There are different kinds of oil that are being manufactured by various industries because it is believed as an essential element with a number of uses and benefits. One of which is the lavender oil. Lavender oil is known as a beneficial oil that comes from distilled flower spikes of certain species of lavender. It is distinguished to be used in the production of perfumes, but nowadays it is found to have more benefits to address different problems of the human body.
What is Lavender Oil?
Lavender oil is made out of flower spikes of certain species of lavender that undergo a process of distillation. There are two distinguished forms of lavender oil. The first one is the lavender flower oil which is a colorless oil that is insoluble in water. The second one is the lavender spike oil which is made up of a distilled herb called Lavandula Latifolia, also known as the broad-leaved lavender, spike lavender or Portuguese lavender.
The lavender essential oil is mainly produced in Bulgaria. In 2017, the Executive Director of Bulgarian National Association, Nikolina Uzovia, said that Bulgaria was able to retain their position as the world’s top producer of lavender oil.
The Production of Lavender Oil
According to Tumalo Lavender, a lavender farm owned by Gordon and Judy Knight, lavender oil is produced through an extraction method, which is also known as steam distillation. In their farm, the peak of lavender harvest is usually in September because by then the plants are already in full bloom and has begun to wither. They usually do harvest in the morning one the dew has already evaporated. When the harvest is ready for distillation, they are put into pots and sealed.
After that, they are steamed under low pressure to make sure that they will get the highest grade of oil and hydrosol. The steam makes the plants’ oil glands break and the oil evaporates into the steam. After that, the steam is directed to the condenser through a copper tube. There is cold running water in the tube to cool the steam which helps the oil to condense back into a high-grade liquid of oil and hydrosol. Next, the lavender oil and water are separated. The essential oil rises to the surface since it is denser than water. It rises to condensate and it will be collected in a beaker. From this, the highest quality of oil is produced.
Benefits of Lavender Oil
At first, lavender oil is just known to be used in the production of perfumes for a long time. It is also recognized as a solvent in oil painting, and it is also famous as an oil used for massage therapies because it can induce relaxation when it has direct contact to the skin. Nowadays, the production of lavender oil is expanding and growing since its benefits have also been greatly explored. There are lots of discovered benefits of lavender oil, but in this article, we will just extrapolate in its top 10 benefits.
1. Reduce Anxiety
Lavender oil was proved to be as lorazepam in treating anxiety. Inhalation of lavender oil for 15 straight days has been confirmed to decrease anxiety levels. There is one study that established the fact that the fragrance of lavender oil can effectively reduce the state of anxiety of patients when it is used through dental reception.
2. Treat Skin Conditions
There are also wonderful properties contained by the lavender oil when it comes to skin conditions. Lavender oil can help in promoting healing when it is applied to a minor wound. It helps the wound to contract and speed up the process of repairing damaged tissues.
3. Treats Hair and Scalp Conditions
Aside from treating skin conditions, lavender oil can also treat hair and scalp conditions. For the hair, a Scottish study found that there was increased hair growth for alopecia patients who regularly applied a mixture of essential oils with lavender oil. It can also help to have gorgeous long hair since it has hair growth promoting agent.
For the scalp, lavender oil can also aid in treating dandruff and itchy scalp. In fact, lavender oil can effectively address head lice and can also prevent lice infestations. You can use lavender oil together with tea tree oil and coconut oil as a shampoo to treat head lice.
4. Reduce Menstrual Cramps and Other Tensions
Women usually experience different tensions during their menstrual periods such as cramps, irritability, bloating and pain. Studies have proven that the use of lavender oil through aromatherapy can lessen tensions associated with women’s menstruation.
5. Better Sleep Quality
Lavender oil has properties that help for calming and inducing sleep. One research has shown that lavender oil can improve one’s quality of sleep significantly. You can apply this by spraying lavender oil to your pillow and sheets.
6. Support Brain Function
Other than having a better quality of sleep and reducing anxiety, studies have also proven that lavender oil can help prevent dementia. In addition, it is also stated that it can treat Postpartum Depression and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This can be done by inhaling the lavender vapor.
7. Muscle Pain Reduction
Aside from reducing menstrual pains for women and treating skin conditions, lavender oil also has properties to reduce muscle pains. One study from Hong Kong showed that a massage with lavender oil alleviates back pain and other muscle pains.
8. Repel Insects and Treat Bug Bites
Lavender oil also has properties that can repel insects such as mosquitoes. This can be applied by using oil diffuser with lavender oil to protect your home from insects. It can also be used to address insect bites and stings by mixing lavender oil with a carrier oil, then it must be applied to the affected skin area directly.
For long periods of time, several studies have shown that lavender oil effectively aids in resisting bacterial and fungal infections. Researchers have proven that lavender oil is a perfect choice to treat minor cuts and burns. The use of lavender oil as antimicrobial can be enhanced by blending it with a carrier oil such as olive oil or coconut oil.
10. Ease Sunburn
Aside from being excellent in treating skin conditions, lavender oil has been proven as well to be a great cure for sunburn. To ease sunburn, you can apply lavender oil to the skin by adding a small amount of aloe vera gel or peppermint essential oils.
Above and beyond all of these stated uses, we can surely say that lavender oil is undeniably beneficial. But be reminded that it also has limitations. Make sure not to apply too much to prevent irritations and exaggerated effects. To be safe, it will be good to use lavender oil with a carrier oil at all times.