Lavender Oil – Naturally soothing, healing and refreshing
The versatile and beneficial effects of lavender and the well-known lavender oil have been known for thousands of years. The name derives from the Latin “lavare” (wash).
The ancient Egyptians used the ethereal lavender oil of lavender as a perfume, for washing and as a bath additive. The Romans in ancient Rome found the scent of lavender oil mystical and supernatural and used it in various ceremonies.
From plant to lavender oil
The plant: Lavandula Angustifolia
The lavender belongs to the plant family of the so-called lip-flowers. It will be up to 60 cm tall and will flower from June to August.
The valuable essential oil of the plant is found in all parts of the plant. However, the oil of the blue-violet-colored lavender flowersis the highest quality.
Originally, the lavender was native to the Mediterranean countries. Due to the great popularity of this plant and the healing essential oils, lavender is now planted in large plantations worldwide. The plant is also becoming more and more popular in gardens because of its beautiful flower splendour and pleasant smell. In addition, lavender keeps aphids, ants, flies, mosquitoes and even mice away.
Extraction of lavender oil from fresh flowers
The essential oil is obtained from the fresh flowers of the lavender plant by means of steam distillation. Water vapour distillation is a gentle extraction process. Almost no ingredients of the high-quality essential oil are lost.
The lavender flowers are heated with water vapor. This removes the lavender oil from the flowers and evaporates. Then it is transferred with the water vapor into a cooling pipe. There, the lavender oil condenses, i.e. it becomes liquid again and then accumulates in a collection container. Oils are lighter than water, so they float on the surface and are easy to extract.
Ingredients of lavender oil and their effect
The ingredients of lavender oil
Lavender oil contains over 2000 different inhalers. About 280 of these have been scientifically proven and researched so far. The exact quantity composition of the essential oil depends, among other things, on the extraction method, the distillation period, the distillation temperature and the quality of the lavender flowers.
The health-important components only develop their effect in combination,the use of individual components does not achieve the desired effects.
The most important active ingredients of the oil are:
Linalylazetat and linalool belong to the group of monoterpenes, which have a high bioavailability in the human body and act very quickly. Bioavailability describes the proportion of a substance that is still available in the bloodstream after ingestion into the human body.
The two monoterpenes like to react with fats, i.e. they are lipophilic. This means that these active ingredients interact well with the lipid components of the cell membranes and thus overcome the brain blood barrier.
This allows these substances from lavender oil to quickly develop their health-promoting effects on the nerves and in the brain.
The active ingredient linalyl zetat gives the lavender plant its characteristic fragrance. This ingredient positively influences the psyche in various ways. Among other things, it promotes the distribution of serotoin. Linalyl zetat is responsible for ensuring that lavender oil not only soothes the nerves, but also the entire body.
Linalool trades is a colorless, flowery smelling liquid. This is responsible for the anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antimicrobial effects of lavender oil.
The citer and cineol are contained in smaller amounts in lavender oil than linelycerate and linalool. Nevertheless, they contribute significantly to the positive, health-promoting properties of essential oil. They have a fever-lowering and antispasmodic effect. They also support the active substance linalool in its anti-inflammatory effect.
Cineol has a mucouseffect in the lungs and sinuses. In addition, this ingredient counteracts the release of neurotransmitters, which are responsible for the narrowing of the bronchi.
Inhalation of lavender oil also has an anti-inflammatory effect on the mucous membranes. In addition, it has an analgesic effect when used externally.
The effect of lavender oil
Inwardly, lavender oil is used for restlessness, nervousness (up to nervous exhaustion) and sleep disorders. It has a positive effect on the central nervous system. This sends signals through the spinal cord throughout the body. The essential oil of lavender has a calming and relaxing effect on the central nervous system. Since these calming signals are sent to all parts of the body, the oil is also effective for nervous gastrointestinal discomfort. In addition, lavender oil improves digestion due to its bile juice stimulating effect, so that even heavy foods are better tolerated.
As a bath additive, lavender oil can relieve circulatory problems caused by functional disorders of the cardiovascular system. As a result, it is also used by high blood pressure patients.
In addition, lavender oil helps with external use against inflammation, bacteria (e.g. Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus) and fungi (Candida albicans). As a result, it is also used for wound treatment and skin diseases.
Use of lavender oil
Lavender oil in the kitchen
Lavender is used in the kitchen as a spice of spicy or sweet dishes. The characteristic smell and special taste of the lavender has its high-quality essential oil. The famous French herbal blend “Herbs of Provence” contains, among other things, lavender. Another well-known specialty from Provence is lavender honey. The so-called “Miel de Lavande” has a unique aroma with a hint of fruit and a nuance of sweet nature.
Lavender is also increasingly used in German cuisine. The lavender oil it contains gives it a floral, perfume-like aroma,and it is slightly bitterly tart. As a spice, lavender and lavender oil should only be used very sparingly.
Lavender goes very well with fish and meat dishes. If you sprinkle the spice over a roast at the end of the cooking time, you will smell how the lavender oil aroma combines with the sauce. Herbal sauces, salads and stews also get a unique, delicious taste with a touch of lavender oil.
Sweet food can also be refined with lavender. Baking with lavender to enjoy the aroma of high-quality lavender oil is also easy. The aroma can be added to the dough in the form of lavender sugar, lavender syrup or lavender flowers. Then a relaxing scent of lavender oil spreads out, reminding you of a holiday in Provence.
Lavender oil against pests
Lavender oil is the best home remedy for fighting spiders, mosquitoes, moths, fleas and lice. It is as effective as chemical agents and much better tolerated by humans. To drive spiders out of the apartment, pour ten drops of lavender oil into a spray bottle with a few drops of detergent. With this mixture, all corners where spiders like to stay are sprayed. To ward off mosquitoes, put a few drops of lavender oil on a plate and place it on the window sill. Thus, the mosquitoes do not even come into the apartment. In nature, it helps to put a few drops of lavender oil on the wrists and ankles and rub them. The drops can also be added as an additive in a cream or a body lotion. This gives the cream a beautiful lavender scent, at the same time it has a preventive effect against mosquito bites. Moths can also be easily expelled by hanging cloths soaked in the wardrobe with lavender oil. This method has the positive side effect that the clothing takes on a fresh, pleasant scent of lavender oil. A few drops of lavender oil on a filter paper in the kitchen cupboard protects the kitchen supplies from moths. Fleas, mites and lice also abhor the scent of lavender oil. In order to make parasites of their very way, it is advisable to occasionally use lavender oil as a bath additive. Animals can also be freed from fleas with a lavender bath.
Lavender oil in medicine
Lavender oil is mainly used as a sedative in medicine. Since it supports the release of serotonin in the brain, lavender oil has an mood-enhancing effect. Serotonin deficiency can cause headaches, gastrointestinal tract disorders, cardiovascular disease, eating disorders and sleep disorders. Numerous applications for lavender oil can be derived from this. The essential oil of the lavender is also used in many ways on the outside.
The main fields of action of lavender oil are:
- Soothing and healing of the skin (here also cinnamon oilhelps )
- Relieving inflammation, infections and fungal diseases
- Control of hoodparasites (e.g. mites)
- Relieving stressful mental conditions
- Nervinum (nerve cure), especially for nervous conditions
- Relieving anxiety and unrest m
- Relieving headaches and migraines
- Support for gout, rheumatism, neuralgia and limb pain
- Relief of insect bites
- Mucus solution for coughing and colds
- germ-killing, devulsional, analgesic
- Balancing blood pressure
- Control bin Candida (yeast fungus), skin fungus, foot fungus and nail fungus
In homeopathy, lavender oil has so far had little significance. Homeopathic lavender preparations are more complex on the mind than many other means. However, there is no holistic picture of lavender oil as a cure in homeopathy. Therefore, these preparations are rarely used.
Although lavender is a European medicinal plant, it is also of great importance in Indian medicine and Ayurveda. The Indians use essential oils especially for their massages. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), lavender oil is not of great importance. In this country, however, the modes of action are derived from the TCM. Lavender oil is often used in German TCM practices. Lavender, however, is not a TCM plant in the true sense of the word.
Traditional European Naturopathy (TEN) includes, among other things, Kneip’s therapy methods and conductive procedures. Due to its relaxing and circulation-stabilizing effect, lavender oil has always been used in the TEN.
Dosage forms of lavender oil
The versatile lavender oil is available in various dosage forms in drugstores and pharmacies. Dried lavender flowers are sold under the Latin name Lavandula flos. These are suitable for teas as well as for infusions and inhalations. Candy with a honey lavender filling and lavender lollies are also used to combat sore throats and coughing.
Essential oil is most commonly used. Lavender oil is used as a skin oil or as a bath additive. It is also available in small vials for aroma lamps. Lavender oil is also processed in ointments, creams and cooling gels.
Lavender water is lavender oil, which has been shaken with water. Alcohol is also added to this mixture to dissolve the lavender oil in the water. The result is a so-called hydrolate,which occupies a middle position between essential oils and herbal tea. Lavender water is a by-product that is produced during steam distillation. It is excellent for skin care.
Lavender also is used to produce tinctures and fluid extracts. Tinctures are alcoholic extracts of fresh or dried plant parts. Alcohol preserves the active ingredients.
Fluid extracts are thickened tinctures and are sold in the pharmacy under the name Extraktum lavandulae fluidium. They are five times more concentrated than a tincture and contain little alcohol. Thus, a fluid extract is an alternative for people who do not tolerate alcohol.
Lavender oil is available in homeopathic medicines as globuli, drops or tablets. Globuli or drops in potency D12 are often administered. Lavender is not a common remedy in homeopathy.
Soft capsules with high-quality lavender oil are available in drugstores and pharmacies. There are a lot of things to consider when purchasing, because the products offered show great differences in quality. It is important that the soft capsules contain pure lavender oil from distillations and that the real lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) was used. In the meantime, there are comparatively cheap products, especially capsules and drops. These often contain lavandin, instead of the real lavender. Preparations with lavidin are less effective and of poor quality.
Lavender oil for babies and toddlers
Essential oils should only be used with special caution in infants and young children. Organic-quality essential oils with a maximum content of 10% can be applied safely to babies. In the event of restlessness and sleep disturbances, lavender oil can work wonders in infants and young children. Two drops of diluted lavender oil in the bath water also have a relaxing effect on the little ones. In addition, there is special massage oil for babies, which can be used very well in evening rituals before bedtime. The massage with lavender oil also stimulates blood circulation and strengthens the bond between the parents and the child.
Buy lavender oil
Lavender oil is available in special shops, such as organic shops, health stores, drugstores and pharmacies. Like many other product groups, lavender oil can also be ordered on the Internet. Especially on the Internet, preparations with inferior quality are often offered. Those who order lavender oil online should make sure that this is a pure natural product. Other ingredients, such as preservatives, must not be included.
In addition, lavender oil is divided into different quality levels, depending on the linalool content. The highest quality oil is called “barreme”. The next lower levels are the lavender oil “Mont Blanc” and the “Lavandin oil”.
Another quality feature is the AOC seal. A lavender oil with this seal comes from plants of controlled origin (“French Appellation dOrigine Contrélée“). Only lavender plants from a particular growing area with strict quality standards may bear this designation. Particularly good growing areas for lavender are the south of France, Bulgaria and Spain.
Lavender oil is a reliable natural remedy with a wide range of effects. Due to its good tolerability and the experience of very good health effects, both internal and external application is widespread nowadays.