop of lavender oil on the padded section first.
I suspect that I’m renowned by my friends and family for saying “you should put some lavender on that” if I happen to see them with a cut, burn or spot, or if they mention an array of other ailments. Sometimes they will roll their eyes, but sometimes they will try out my advice, and give me positive feedback, along with a little surprise.
Lavender really is the most useful of all essential oils, for one thing it is generally a very safe essential oil to use on your skin, although in the past it has been thought ok to use neat on your skin* I would use lavender essential oil blended in a base oil for all skin applications (5 drops in 10ml base or 2 drops for children & sensitive skin).
Some of the reasons that lavender is helpful in these situations is because it is antiseptic, pain relieving, anti-inflammatory and helps skin to heal. Here is a list of common minor complaints that lavender can be really handy and effective for. Please note that for anything more than a minor condition, you should see your doctor or seek further professional advice.
Athletes Foot – you can either mix 1 drop of lavender into enough skin cream or lotion to massage into your foot. Do this every day until clear. Alternatively, make up a batch to use in advance so if you have 100ml of cream/lotion add 250 drops of lavender (this is quite strong so only use it for the athlete’s foot).
Burns – Lavender is actually used to treat burns in hospitals so it is perfect for burns. After you have held the burn under cold water for 10 minutes you can apply lavender essential oil mixed in aloe vera gel as this will help to heal the skin and reduce scarring. Do not use lavender blended in a base oil initially as you want to avoid any fatty oils while there is still heat in the area.
Cuts, Grazes, Scratches -any little nicks to the skin – apply lavender oil to the affected area, as it has a cleansing action and acts as an antiseptic. If it needs a plaster, you can put a drop of lavender blend on to the soft part that goes over the wound before applying. You could also spay lavender flower water to the area.
Ear Ache – roll a small piece of cotton wool up, apply 1 drop of lavender oil, and place just inside your ear, do not push it deep into the ear, and remember to remove it.
Fungal nail infections – apply 1 drop of lavender oil blend to the effected nail, ensure that it also covers the skin just below the nail, as this is where the new nail is growing from, and you want to be treating this part too.
Head Ache – apply a drop of lavender oil blend to the temples and gently massage with your fingertips. If you feel the ache somewhere specific like around the back of the neck or in the centre of your forehead then I would apply the oil and gently massage this area instead.
Insect Bites and Stings – apply 1 drop of lavender blend to the affected area.
Spots – apply a drop of lavender blend after cleansing morning and evening, do not pick or squeeze, you can use cotton wool pads or buds to apply.
Thrush/ Candida Genital – for females, put one drop of lavender essential oil blend on a panty pad and attach to underwear as you would during your cycle. Change it regularly, applying a drop to each new pad. I have had some great feedback when suggesting this and it is very simple and non-invasive.
Thrush/ Candida Oral – use an egg cup full of water, add 1 drop of lavender blend to it, and gargle with it in your mouth for as long as possible (at least 2 minutes) but do not swallow. Do this 2 to 4 times a day.
Veruccas – apply 1 drop of lavender oil blend to the effected area once or twice a day, using a cotton wool pad or bud.
Warts – apply 1 drop of lavender oil blend to the effected area once or twice a day, using a cotton wool pad or bud.
You can also gargle with lavender blend for the following conditions: Halitosis, Sore throats, Tonsillitis, Gum disease, Ulcers, when losing your voice, and for general oral hygiene (once or twice a day after brushing your teeth). For details on how to gargle with essential oils see my blog on ‘Gargling with Myrrh’.
Lavender essential oil really is an essential addition to your first aid kit!
Note: Tea tree is very similar in action to lavender, so you can use tea tree in place of lavender for any of the above remedies, however my preference is for lavender as the smell is less medicinal and less aggressive. I would recommend lavender over tea tree in the case of minor burns.
Caution: There are many types of lavender oil on the market, so please make sure you use a good quality product, from a trusted supplier that is actually pure, undiluted lavender essential oil with the botanical or latin name ‘Lavandula angustifolia’. Some other types of lavender oil may be either too harsh for using neat on the skin, or may just be a lavender scented product made from synthetic chemicals, which would not have the healing benefits and may irritate the area instead. Click here for lavender essential oil.