Today’s featured essential oil is Lavender! This is easily the most widely used and versatile of all the essential oils because it is a highly effective oil, safe for everyone, easy to use and nearly everyone loves the aroma! Lavender is sometimes referred to as the “universal oil” but I like to think of her as the “Mother of all Essential Oils.”
- Updated on November 14, 2022, for accuracy and relevance.
- This blog post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase using them. The commission is paid by the retailer at no extra cost to you.
Essential Oil of Lavender
To learn even more about this spectacular plant, listen to
Aromatic Wisdom Podcast Episode 22
where I teach about five different species of
Lavender plants and their respective essential oils!
My Personal Relationship with Lavender
For more than 25 years I have been teaching classes on the use of essential oils. I often begin by passing around perfume testers doused with Lavender essential oil. As the students smell this oil, I suggest that if Aromatherapy is something they plan to incorporate into their lives, they should start with Lavender. I invite you to do the same.
I love the therapeutic and energetic versatility of Lavender essential oil and wouldn’t dream of leaving her out of my collection of aromatics. In fact, I wouldn’t be caught traveling anywhere away from home (even camping) without a bottle of this essential oil.
I’ve had many many personal experiences with this oil, but I’ll share two of my favorites here:
- Slow Down Wound Up Kids: When my sons were young and would get overly excited and wound up, I’d make them stop in their tracks, open their hands and I would put one drop of lavender essential oil on their palms. I would then tell them to rub their hands together then cup their little hands around their nose and take a deep whiff. I could see the calm come over them in seconds. I’ve even done this with them in the supermarket! When they had sleepovers, I would diffuse Lavender near the kids to keep down the little-boy smell and to prevent them from running through the walls. It was very effective for both.
- Child Anxiety: When my son Gianluca was eight, he played Little League Baseball. During one game, a boy from the other team had a mini panic attack and couldn’t get up to bat because he was frozen with fear. My husband had a bottle of Lavender essential oil in his pocket and approached the Mom telling her that he wasn’t a doctor but had an essential oil that we use with our own son to help him relax, and that it may help her son too. She happily agreed. My husband put the bottle under his nose and spoke with him for a few minutes in a soothing voice. After five minutes, the boy said he felt better and got up to bat. Lavender for the win that day!
Common Names: Garden Lavender, Common Lavender, English Lavender
Classification of Lavender: For beginners in Aromatherapy, the taxonomy of Lavender may be confusing. This blog post explains scientific plant names which will help. In shops, you will most likely find Lavandula angustifolia, but depending on where you purchase your Lavender essential. oil, you may also run across Lavandula latifolia, Lavandula spicata, Lavandula stoechas just to name just a few.
The genus of lavender is Lavandula and has more than 30 species, dozens of subspecies, and hundreds of hybrids and selected cultivars. You may also come across “English Lavender”, “French Lavender” or “Spanish Lavender” which only adds to the confusion. These refer to the country where the plants are grown and are not botanical reference points.
The Bottom Line? Just buy Lavandula angustifolia when you get started.
If you come across an essential oil called “Lavendin” it is actually a hybrid of Lavandula intermedia X Lavandula latifolia and was created to produce a high volume of essential oil at a lower cost. It has great value in the perfume industry and when you see those gorgeous photographs of huge rolling hills of purple in France, what you’re most likely seeing are Lavandin plants.
Geographical Source: Lavender is indigenous to the Mediterranean but is now cultivated around the world. The main producers are France, England Spain, and Bulgaria, but there is also beautiful Lavender coming out of India and the US.
Method of Extraction: Lavender essential oil is made by steam distillation of the flowering tops of the lavender plant.
Essential Oil Characteristics: This oil has a sweet, floral, and even a somewhat herbaceous scent. The viscosity is thin and watery and the oil is colorless.
Fun Fact: The word Lavandula is derived from the Latin word lavara which means “to wash” because the ancient Romans used it frequently in their baths and would hang their wet clothes over huge lavender bushes to dry.
Lavender Essential Oil Chemistry:
Lavender is a complex essential oil with over 100 constituents primarily those in the Ester and Monoterpenol chemical families with the primary constituents being linalool and linalyl acetate.
Want to learn more about essential oil chemistry?
Listen Here: Essential Oil Chemical Families Part 1
Therapeutic Properties and Benefits
- Anything nerve-related (anxiety, panic, general nervous exhaustion, PMS, stress)
- Sedative – superb to help promote sleep and relax mind and body.
- Anxiety relief
- Helps reduce pain – super for arthritis, rheumatism, muscle, and joint aches.
- Helps reduce inflammation
- Helps heal damaged skin, scratches, bites, and general wounds
- Nourishes. healthy skin
Some Suggested Ways to Use Lavender Essential Oil
Name a problem and Lavender can most likely help!
Topical Application: Massage (6 drops in 1 fl oz/30mL carrier), Bath (10 drops), add 5 drops to 1 fl oz of Aloe Vera Gel for sunburn.
Inhalation: Sniff directly from the bottle in a pinch for anxiety, to your diffuser for immunity and to help with sleep, add to a spray bottle with water to mist around a room as a natural environmental fragrance.
Lavender is a good essential oil to use in an evening bath, for children to slow them down before bedtime or add a few drops on the bedsheets to help promote sleep.
Lavender Essential Oil DIY Remedy
A Simple and Effective Sunburn Solution
For a small or large sunburned area, simply mix Lavender Essential Oil with Aloe Vera Gel and apply directly to the sunburned area. It will feel cooling and should relieve the pain quickly. Use it several times a day.
Learn More About Sunburn and How to Use Aloe Vera Gel
Lavender Essential Oil Safety
This is a very safe essential oil and very few safety concerns.
Subtle Properties of Lavender Essential Oil (vibrational and energetic):
Lavender is one of the most important and versatile essential oils for subtle energetic work because it balances all energy centers and subtle bodies. This oil is also useful to incorporate into subtle aromatherapy because it calms and balances the emotions of the heart and helps integrate spirituality into everyday life. For those who do Reiki, it helps increase sensitivity to your hands.
Lavender Essential Oil Blends Well With: Everything!
My Lavender Aromatic Wisdom SoulCollage Card:
I am the Great Balancer.
I am one who is always there for you.
I am one who soothes the ruffles of your charged-up nerves.
I am one who speaks to the children.
I am one who is ancient and pure.
I am one who carries you to France and beyond.
Where to buy Lavender Essential Oil?
Suggested Essential Oil Suppliers – with GC/MS reports
Suggested Essential Oil Suppliers – without GC/MS reports