Herbal House by Katie
Let's talk lavender!
History shows that essential oils have been used for at least 5,000 years; but this comes as no surprise. These oils, derived from plants, have many different uses. They can aid with infections, skin issues, nervous system conditions and much more.
When you apply essential oils to your skin, the oil is then absorbed into your bloodstream via your hair follicles and pores. Once the oil has been absorbed it will then disperse itself to the organs and/or specific systems in which it works. The same goes for inhalation such as through a diffuser. The only difference is the entry point is via your breathing system, not your skin.
There are hundreds of essential oils out there, so lets begin with one of the most widely used oil, lavender.
Lavender (lavandula) derives from the lavender flower. This flower is part of the mint family and dates back to approximately 2,500 years ago. The many components that make up lavender essential oil have allowed this to be used as an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-infections option to treat and prevent. This is beneficial as the uses are so versatile.
Some of the skin issues lavender oil is used for are: burns, calming down flare- ups of psoriasis and eczema, insect bites, and a variety of rashes. The oil is also used for nervous system issues such as anxiety, sleep issues, tension and muscle spasms.
Lavender is also a safe oil to use on infants. In fact, I started using lavender oil on my daughter when she was one. She started having issues falling asleep and became restless all night. We tried different bedtime routines, a new lullaby and different books; nothing was helping. So I dug into my research and found that lavender oil was used to aid in sleep. I started with a simple topical rub that included lavender oil. I would apply it on the bottom of her feet 30 minutes before bed. After application, I put on her socks and after those 30 minutes she became very relaxed. On nights we didn't use the rub, I would add lavender oil to a diffuser and put it next to her bed. Making these additions to her bedtime routine helped as she would ease into her sleep and wouldn't wake throughout the night.
Sometimes we are skeptical that these things will work. I was guilty of that as well, but time after time these oils prove my skepticism wrong. They work, you just have to give them a chance.
When applying essential oils to your skin it is important to dilute them before use. Applying an essential oil directly on your skin may cause irritation so diluting is important. A common way to do this is by using "carrier oils". Some common ones are coconut oil, almond oil, and grapeseed oil. Depending on the amount of essential oil you are using depends on the amount of carrier oil you will need. You can easily find dilution ratios in aromatherapy books and online (just be sure it is a reputable website).
The natural world wants to provide for us, as we are part of that world; the gift is to embrace it.
Until next time,
Certified Holistic Esthetician.
About the author: Katie Ayer-Brann