Clean out your stress
The name Lavender originates from the Latin word, lavare, which means to wash or bathe. Naturally, this makes sense as the smell of lavender gives off an intense aroma that some would associate with clean. The plant was therefore used in several types of cleaning supplies through-out the years but cleaning was never the only benefit of this beautiful plant. It was also used for centuries to help with digestive issues, grief and stress. Although, it doesn't stop there, turns out there are several reasons to keep this essential oil on hand or around the house. These include its ability to aid in healing sunburns, 1st and 2nd degree burns and even in soothing those pesky mosquito bites.
Some of it's known benefits are:
- Anxiety and depression: studies show that lavender was able to improve symptoms associated with disorders such as restlessness, agitation, disturbed sleep and a general increase on overall well-being and quality of life. It is then said to be comparably effective to some low dose antidepressants. Lavender oil is suggested to balance GABA neurotransmission which means calming down the nervous system. When the nervous system is excited it puts us on alert or into the “fight or flight” mode. However, when it is calm it brings our anxiety levels down and relaxes us.
- Allergies: shown in a lab study done on mice, lavender was able to inhibit histamine release within the cells. Histamine are essentially what allergies are made up of. Although, histamine has other good roles that it plays within our body such as helping the body to protect itself against parasites, histamine can also look bad in terms of allergies. Allergies are when the immune system overreacts to harmless substances such as peanuts, pollen, pet dander and more thinking they are “invaders” in the body. Histamine then attacks these “invaders” causing inflammation, itchiness, runny nose and all your other common allergy symptoms until the “invaders” are gone. Thus, giving histamine a bad reputation.
- Mosquito bites: essentially, a mosquito bite is an immediate histamine response from your body. The body recognizes the mosquito's saliva and promptly increases blood flow to allow the white blood cells to cause inflammation and swelling to aid in the body's natural healing process. Thus, when you apply the essential oil of lavender to the affected area because of its immediate-type allergic reaction response, it is able to subside the itch.
- Burn healing abilities: As a result of its anti inflammatory, pain relieving and antimicrobial abilities, lavender has been used to treat sunburns as well as 1st and 2nd degree burns. ◦ I can vouch first hand for this ability as on May 4th 2019 I had a horrible burn accident. I was boiling chicken feet for its amazing health benefits, when all of the sudden it blew up at me scalding my face and arms. My partner instantly rushed me to the shower and under cool water while calling the ambulance. I was taken to the hospital to later find out that I had 1st and 2nd degree burns. For the first few days I used Bioderm (an antibiotic ointment) until the oozing had stopped. Once the oozing stopped, I switched to a natural mixture of coconut oil and lavender twice daily switching the coconut oil out for argon oil from time to time. My face healed astonishingly fast. It had happened on a Saturday night and by the next Saturday my face had almost entirely peeled except for a few scabs at the end of my nose, where it had hit the worst. The next day Sunday the 12th of May, those scabs had fallen off, revealing a completely new, smooth set of skin. For the next month I lathered my face and arms with my oil mixture without miss. I am so thankful I didn't leave this horrifying incident with any long term scars or injuries. But I caution everyone to beware of the unknowing possibilities of their bone broth exploding. Always keep enough water in the broth when boil or even simmering on low. The broth can get to thick from the collagen and can trap an air bubble resulting in an abrupt burst or explosion like it did for me.
Note, lavender is considered to be a very safe essential oil. It is one of the only oils that is safe to put directly on your skin but always be cautious and try a small spot on your skin first. Some people may have an allergy to the scent and should therefore avoid its use. For most of these benefits, lavender oil has been used externally. For usage internally make sure you keep it to a minimum and under the watch of your doctor or naturopathic practitioner.