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HEALTH Practical uses of lavender

Nurturing
Practical ways with lavender


Aromatherapy
Ellen Cox


Lavender is probably aromatherapy’s best-known oil and with good reason. It is exceptionally versatile offering many health benefits and can be used by young and old, including babies. 
Anyone out there who has the misfortune of relating lavender to cheap toiletry perfumes and nasty synthetic pot potpourri should address the situation immediately! Make a bee line for your local health food store feast your nose on the aroma of Atlantic Aromatics Organic or AOC Lavender. The rich, smooth aroma combined with the many therapeutic properties are too good to miss.

Shower
For a calming evening shower try lavender and camomile, three to six drops on the floor of the shower away from the plug hole. This is also a great mix for a morning shower if you have a potentially stressful day ahead. For a decongesting (respiratory) shower try lavender and eucalyptus together.

Bath
For a deeply relaxing, de-stressing bath add a total of 12 drops (two to four drops for children or sensitive skin types) of essential oil to a tablespoon of vegetable oil or milk and add to the bath just before you get in. Lavender blends superbly with geranium, camomile, thyme and rosemary oils. At the onset of a cold or flu, try lavender with ravensara and tea tree.

Burns
For minor burns, peppermint oil should be used on the burn immediately to help reduce the heat, ideally two to four drops in a ‘pea size’ amount of aloe vera gel. An ice cube can be very useful to aid this process, wrap it in a piece of kitchen roll and hold it gently over the area. Then bring on the lavender, two to four drops in the aloe vera gel applied two to three times a day. I have managed to avoid blistering this way, even from nasty burns from the stove and oven.
For sun burn and larger areas the peppermint can be diluted in water and sprayed on the area using an atomiser. Then apply lavender oil in aloe vera gel or dilute in water and apply using the atomiser. Lavender water can also be used with lavender oil diluted into it – 25-50 drops of oil in 50ml water (12 drops for children).

Massage

For a quick and easy massage oil add ten drops (two to five for children and sensitive skin types) of lavender oil into a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Any of the essential oils mentioned above under ‘Bath’ will blend in smoothly with the lavender.

Mattress
When changing the bed sheets, ten to 20 drops (in total) of lavender and tea tree oil will freshen and help deter unwanted inhabitants!

Pillow
Two drops of lavender oil underneath your pillow can help induce a restful sleep. Don’t be tempted to use ‘loads’, too much can have the opposite effect – less is more.

Radiator
A few drops of oil on a tissue and over the radiator gives an instant aroma in a room, very useful with elderly people or young children (where the flame from a burner could be a concern).  Also very nice if you are away travelling, not all hotel rooms are well aired and this is a quick and easy solution.

Ironing
Many people use lavender water while ironing, use with an atomiser spray.

Mop
To freshen up the mop add four to six drops of lavender oil to the water in the mop bucket.

The information in this column is not intended to replace medical advice. Those in need of medical treatment are encouraged to visit their health practitioner.

Ellen Cox is a qualified professional aromatherapist and a member of the International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists. She currently practices aromatherapy two days a month in St Brendan’s Retirement Village in Mulranny. She has worked with Atlantic Aromatics for 15 years.