Lavender – One of the Safest and Most Versatile Essential Oils
In HC 060356.294, the anti-inflammatory effects of lavender (specifically Lavender multifida) are examined in mice resulting in positive findings that lavender does indeed possess anti-inflammatory properties. In the historical use of essential oils, lavender has provided multiple applications for both physical and psychological complaints. The beneficial aspects of lavender include uses as a calmative, relaxant, anti-bacterial agent, immuno-stimulant, and hormone balancer. It also has skin regenerative benefits and is quite effective on sunburns – I can personally attest to that one! It can reduce irritability and anxiety, promote sleep and relaxation, and help alleviate headaches. Since lavender reduces emotional "inflammation", it is no surprise that the oil can also aid in reducing physical inflammation.
Due to the fact that essential oils are often marketed for their emotional and olfactory appeal in the United States, aromatherapy has seldom been taken seriously as a medicinal alternative for physical ailments. However, with a growing number of clinical studies, especially those involving human subjects, hopefully the tide will turn in this regard.
In many countries in Europe, aromatherapy has been a part of the conventional medical profession for years - thanks in part to French perfumer Renee Gattefosse. And it all started with lavender. After suffering severe burns on his hand while working in his laboratory, he desperately sought something to cool the wounds. By chance, he applied pure essential oil of lavender directly to the burns. He discovered not only that his wounds cooled off, but moreover that his hand healed quickly, without scarring. Gattefosse published a paper about his discovery in 1932, and later wrote two books regarding the use of essential oils in medicine (Aromatherapie and Antiseptiques Essentiales).
Because lavender is so gentle, it can be used safely for children. A diffuser or lavender pillow can provide a soft, gentle scent that will aid in calming the excitability children often experience around this time of year. Jean Valnet, another "father of aromatherapy", recommended an evening bath with the oil for "weak and delicate children" as well as for shock and trauma.
Lori Glenn, Coordinator