Essential Oils – Lavender

Today marks a new adventure in learning about essential oil profiles. Students of aromatherapy learn profiles for the various essential oils available on the market. These include the ones that are suitable for everyday use and the ones that only a veteran aromatherapist would use sparingly and/or with caution. 

Learning essential oil profiles is vital in that it gives you an understanding of what each one is used for, including the safety information which is imperative you pay attention to. I will include just a few uses for each profile, but know they will not be the extent of what they can do. So whether you are a budding aromatherapist or simply diffuse essential oils for their pleasant scent, please join me in this educational journey.

Name of Oil: Lavender
Latin Name: Lavandula angustifolia
Countries of Origin: France, England and Yugoslavia
Historical Use: At one time, lavender was strewn on the ground to step on for the fragrance it released.
General Growth, Habitat: Lavender is an evergreen, woody shrub which can grow to 3’ high. It has gray-green, narrow linear leaves with purple-blue flowers on a long stem.
Parts Used in Distillation: Stem and flower
Scent: Sweet, floral, fresh, sharp
Uses: Insomnia, burns, respiratory infections, high blood pressure, headaches.
Emotional Use: Calming, relaxing, balancing
Safety: Use with caution for those with low blood pressure; may cause drowsiness; avoid during early pregnancy as the oil is an emmenagogue.

Knowing the Latin name of an essential oil is critically important as each one has different properties. For example, there are six rosemary essential oil chemotypes and each one has their own uses. This means that when you go to purchase an essential oil, be sure you are doing so based upon the Latin name rather than looking for a ‘generic’ as there is no such thing. 

Finally, use caution with essential oil blends or those mixed with oil such as jojoba or olive oil until you know more about them and how they are used. Sometimes those that are blended can be diluted with other things and are often not meant for aromatherapy use. Those mixed with oil tend to be for use straight out of the bottle but should not be used in an aromatherapy recipe. 

Until next time, discover the power of welcoming essential oils into your life

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