I’ve been using essential oils for 40 years, long before essential oils became widespread. Despite the variety of essential oils available on the market these days, I always come back to one: lavender essential oil.
Lavender is both my favorite oil and my favorite fragrance. I’ve used lavender essential oil for everything from treating bee stings to bringing down fevers when my kids were young to clearing the air of doggie smells!
That’s precisely why I love lavender essential oil so much: it’s so versatile! To showcase its benefits to you, here are ten uses for lavender oil that are easy to implement—and that work.
Uses and Benefits of Lavender Essential Oil
Use and Benefit #1: Helps to relieve anxiety (without numbing the brain).
Even people who don’t have experience with essential oils are drawn to lavender for its soothing, calming effects. However, beyond its comforting floral scent, lavender essential oil also has proven effects for the mind. Studies have shown that lavender stimulates the brain: while the participants’ brains seemed to be in a state of drowsiness and relaxation, they were also able to solve math equations faster and more accurately than the control group without lavender.
How to use: Diffuse a few drops of lavender in a diffuser or on cotton balls hidden throughout the room, or mix with a carrier oil and apply topically to calm anxiety and increase concentration.
Use and Benefit #2: Get a good night’s sleep.
As Enid Spitz put it, you don’t have to be an expert for lavender essential oil to put you asleep like an all-natural Ambien alternative! Thanks to the connection between the olfactory and limbic systems, scent is a direct link to feelings, meaning lavender affects your mood, memory, and emotions. It’s no wonder, then, that its relaxing effect can serve as a powerful cue to the body that it’s time for rest.
How to use: Rub a little lavender essential oil between your palms and inhale deeply or mix with a carrier oil and apply to pressure points for a speedier transition into sleep.
Use and Benefit #3: Destress and unwind.
Unsurprisingly, lavender essential oil’s calming effect also makes it an effective at-home remedy for coping with stress. Because essential oils evaporate rapidly, they often work faster than prescription treatments, making them an especially helpful solution to keep in your self-care toolkit during times of stress, such as the back-to-school season.
How to use: Add a few drops of calming lavender oil to your shower or rub a few drops on your temples or the base of your skull for a relaxing effect.
Use and Benefit #4: Soothe head colds and illness.
Feeling under the weather? Over-the-counter cough drops rely on the strength of menthol to clear congestion, but they can be overly expensive and rely on unnatural chemicals. Thankfully, lavender essential oil has many of the same immune-boosting properties as OTC remedies. Gentle oils like lavender can be used to clear sinuses, without the harshness of menthol or the strength of bolder oils like peppermint.
How to use: Place a few drops of lavender essential oil in a pot of boiling water. Draping a towel over your head to trap the steam, hold your head at least one foot above the water and breathe deeply to clear airways.
Use and Benefit #5: Use as an all-purpose cleaner.
Thanks to its fresh scent and cleansing properties, lavender essential oil is perfect for disinfecting surfaces without the chemicals. There’s a reason why so many store-bought cleaners use the scent of lavender, but these all-purpose cleaners tend to contain toxic ingredients—reduce the toxic load in your home by switching to lavender.
How to use: Mix 25 drops of lavender oil with one cup of water and one cup of white vinegar; add to an empty spray bottle as needed.
Use and Benefit #6: Naturally cleanse and soothe your scalp.
The cleansing properties of lavender don’t stop at home surfaces—you can also apply lavender oil to your scalp as a soothing treatment for dry and itchy skin. The antimicrobial properties of lavender oil are thought to disinfect scalps and stimulate hair growth for stronger, longer, healthier strands.
How to use: Mix a quarter-sized amount of coconut oil with a few drops of lavender essential oil in the palm of your hand. Gently massage into your scalp, leave for a few minutes, and rinse.
Use and Benefit #7: Relax in the bath.
Harness the relaxing aromatherapeutic benefits of lavender oil with a hot bath. Hot baths can soothe sore muscles, elevate your mood, improve sleep, and even burn calories. Add in the powerful properties of lavender essential oil for the ultimate means of relaxation.
How to use: Add 8-10 drops of lavender essential oil and one cup of Epsom salt. Dissolve in the bath, breathe deeply, and relax!
Use and Benefit #8: Create natural dryer balls.
Did you know that most lavender-scented fabric softeners only contain the scent of lavender instead of the real thing? That’s why DIY natural dryer balls, using genuine lavender essential oil, make such a fantastic alternative: what you smell is what you get!
How to use: Up-cycle a pair of old pantyhose with runs in them by creating a yarn ball, tying the pantyhose around it and wash on the hottest setting. Add 2-3 drops of lavender oil and refresh it with every couple of loads.
Use and Benefit #9: Deodorize sans aluminum.
Aluminum makes a great antiperspirant, a primary reason so many commercial deodorants include it in their ingredients. The problem with aluminum is that long-term, low-grade exposure has been associated with a higher risk of breast cancer due to its effect on estrogen. As a result, you may be interested in using natural alternatives to aluminum-containing deodorants.
How to use: All you need to create a DIY deodorant stick is ¼ cup aluminum-free baking soda, ¼ cup arrowroot or cornstarch, 3-5 tablespoons of coconut oil and 15 drops of lavender essential oil. Or if you don't want the hassle, there are natural ones on the market.
Use and Benefit #10: Enhance your yoga practice.
Aromatherapy has a close connection with yoga for a reason: both are ancient healing practices for the mind, body, and spirit. Combining aromatherapy and yoga can profoundly enhance your yoga practice by balancing the autonomic nervous system, allowing your body to reach hormonal homeostasis. Not to mention, the cleansing properties of lavender essential oil make it an effective all-natural spritz for your yoga mat between asanas!
How to use: Mix ¾ cup distilled water, ¼ cup alcohol-free witch hazel or vinegar, 5 drops lavender oil, and 3 drops Melaleuca oil in a glass spray bottle. Make sure to patch test on your mat to test for any adverse effects before spraying all over!
You’ve just learned how incorporating lavender essential oil into your life can build healthy habits that help to boost your emotional, mental, and physical wellness. Try natural remedies as discussed above and test their effects yourself. If you'd like to purchase DoTerra essential oils, visit Habits for Health. And to get more helpful tips and practices or for more on holistic health, aromatherapy, and healthy habits, visit Habits for Wholeness