Thursday, February 17, 2011

Why Lavender?

If you are one of those people who read ingredients, (and you should be), here is a story about one of our ingredients and why we use it so much : the essential oil of lavender .

René-Maurice Gattefossé, born in Montchat near Lyon in 1881, is regarded as the Father of Aromatherapy and inventer of the word itself.

A famous French chemist and scholar, in 1910 he discovered the virtues of the essential oil of lavender. While working in his lab, Rene Gattefosse, received 3rd degree thermal burns on his hand and forearm during an experiment and plunged his hand into the nearest tub of liquid which just happened to be lavender essential oil. He was later amazed at how quickly his burn healed and with very little scarring. This started a fascination with essential oils and inspired him to experiment with them during the First World War on soldiers in the military hospitals. He used oils of lavender, thyme, lemon and clove for their antiseptic properties. Gattefosse noted an increase in the rate of healing in wounds treated with essential oils and that the oils seemed to be free from the disadvantages present with other antiseptic agents in use at that time.

Lavender Oil Properties: Lavender essential oil has soothing, calming, and restorative properties. The essential oil is antiseptic, cooling and mild. Considered the universal oil, lavender is readily used neat, or undiluted, and combines well with almost all other oils for a wide variety of benefits. Many aromatherapists say lavender is the first essential oil to get.

Lavender Essential Oil Physical Benefits and Effects:

Skin care – especially dry or acne prone skin

Headaches – rub a drop or two on the temples for tension migraine relief.

Burns – The cooling, soothing and skin restorative effects are good for anti-inflammatory sunburn care. Documented use as an emergency care for heatstroke until medical personnel can arrive.

Insect Repellent/Bites and Stings – Repel bugs and takes the sting away from bites.

Blood Pressure and Heart – Soothes heart palpitations and lowers blood pressure because of anti-stress properties

Congestion/Asthma – Anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory effects make lavender good for respiratory support. Suitable for use with children as well.

Dandruff – Stimulating and moisturizing effects help with hair shine and dry scalp.

Lavender Mental/Psyche Effects:

Anti-Stress – Calming and soothing effects help counteract stress hormones

Antidepressant – Lavender is a well-documented antidepressant essential oil.

Refreshing and Uplifting – Can help balance mood swings and PMS symptoms

Insomnia – A mild sedative effect for restless or anxious nights

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