One of the most prominent essentials oil is, by far, the Mighty Lavender. Its botanical name is lavandula angustifolia and it also exists as Lavandula officinalis, Lavandula latifoli and Lavandula stoechas. It’s likely the most versatile oil because of the variety of problems it treats.
Rene Maurice Gattefosse treated burn injuries he’d sustained from an explosion at the laboratory where he worked using the lavender essential oil he had on hand. He observed that the lavender oil reduced the trauma while speeding up the healing process. And thus a new branch of therapy began. He named it aromatherapie in 1937.
Aromatherapy is distinguished from perfumery in that essential oils are used for therapeutic purposes on the human body to treat physical and emotional conditions, where perfumery is inherently limited to airborne fragrances.
Going back to our lavender example, this oil is indicated for its ability to treat a wide variety of skin ailments. Lavender is also renowned for its ability to induce relaxation, calm anxiety, and enhance emotional wellbeing. See the website of Dr. Axe for more information.
I’m now going to segue into a personal experience I had with lavender a couple years ago. Sometime in May 2014, I had a plumber over at my house to do a major job. He was up in my attic and while he was in there, I decided to see what it looked like up there. Apparently, the previous owner left a lot of junk in the attic. So I decided to get rid of some stuff.
I noticed a wooden toilet seat (I couldn’t make this up if I tried) laying down in a corner. I decided to grab it and get rid of it. I took a step where any homeowner already knows is dangerous – right between the girders – and reached towards the toilet seat. Then, in the span of less than one second, I heard the sound of wood creaking, and next thing I know, I was free-falling. I miraculously landed on my feet on the garage floor.
I then looked up at the gaping hole I had just created. I was incredulous. I said, “Did I just fall through my own ceiling?? What a loser!”
I proceeded to sit down in my office to treat my wounds. This was before I created my flagship product, aromatherapeutic balm, so I reached for some coconut oil and lavender essential oil. I rubbed the two on both my legs, which were pretty bruised up and had lots of small cuts and abrasions.
After about 15 minutes, an interesting thing happened: I began to feel somewhat sedate and carefree. A short while ago I was out of sorts, but now I was quite calm about the whole experience. Almost nonchalant. Yeah, I fell through my ceiling. It’s all good. Lavender became a new and trusted friend from that point forward. I succeeded at killing two birds with one stone: treating injuries and reducing anxiety. Not too shabby.
Lavender is an excellent choice for healing skin damage, as you now know. It lends itself well to sunburns, scrapes, small cuts and other minor skin problems because of its anti-microbial properties.
This essential oil is also a potent anti-inflammatory agent, which makes it an excellent choice for reducing swelling after an injury. It also has anti-bacterial and antiseptic qualities, making it good at preventing infections as well as reducing germ count. Lavender’s analgesic properties (fancy way of saying pain relief) help ease pain and suffering following an injury.
Lastly, by now you know I am adamant about diluting essential oils prior to application on the skin. Of all the essential oils in existence, lavender is considered one of the safest. In some circumstances, you can apply this oil NEAT (undiluted), such as with paper cuts or burns to small, local areas of the skin. All you’ll need is a couple of drops to the affected area. Never apply an undiluted essential oil to large areas of skin or consume internally. Be sure to use a carrier oil (such as coconut) to remove the essential oil.
Aromatherapy for Bodyworkers. Jade Shutes, Christina Weaver. 2008.