Lavender - The Most Versatile Oil of All

Could Lavender essential oil be one of the most important oils of all time?  Could it be the most widely used and also the most versatile of all?  

We think so!  And we'll tell you why. 

One of the main indicators of its value lies in its history.  Dating back further than the records of mankind can prove, Lavender provides the widest range of assistance to the body for healing, yet remains the gentlest of all essential oils.  Lavender has been used for centuries for its soothing and restorative properties and its peacefully strengthening effect on the body. 

The floral fragrance of Selah's wild lavender is delightfully cleansing while still being delicate and calming.

Now we will take a look at the proven research on how and when Lavender essential oil has been used with absolutely beautiful results. 

For the Body:

No single component or mixture of components has been found that will duplicate the power of Lavender oil to heal burns (Schnaubelt, 64).

Lavender oil is relaxing and cleansing when used in the shower (Schnaubelt, 125).

Use lavender for mosquito bites, or apply a few drops to the neck for relaxation (Schnaubelt, 129).

Lavender massaged into the temples can work wonders for headaches and migraines (Price, 267).  If this alone does not help, a cold compress of lavender can be placed on the forehead or back of the neck (Davis, 177).

Parkinson's Disease: Lavender - analgesic, antispasmodic, digestive stimulant, hypotensor, sedative, sleep inducing (Price, 271).

One drop of lavender oil in a glass of water eases the cravings accompanying low blood sugar (Schnaubelt, 134).

Lavender can help dispel intestinal gas, is healing to damaged skin and intestinal tissues (Schnaubelt, 168).

A little oil of lavender can be massaged into the throat to relieve a tickly cough (Davis, 177).

Vaginal Candida: 3 drops Rosewood (antifungal, anti-infectious, antiviral), 2 drops lavender (antiviral, antiseptic), use in bath frequently (Price, 282).

Tea Tree and Lavender are common essential oils used to treat lice, ticks, and fleas. They can safely be used on children and animals (Buckle, 192).

Lavender can be used to help with ease of patient manipulation in chiropractic care (Buckle, 150).

Lavender essential oil can help ease end of life care. Massaging the hands and feet with lavender caused a decreased pulse and respiration as well as physical relaxation by unclenching their hands (Buckle, 307).

For the Mind and Emotions:

Lavender is perhaps regarded as the most effective oil to counteract depression, anxiety, insomnia, nervousness and other issues that would benefit from its calming properties.

Smith, Standing and Deman (1992): Diffused lavender into a cubicle prior to giving a test.  Lavender produced a significant decrease in working memory and impaired reaction times for both memory- and attention-based tasks (Price, 156).

The amount of essential oils used for insomnia is important, as one or two drops of lavender can be relaxing and soporific, but a high dose can have the opposite effects (Price, 267).

When researchers investigated the protective effect of lavender oil against brain swelling due to stroke, the oil was found to offer neuroprotection. It increased the blood supply to the brain by clearing obstructions in blood vessels (Purchon, 73).

Although not known specifically as a circulatory stimulant, lavender oil certainly seems to allay the effects of clinical shock and as a mood tonic and antidepressant it helps to deal with the psychological shock of injury. (Worwood, 19-20)

Mild behavioral and verbal improvements were observed when lavender essential oil was used on Alzheimer’s patients (Buckle, 265).

Dementia: Researchers at Oldham Cottage Hospital investigated the potential of essential oil of lavender to aid rest and relaxation, thereby encouraging the healing process. Patients were monitored for 7 days, during which time their sleep patterns, dozing and alertness during the day were recorded. For the following 7 days one drop of lavender angustifolia was put on each patient's pillow at night. No other changes were made to the patients' daily routine or medications that they were receiving. At the end of the 7 days, patients' records were collated and analyzed. Interestingly, all patients reacted favorably to the treatment, with increased daytime alertness and improved sleep patterns, and those who had previously experienced confusion were observed to display as much as 50% reduction in their symptoms (Price, 264).

For Pregnancy, Labor, and Postpartum: 

Vaginal Candida: 3 drops Rosewood (antifungal, anti-infectious, antiviral), 2 drops lavender (antiviral, antiseptic), use in bath frequently (Price, 282).

During labor, lavender will both reduce pain and strengthen contractions, thus speeding labor, if it is massaged into the lower back (a useful job for the expectant father). It can also be used as a compress or massaged gently into the abdomen to help with the expulsion of the afterbirth (Davis, 178).

As soon as possible after birth, women who have suffered perineal tears may benefit from a sitz bath (or a full bath) containing lavender and cypress to assist healing (Price, 248). Multiple 15 min baths daily will bring rapid, significant improvements in healing in even just one week's time. 

The Quick List:

Lavender may support the body's proper natural response to and assist in maintaining a healthy state of the following:

  • abdominal cramps
  • acne/pimples
  • allergies
  • anxiety, depression, nervousness, panic issues, tension, etc.
  • bacteria
  • blood pressure (lowers)
  • burns, minor
  • calming to central nervous system
  • cramps
  • dandruff
  • disinfecting properties
  • earaches/infections
  • E. coli (see article)
  • hair follicles
  • headache
  • hives
  • infection
  • inflammatory conditions
  • intestinal dysbiosis
  • migraine
  • muscles: contractions, cramps, spasms
  • night Terrors
  • nosebleed
  • parasympathetic
  • Raynaud's
  • respiratory
  • ringworm
  • scabies
  • skin care (daily)
  • skin irritation and inflammatory conditions
  • skin: bruises, burns, cuts, eczema (stress-related), infection, irritation, inflammation, itching, grazes, psoriasis (nervous), rashes, scars, sunburn (minor), wounds
  • insect bites and stings/insect deterrent
  • sinus Congestion
  • sleep
  • stress
  • teething
  • virus

Therapeutic Properties:

  • analgesic - deadens or relieves pain; anodyne
  • anthelmintic - destroys or expels worms and parasites; vermifuge
  • antibacterial - prevents bacterial growth
  • antidepressant - alleviates depression
  • anti-infectious - prevents uptake of infection
  • anti-inflammatory - reduces inflammation
  • antimicrobial - resists or destroys pathogenic micro organisms
  • antiseptic - destroys and prevents the development of microbes/bacteria
  • antispasmodic - prevents and eases spasms, convulsions, or cramps
  • antivenomous - used against the effects of venom
  • calmative - a sedative or mild tranquilizer
  • carminative - expels gas (flatulence), easing abdominal pain and bloating
  • cicatrisant - promotes healing by the formation of scar tissue
  • detoxifying - assist in the removal of toxins
  • diuretic - aids in removal of excess water from the body; promotes urination
  • expectorant - promotes the discharge of mucous from the respiratory system
  • sedative - soothing agent that reduces nervousness, distress, or irritation
  • soporific - substance which induces sleep
  • spasmolytic - antispasmodic
  • stimulant - excites or quickens the activity of physiological processes
  • stomachic - digestive aid and tonic; improving the appetite
  • vulnerary - heals wounds and sores by external application

Final Uses:

Valerie Worwood, in her book, Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child, she lists Lavender as an important ingredient in “The Basic Care Kit for Children”. She says it helps children with cuts, crazes, burns, promotes wound healing, psoriasis, eczema, sunburn, insect bites, headache, migraine, insomnia, rashes, nervous conditions, anxiety and tension (Worwood, 34).

Acne, analgesic, antillergenic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiseptic, anxiety, asthma, athlete’s foot, boil, bruise, burn, chicken pox, chilblains, childbirth, colic, dandruff, depression, dermatitis, diuretic, earache, flatulence, headache, hypertension, insect bites, insecticide, insect repellent, insomnia, irritability, itchiness, lice, migraine, muscle pain and stiffness, nausea, nightmares, rheumatism, scabies, sedative, sprains and strains, stress, stretch marks, sunburn, vomiting, whooping cough, wounds (Althea Press, 349).

Stimulates the growth of new cells, kills bacteria, antibiotic, antiviral, prevents scarring, eases pain, abcess, acne, allergies, athlete’s foot, boils, bruises, inflammation, dermatitis, eczema, insect bites, insect stings, insect repellent, psoriasis, scabies, sunburn, minor burns and scalds, sores, pimples, wounds, reduces body odor, increases energy, eases digestion, respiratory problems, urinary systems, relieves cramps of intestines and uterus, helps expel gas, regulates menstrual flow, antiseptic, antiviral, antibiotic, expel mucus, inhalation and chest rub for bronchitis, coughs, colds, laryngitis, mucus, throat infections, arthritis, lumbago, muscular aches and pains, rheumatism, sciatica, muscle tension (Purchon, 72-73).

Burns, inflammation, cuts, wounds, eczema, dermatitis, fainting, headaches, influenza, insomnia, hysteria, migraine, nausea, nervous tension, infections, bacterial conditions, sores, ulcers, acne, boils, asthma, rheumatism, arthritis (Worwood, 401).

In Summary:

Lavender is capable of many important jobs and is a delight to use. Every home should have a bottle of lavender, if no other oil, because it is so very effective in the treatment of burns and scalds. Lavender oil is a natural antibiotic, antiseptic, antidepressant, sedative, a detoxifier which promotes healing and prevents scarring, and also stimulates the immune system and contributes to the healing process by stimulating the cells of a wound to regenerate more quickly...  It also has a multitude of other qualities which make it a truly indispensable oil (Worwood, 19-20).

Based on the history of this oil and the successful outcomes of its use, we consider Lavender to be a truly priceless oil and an indispensable part of the at-home essential oil collection.

Articles and Case Studies for Further Reading:

Pediatric Experts Find Aromatherapy Effective for Promoting Infant Healing, NAS Recovery

The Effects of Lavender Oil Inhalation on Emotional States, Autonomic Nervous System and Brain Electrical Activity (PubMed article)

Fall Prevention Using Olfactory Stimulation with Lavender Essential with Elderly

The Effects of Lavender Essential Oil Inhalation on Emotional States

The Effects of Lavender Essential Oil Inhalation for Insomnia

The Effect of Inhalation of Aromatherapy Blend containing Lavender Essential Oil on Cesarean Postoperative Pain (NCBI article by Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine)

Lavendula Capsules for Depressive Disorders, Anxiety, Insomnia (PubMed article)

Additional PubMed Articles

Essential oils in the treatment of intestinal dysbiosis: A preliminary in vitro study.
"Carum carvi [Caraway], Lavandula angustifolia [Lavender], Trachyspermum copticum [Ajowan] and Citrus aurantium var. amara [Neroli] essential oils displayed the greatest degree of selectivity, inhibiting the growth of potential pathogens at concentrations that had no effect on the beneficial bacteria examined."
"The most promising essential oils for the treatment of intestinal dysbiosis are Carum carvi, Lavandula angustifolia, Trachyspermum copticum, and Citrus aurantium var. amara. The herbs from which these oils are derived have long been used in the treatment of gastrointestinal symptoms and the in vitro results of this study suggest that their ingestion will have little detrimental impact on beneficial members of the GIT microflora. More research is needed, however, to investigate tolerability and safety concerns, and verify the selective action of these agents."




Higley, Connie & Alan. Reference Guide for Essential Oils (2012).

Tisserand, Robert. Essential Oil Safety, Second Ed. (2014).

Althea Press. Essential oils, Natural Remedies: The Complete A-Z Reference of Essential Oils for Health and Healing (2015).

Purchon, Nerys and Lora Cantele. The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oil Handbook for Everyday Wellness (2014).

Worwood, Valerie. Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child (2000).

Worwood, Valerie. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy (1991).

Buckle, Jane. Clinical Aromatherapy Essential Oils in Practice (2003).

Davis, Patricia. Aromatherapy: An A-Z (2000).

Price, Shirley & Len. Aromatherapy for Health Professionals (2012).

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