It seems that lavender, or the scent of it, is everywhere – candles, hand lotions, shampoo, bath gel, air freshener, even laundry detergent. It’s the most widely used and best-selling essential oil. Why is lavender so popular?

According to Tim Blakley, aromatherapy author and educator, pure lavender essential oils offer benefits for the body, mind and spirit. “Lavender provides a calming and soothing effect that can help relax the user. It’s also emotionally uplifting and stimulating if one is feeling overwhelmed, irritable or distracted,” he explains.

To benefit from lavender, make sure you’re using pure essential oil and not a synthetic fragrance. Check the product label and look for the words “Lavendula angustifolia.” There are other types of lavender essential oil, but they come from inferior hybrids that don’t produce the optimum benefits of pure Lavendula angustifolia.

Blakley says it’s important to know the difference between synthetic fragrances and pure essential oils. “Synthetic, petroleum-based lavender fragrances do not provide the same effect as essential oils. They simply imitate the scent,” he says. “Fragrances are extracted from petrochemicals, while essential oils are distilled from plants, which are sustainable and renewable. Because the imitation scents are more apt to trigger adverse reactions such as irritation, headaches and toxicity, they aren’t appropriate for use in aromatherapy. Unlike the synthetics, pure essential oils are both therapeutic and smell great. I recommend Aura Cacia essential oils because they are 100 percent pure.”

It’s easy to purchase pure lavender essential oil and use it for yourself and around the house. Most natural products and health food stores carry essential oils, such as Aura Cacia, which also offers a full line of lavender aromatherapy products, including massage, bath, body care and more. Here are a few simple ways to take advantage of the aromatherapy benefits of lavender.

For yourself:

• Touch a drop of lavender oil behind your ears to alleviate motion sickness.

• Rub a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow case to help you sleep.

• A drop of lavender oil on a bug bite helps take away the swelling and itch.

• Apply diluted lavender oil to chapped or damaged skin to protect and soothe it. Massage the oil around scar tissue to reduce the appearance of scars.

• Diluted lavender oil applied under the arms acts as an effective natural deodorant.

• To relax and soak away tension, add six to eight drops of lavender oil to bath water.

• If you’ve spent too many hours in the sun, help cool sunburn by mixing several drops of lavender oil into cool water then spritzing onto skin.

• To help relax, light a candle and allow to burn for a few minutes, then add several drops of lavender oil to the melted wax.

• When you’re feeling irritable or mentally distracted, place a couple of drops of lavender oil on a tissue and inhale the scent to regain mental balance.

For your home:

• Add a few drops of lavender oil to your laundry rinse cycle for great-smelling clothes or linens.

• To freshen bed linens between washings, add a few drops to a spray bottle filled with water and lightly mist pillows and sheets before climbing in.

• Add 10 drops of lavender oil to a box of baking soda, mix well and let sit for one to two days. Sprinkle on rugs and carpets, wait one hour and then vacuum. The carpets will be clean and the whole house will smell fantastic.

• Eliminate smelly shoes by adding a few drops of lavender oil to the inner soles.

• Moths and flies don’t like lavender oil. Sprinkle it on the outside of your window frames to create a virtual insect barrier.

• Lavender has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties that make it a great household cleaner. To clean tubs, sinks and toilets, sprinkle baking soda and four to six drops of lavender oil onto a sponge and scrub, rinsing the area well.

An excellent educational video with practical uses is available at You can also purchase pure lavender essential oil at

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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