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.
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 (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 (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
Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic (affiliate link: If you buy anything from here using this link I will receive a percentage)
Sarah Cooper is a Reflexologist, Reiki Master Practitioner, Aromatherapist and Writer based in Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire, England.
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