Lavender essential oil is one of the safest oils available on the market today. It can be mixed with many other solutions, applied topically, inhaled and added in small amounts to foods and beverages. There are some precautions that should be taken but for the most part the oil is safe for human use. Here is a brief overview of how to safely incorporate lavender essential oil and benefit from its healing properties.
Can you consume lavender oil?
Yes, lavender essential oil is safe to consume but only in small amounts. It can be directly added to food or drinks, like lemonade and tea. It is not recommended for consumption by children and should never be consumed by itself or in large amounts.
Can you inhale lavender oil?
Yes, lavender essential oil is safe to inhale. Several studies have been conducted to discover the oils effects on different diseases when directly inhaled with promising results. It has also been successful when used to treat sleeping disorders, headaches and anxiety. To inhale lavender essential oil as a means to medicate, simply place a few drops on a cloth or towel and breathe the aroma in deeply through the nose. The oil can also be directly added to a warm bath where the aroma will fill the room. Lavender oil is rich in molecules called esters, which are incredibly therapeutic and can provide an instant feeling of serenity. Consult with a medical professional for more specific instructions pertaining to your personal needs. If you suffer from asthma, do not attempt to inhale lavender oil until approved by your doctor. In rare cases, inhaling the oil has irritated eyes, throats and lungs in some people.
Can you put lavender oil on your skin?
Yes, lavender essential oil can be placed directly onto the skin and can be used to treat acne, heal wounds and burns and alleviate inflammation. It may be applied with a small brush or cotton ball. While it does not need to be diluted, if evidence of irritation becomes evident it may need to be diluted with distilled water or other ingredients as directed.
To make a cream with lavender oil, add up to four drops of oil for every tablespoon of carrier oil. For example, a cream that is made up of four tablespoons of coconut oil would require up to sixteen drops of oil for it to be effective. Creams may be placed on the face but contact should be avoided with the eyes and nostrils.
Lavender oil can also be used in homemade cleaners and is therefore safe to be used on counter tops and sinks. It can also be safely added to detergents and soaps.
Can lavender oil be used on children or infants?
Most essential oils are not recommended for use in children under two. However, lavender oil is an exception. Many over the counter baby products contain lavender due to its calming properties. It can also be applied to safely and naturally reduce fevers instead of using any type of over the counter medication. Take the same precautions as you would when applying any new product to your baby and watch for reactions or irritations if using lavender essential oil. Consult when the child’s pediatrician if there are any concerns.
Should pregnant women use lavender oil?
While deemed to be one of the safest essential oil available, there has not been enough research conducted to prove that there are no side effects to the mother or fetus when used by a woman who is pregnant. Because of the oil’s calming properties, it may cause the body to become too relaxed and could cause damage to the fetus. While it has been used by pregnant women in the past, it is not recommended at this current time. Speak with your health care provider before using any type of essential oil if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Most importantly, the oil should be strongly avoided during the first trimester.
Should lavender oil be diluted?
The oil does not need to be diluted before use but in some cases it may be recommended. For example, when using as a treatment on the scalp it may be difficult to keep the oil in the appropriate areas. The oil can therefore be added to a carrier oil, such as coconut or almond oil, to evenly distribute it. It should also be diluted when applied to a child for safety concerns.
If you do display any signs of an allergic reaction to lavender essential oil, such as a rash redness or irritation, discontinue using the oil immediately and do not attempt to use again until you have consulted with a medical professional.
Precautions to take with lavender oil
As with any type of medicine, there are certain precautions and situations to look out for when using lavender essential oil. Some people have experienced nauseousness, vomiting, migraines and fevers while using lavender oil as a medicine. Direct application of the oil can result in irritation to the skin but should not be severe. It is very important never to drink lavender oil alone and when added to food or drinks, it should be added in very small amounts. Always be sure to avoid contact between lavender oil and the eyes and nostrils. If contact does occur, rinse the area thoroughly.
Studies have shown that lavender oil can increase the effectiveness of anesthesia and other medications given before and after surgery. Unless directed otherwise, all use of lavender oil should stop two weeks prior to any surgical procedure and should not resume until cleared by a medical professional.
While deemed as one of the safest oils for children to use, take caution when lavender oil is used by young boys. Some studies have shown that when they use products such as shampoos and moisturizers containing lavender oil, they developed gynecomastia, or a condition where breasts are developed. This may be due to hormone changing properties of lavender oil.