Which Lavender Essential Oil shall I use?

Which Lavender Essential Oil shall I use?

How to choose which Lavender essential oil to use

When choosing a lavender essential oil, it is worth considering the following

What result are you hoping to achieve?

There are a few things to take into consideration before you decide which one to use.

What lavender essential oil should I use

For Relaxation and Sleep

If you’re wanting to relax and sleep, then a lavender essential oil originating from Bulgaria would be useful as its main chemical constituent is an ester.

Esters are usually relaxing, having a sedative effect. They have anti-viral properties as well as anti-fungal and generally have a fruity, sweet-smelling aroma.

The High-Altitude French lavender also has a high concentration of lynalyl acetate (esters) so will have a more calming and sedating effect than say a regular lavender essential oil of French origin

For Focus and a Mood Boost

If you need to stay feeling upbeat and focused or need to concentrate then you’d be better off using a French origin essential oil. These tend to be more uplifting, having alcohol as their main chemical constituent. Alcohol rich essential oils tend to be antiseptic and antiviral.

lavender spike essential oil

Lavender Spike (Lavandula Latifolia)

Lavender Spike is great for headaches, focusing and as an expectorant. So if you have a stuffy nose and a cold or cough or need your head clearing for a meeting or interview, lavender spike would perfect. It has antiseptic properties and a slightly crisper aroma than lavender. There’s something quite masculine about its aroma, with an almost harsh edge. I love it! It’s got a bit of a kick to it. It’s also great for relieving pain (especially headaches) and also has anti-depressant properties. Whilst it can be used in massage it is perhaps most useful in a diffuser or in an inhalation.

 

Lavandin Essential Oil

Lavandin (Lavandula X Intermedia or Lavandula X Hybrida)

Lavandin is often used by the perfume industry as it is cheaper, hardier and easier to grow than true lavender. It is made from a hybrid of true lavender (lavandula angustifolia) and spike lavender (lavundula latifolia). I always think of it as the baby of the lavender family.

It’s got a pleasant aroma but is thought not to have quite as much power as either lavender or lavender spike.

It is thought to have some beneficial effect on the respiratory system and still helps clear the head but maybe not as easily as Lavender Spike. It is also thought to have some analgesic (pain relieving) effect. As it’s not got quite as strong an aroma as either lavender or lavender spike it can get a bit ‘drowned out’ in blends when teamed with a much more pungent aroma.

Sometimes lavandin is used to bulk out or water down lavender which is more expensive and not as quick or easy to grow.

Where to buy Essential oils

Lavender, Lavandin or Lavender Spike

Naturally Thinking 

Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic (affiliate link: If you buy anything from here using this link I will receive a percentage)

How to use Lavender Essential Oil for best results

How to use Lavender Essential Oil for best results

How to use Lavender Essential Oil for Best Results

Lavender Essential Oil (or Lavandula Angustifolia to give it its botanical name) is one of the most popular essential oils. 

What can Lavender Essential Oil ‘do’?

It’s got some interesting properties, it’s uplifting as well as calming. It’s also antiseptic, antiviral, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, balancing, cooling, fungicidal, sedative, detoxifying, and a tonic! It’s also great for relieving headaches.

How is Lavender Essential Oil used?

Lavender can be used to help you get a great nights sleep and is often used in bath products and bedtime blends. It is also popular in diffuser blends and as a massage oil. 

It is also one of the few essential oils that you can use neat on skin in small doses. How to use lavender essential oil to get the best results

Firstly choose wisely!

When you’re shopping for lavender essential oil it needs to have its common name (lavender) and its botanical name (Lavandula Angustifolia) written on the bottle. Avoid any essential oil that doesn’t have the latin / botanical name written on it. Often the very cheap ones you can buy in supermarkets for instance don’t have this information written on them. 

Buy ‘just’ lavender essential oil

Double check that the essential oil isn’t blended with anything else. Lavender essential oil can be diluted with jojoba oil or can be adulterated with the cheaper lavandin essential oil. It’s best to get pure, undiluted, unadulterated essential oil. Be aware that there is a difference between an essential oil and a fragrance oil. You need the essential oil not the fragrance oil.

Buy Essential Oils from a Reputable Supplier

Normally in my treatments I use essential oils from either Naturally Thinking or Neals Yard Remedies Organic (For clarity I am a Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic Consultant so if you buy anything via the link I will receive a percentage of the sale) 

For a list of other reputable suppliers please see the Aromatherapy Trade Councils Website

How to use Lavender Essential Oil for best results

Muscle Ease Massage Blend

Ease aching muscles by creating a muscle ease massage blend and massaging in.

Ingredients

30 ml (2 tablespoonsful) of a plain massage oil (Grapeseed or Sunflower, or Jojoba, or Sweet Almond or a plain massage base oil) 

Add 5 drops of lavender essential oil,
3 drops of sweet orange essential oil and
2 drops of basil essential oil. 

Stir well then massage onto the affected part using long slow strokes towards the heart.

Do NOT use on children, the elderly or during pregnancy. If you are taking any medication or have any diagnosed medical conditions or any skin sensitivities please consult a qualified aromatherapist before using any aromatherapy blend.

lavender compress for headache

Compress for headaches

If you have a headache, especially one caused by stress or tension try making a compress. Compresses can be either warm or cold. Chances are you’ll know what you need the most so follow your intuition. The principle is the same for both so do whichever makes more sense for you.

Ingredients

A bowl filled with either hand hot or cold water. 
A teaspoonful of carrier oil (grapeseed or sunflower oil are fine) 
2 drops lavender essential oil
1 drop lime essential oil
1 drop rosemary essential oil
Add the essential oils to the grapeseed or sunflower oil and swirl into the hot or cold water.

Take a flannel and dip in the water and essential oil mix. Wring carefully with your hands

lavender essential oil pillow spray

Bedtime Pillow Soother

Put one or two drops of lavender essential oil onto a circle of cotton wool and tuck into your pillow case or into the cover of your hot water bottle. Never drop the essential oil directly onto the pillow.

Topical Application for spots, bites and stings

Using a cotton bud stick (q-tip) add one drop of lavender oil and apply to the affected area.

Over to you

How do you use lavender oil? Please let me know in the comments box below

Top 3 Essential Oil Blends for Stress and Anxiety

Top 3 Essential Oil Blends for Stress and Anxiety

Top 3 Essential Oil Blends for Stress and Anxiety

If you are suffering from stress and anxiety there are essential oil blends that you can create for yourself at home to help with this. 

A word of caution before we start

If you have any medical conditions, are pregnant, are taking any medications, (including chemotherapy)using any homeopathic remedies are under 18 or elderly please seek advice from a qualified Aromatherapist before use. Essential oils should not be used internally (do NOT eat or drink them) and should not be used neat on skin as a general rule.

For more essential oil safety tips please click here

Introduction to stress and anxiety-busting essential oils

There are several great essential oils that will help with stress and anxiety, so first I’d like to introduce some of them. 

bergamot

Bergamot Essential Oil. 

Bergamot essential oil comes from the peel of bergamot fruit. Bergamot is a similar shape to a pear, but with skin that has the texture of oranges. If you’re familiar with Earl Grey tea, that is what it smells like (because Earl Grey is flavoured with Bergamot!) 

It has a fresh, citrusy, uplifting fragrance and is perfect when you need to feel calm, without being sleepy. It works well in a diffuser or oil burner and is also good in baths and massage oils. It blends well with other citrus fruits as well as eucalyptus, geranium and lavender.

geranium

Geranium Essential Oil

Geranium has a floral smell, and is great for helping to balance the hormones, especially in women. It is thought to help regulate and normalise periods and lift menopause symptoms such as low mood. As it has an effect on the hormones, care should be taken if using HRT.

lavender essential oil

Lavender Essential Oil 

Lavender is a very popular essential oil, great for relaxing and calming frayed nerves. Useful in small doses, especially at night time to help you get restful sleep.

Orange Essential oil

Orange essential oil is a wonderfully uplifting oil. It is like a ray of sunshine in a bottle. It’s great when you need a boost during the day. Diffuse in your diffuser or add to a blend and use for massage or in the bath

Vetiver Essential Oil

On its own vetiver can be quite woody and dark but when it’s added to blends it can  help aid restful sleep and is often used in bedtime blends or for relaxing baths.

neroli essential oil

Neroli Essential Oil 

Neroli is made using the delicate blossom of the orange tree. It is calming and relaxing and great for relieving stress and tension. 

Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense has a spiritual feel to it and is often used in churches. Great for mature skin, the respiratory system, for calming anxiety and reducing stress. It smells like the sort of incense you find burned in churches. For more information about Frankincense Essential oil please read my blog post on the subject

Patchouli Essential Oil

A deep, heady fragrance, often associated with new age shops and hippies! It is great for helping to soothe stress and anxiety as well as being good for detoxification and for the skin. It is thought to help tighten loose skin.

Blends to help with stress and anxiety

massage oil blend for stress and anxiety

Blend 1: Rebalancing Massage Blend

Take 15 mls (3 teaspoonsful) of base oil, I use sweet almond but if you’re allergic to nuts grapeseed or sunflower are good alternatives.

Add 2 drops of bergamot essential oil, 2 drops of geranium essential oil and 3 drops of lavender essential oil. Stir gently. Use for massage. 

Blend 2: Calm down handbag blend

This is a really lovely blend to keep in a rollerball bottle in your handbag so you can use it when you’re out and about and need a little moment of calm.

Use a 10 ml glass roller bottle (blue or amber are best)

Add 2 drops of neroli essential oil, 2  drops of sweet orange essential oil and 1 drop of patchouli.

Top up with massage oil of your choice, I use sweet almond, but if you’re allergic to nuts use grapeseed or sunflower instead.

Replace the roller mechanism and the cap and gently roll the roller bottle between your hands to disperse the essential oil. The roller is then ready for use.

Apply to the pulse points on your wrists.

diffuser

Blend 3: Stress Relief Diffuser Blend

Add 2 drops of Neroli, 1 drop of Frankincense and 1 drop of Bergamot to the water in your diffuser and diffuse.

For best results diffuse intermittently throughout the day.

As the effects of diffusers on pets is still up in debate, it would be sensible not to diffuse any essential oils in the presence of pets. 

Frankincense Essential oil.. a hug in a bottle

Frankincense Essential oil.. a hug in a bottle

Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense Essential Oil is one of my favourite essential oils. It’s deeply calming, grounding and smells divine. A fellow Aromatherapist friend once described it as ‘a hug in a bottle’ which quite honestly is the best way of describing it!

It has a deep, churchy smell. If you’ve ever been in a church where they’re burning incense then it smells a bit like that. It also reminds me of violin rosin

What does Frankincense essential oil do?

Anti-inflammatory

It has anti-inflammatory properties so great for calming inflammation. It also works on a spiritual level, so if you have a physical inflammation or a frayed temper, frankincense is what you need.

Useful for Respiratory System

It has great benefit to the respiratory system, with expectorant properties being good for easing catarrh and coughs and for clearing mucus. It’s calming properties help calm breathing. It has a noticeable effect on the mucus membranes of the body, especially the lungs.

Frankincense Essential Oil is useful for meditation

Calms the Nervous System

It has a calming effect on the nervous system, aiding mediation and relaxation. Helps to reduce stress and anxiety, soothing the mind. It also aids concentration. If you need to be calm and focused put a few drops of Frankincense oil in a diffuser and let it work its magic.

Helps the Reproductive System

Frankincense Essential Oil also helps the reproductive system, especially balancing menstruation. It may have a calming effect in labour and may also ease postnatal depression. It is thought that it may be useful in treating genital infections, cystitis and nephritis (kidney infections)

Best Use of Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense is amazing for mature skin smoothing wrinkles, balancing oily skin but also good for dry skin. It has vulnerary properties which help the skin heal more quickly.

It makes a great massage oil blend and is used a lot in mature skin care.

Can be used in a diffuser to calm and soothe

Use in an ointment and apply to the skin

Safety Data

Must be used well-diluted
Before using in Pregnancy please consult a qualified Aromatherapist for advice

Blends well with

Basil, Black Pepper, Geranium, Grapefruit, Lavender, Orange, Melissa, Patchouli, Pine, Sandalwood, Lemon, Mandarin, Myrhh, Pine, Bergamot, Cedarwood, Chamomile, Neroli and Vetiver

Eucalyptus Globulus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus Globulus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus Globulus Essential Oil

If you’ve ever had a cold, chances are you will have used a rub-on remedy to help you feel better. In that, chances are there will have been either Eucalytpus or something that smells very similar.

Clean, fresh, slightly medicinal aroma

There are many different varities of Eucalyptus, each with a slightly different aroma and use. The most common one is Eucalyptus Globulus, with a slightly medicinal undertone and clean and fresh aroma.

Useful for cleaning and laundry

Like many essential oils, Eucalyptus Globulus is antiseptic so useful for cleaning. It also has antiviral and antibacterial prorperties. It is thought to be useful for dispersing stains on clothing (although I haven’t tried this myself)

Aches, pains and migraine be gone

Eucalyptus has analgesic properties and is useful for easing rheumatism. It can help muscle spasms and works well on neuralgia pain. Useful for relieving muscle pain and general aches and pains. Eucyalptus is also  thought to be beneficial for sufferers of migraines and headaches.

Cooling, calming, cleansing, clearing

It has a cooling effect for body and mind. It can be useful for calming anger and dispersing the atmosphere of a room after an argument, as well as reducing fever. As it has a distinct yet fresh aroma it makes a powerful deodorant. Can also be used as a room freshening spray, especially after illness.

As it has a clearing aroma, it is useful for helping to clear head-fog, aiding concentration and clarity of thought.

Useful for coughs, cold and flu

Most commonly, eucalyptus is used as a decongestant, relieving stuffy noses and blocked sinuses. As it reduces fever it is useful for flu and infections and as it is an expectorant it helps loosen phlegm and mucus so good for coughs and colds.

Useful for clearing the skin

It’s antibacterial and antiseptic properties make it useful for clearing up skin infections and burns. It also helps reduce inflammation.

Safety Information

Eucalyptus globulus should NOT be used on or near children under 10 years old

As it may cause skin to be irritated, use it in very small doses and take a patch test first if using on skin. It may be wise not to use if you have sensitive skin.

Avoid use if you are epileptic (or use in very small doses) as it may be too stimulating.

Avoid use if you have high blood pressure

May interact with homeopathic remedies so do NOT use if using homeopathic remedies

Avoid if you suffer from insomnia

Do NOT use during pregnancy

DO NOT ingest (eat/drink) eucalyptus oil or use it internally as it is toxic

It would be wise NOT to use it near animals/pets

Ways to use Eucalyptus Essential Oil

steam inhalation  

Steam inhalation for Adults to help stuffy noses

Carefully fill a bowl with hot water (taking care not to scald yourself!) add 2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil to the bowl and cover head with a towel. Close your eyes and breathe the steam for a few minutes. Carefully dispose of the water.

If you have asthma, epilepsy, or high blood pressure or are pregnant/breastfeeding DO NOT DO THIS

Compress for Headaches

Take 5ml of carrier oil (if you don’t have any, plain sunflower oil will be fine!) and add 1 drop of eucalyptus essential oil and 1 drop of lavender essential oil.

Fill a bowl with cold water and add the oil blend to the water and gently stir. Soak a flannel in the water for a few seconds then squeeze the excess water out. Apply to the forehead or the back of the neck and keep there until the flannels warm up again.

Blend with

Benzoin, Coriander, Juniper, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Melissa, Pine or Thyme

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