It’s not cabbage! It’s ginger!

Your ginger friend has a silent fortitude. She is determined and motivated. She makes decisions and acts on them. There is no procrastination with ginger. She has a warm side to her personality too, which she uses to encourage, strengthen and support. If you are feeling indecisive or disassociated with life in general, turn to ginger.

My new supply of essential oils arrived this week, delivered to my place of work. In the absence of our managers At lunchtime a ‘show and smell’ session was enjoyed by a couple of my work mates. I couldn’t wait to open ginger oil with its warm and spicy scent. So imagine my utter disdain surprise when one of my work mates declared ‘That smells like cabbage’.

Ginger doesn’t smell like cabbage, but the scent of its essential oil is more concentrated and potent than the aroma of candied ginger or gingerbread with which you may be familiar. The trick to smelling essential oils from the bottle is to keep the bottle at a distance, about level with your chin, and wave it about slightly not shove it up your nostril allowing the aroma to delicately waft through the air.

Rant over Moving on, ginger is an exotic herb that has its origins in Asia and is now widely cultivated in other countries such as India, China and Japan. It’s an ugly-looking herb, admittedly, the root looking like a gnarly old man, although it does sometimes sprout pretty white or yellow flowers on a green spike-like stalk.

Ginger has a variety of uses as a herb and as an essential oil, so this week I’ve included a herbal remedy in my methods of use.

Ginger tea, ahh lovely

Ginger root makes a delicious tea that has many benefits. It eases nausea, indigestion, flatulence and travel or morning sickness (the herb, not oil, being safe to use in the first trimester of pregnancy). It’s good for colds and flu, sore throats, congestion, coughs, chills and so on. It’s a stimulant for debilitative conditions, apathy and fatigue. The brew is warming, strengthening and, for want of a better word, encouraging. To make:

  • chop 1 inch off the fresh root, wash and peel lightly
  • grate into a mug and pour over boiling water
  • add one teaspoon of honey or sugar, and stir
  • cover and leave to brew for five minutes
  • sip slowly and enjoy

If you have a bad cold add a slice or two of lemon to the above remedy. I force-fed kindly made this for my work mates one winter when a flu pandemic swept through the office.

Warming massage oil

Ginger is a very good essential oil for stimulating circulation and easing aches and pains in muscles. It’s great as a muscle rub on chilly days when your joints may be feeling achy and stiff. A 3% dilution is safe to use, but if you have sensitive skin do a patch test first. Blend in a dark-glass bottle:

  • 30ml carrier oil (a vegetable oil, eg sweet almond, olive or sunflower)
  • 18 drops ginger oil

Shake your blend well, then pour a little into your hand and massage over your aching limbs, using circular, outward movements until it’s absorbed by your skin.

Anti-aging skin oil

Ginger oil may not be the most obvious choice for beauty care, but surprisingly this essential oil does have some anti-aging benefits. It’s great if your complexion is looking tired, dull, grey and congested. It’s also thought to have antioxidant properties, so great for mature skins. I like to blend it with rose and frankincense oils to stimulate circulation and to give skin a radiant glow. Blend in a dark-glass bottle:

  • 30ml jojoba oil (my preferred choice of carrier for facial massage)
  • 7 drops frankincense oil
  • 7 drops rose oil
  • 4 drops ginger oil

Massage a teaspoonful on cleansed skin, avoiding the eye area. Do this for four to five minutes, then remove using a warm damp flannel.

This post is dedicated to Oisin, because he hates ginger.

Profile of ginger:

Latin name: Zingiber officinale
Plant family: Zingiberaceae
Plant type: spice
Perfume note: top/middle
Botany and origins: a perennial herb growing to about 1m high with a thick and tuberous root, annually it sprouts a green reed-like stalk with spear-shaped leaves and white or yellow flowers. It is native to southern Asia but cultivated in many countries including the West Indies, India, China and Japan
Extraction: steam distillation
Chemical properties/active components: primarily sesquiterpenes (55%), including sesquiphellandrene, zingiberene and curcumene; sesquiterpenes are, among other actions, anti-inflammatory
Blends with: sandalwood, vetiver, patchouli, frankincense, rosewood, cedarwood, rose, the orange oils and other citrus oils
Key actions: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, bactericidal, digestive, expectorant, rubefaciant (stimulates circulation of capillaries – tiny blood vessels), stimulant, strengthening, warming
Common conditions: poor circulation, cold hands and feet, arthritis, rheumatism, physical/muscular fatigue, muscular aches and pains, sprains and strains; poor digestion, flatulence, travel and morning sickness, indigestion, loss of appetite, nausea; catarrhal conditions, coughs, sinusitis, congestion, chills, colds, flu, debility; nervous exhaustion, apathy, indecision, emotional fatigue
Contraindications: non-toxic and non-irritant, although it may irritate sensitive skins and cause sensitisation in some. Avoid during the first three months of pregnancy (although ginger root tea is helpful and safe to use for morning sickness)
Further reading: This profile is based on my own experience and knowledge of using this essential oil. Other aromatherapy texts will list a wider range of properties and uses. The most comprehensive essential oil profiles that I have read are given by Salvatore Battaglia’s The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, Second Edition, published by Perfect Potion, 2003, Australia. ISBN:  0-6464-2896-9

Image © 123RF

The chamomile sisters

The chamomile sisters are kind and gentle, sensible and reliable. But this is where their similarities end. Blue is the practical sort, she is down-to-earth and takes a no-nonsense approach to life. Like a caring but firm matron, she steps in to sort things out and provides emotional strength. Roman takes a softer, subtler approach. She is the listener and comforter. Wherever a storm is brewing she enters with serenity and sunshine to cast the clouds away.

This week I decided to use two essential oils. So similar are the chamomiles in their therapeutic actions that it hardly seemed worth separating them. There is a third chamomile – Moroccan chamomile (Ormensis mixta) – although blue and roman are more commonly used in aromatherapy.

The only thing that separates these two oils, in my mind, is their fragrance. Roman chamomile has a sweet, floral, almost fruity fragrance, reminiscent of apple blossom. Blue chamomile has a strong, overpowering and herbaceous aroma – it’s an acquired taste, one I’ve not acquired.

Both herbs yield their oils by steam distillation of their small, delicate, white daisy-like flowers. Blue is an annual herb growing to about 60cm, with a hairless stem and feathery leaves, and roman is perennial, growing to about 25cm with a hairy stem and feathery leaves.

Traditionally the chamomiles are known as the ‘children’s remedy’. They are among the gentlest oils you can use for babies, children and for those with sensitive skins. For obvious reasons, I prefer to use roman chamomile for children’s remedies and skin care. Most people find its scent more pleasant than blue, and an aromatherapy blend is as much about the aesthetics as it is about healing.

Chamomile compress

Both chamomiles have a strong anti-inflammatory action. They are helpful for muscular aches and pains, sprains, inflamed joints and torn tendons, or for irritated, inflamed skin, rheumatism and arthritis. I often blend chamomile for backache with other anti-inflammatory oils such as lavender.

However, I’ve found blue to be the more anti-inflammatory of the two, so, with nose peg in place, this is how you make a hot chamomile compress.

You’ll need:

  • shallow bowl filled with near boiling water
  • blue chamomile oil
  • clean flannel
  • clean towels

Add five to six drops blue chamomile to the water and hold your flannel taut over the bowl until it just skims the water surface, absorbing the oil. Carefully raise the cloth (it should not be dripping) and lower slowly onto skin to allow adjustment to the heat. For example, place on an aching shoulder muscle. Then wrap the compress and that area of your body in a towel and leave for five to 10 minutes.

Hot compresses are suitable for relieving chronic pain (for example, people who chronically suffer from a bad back), menstrual cramps, to draw out infection or splinters, and for general aches and pains. Cold compresses are better for first aid use on muscle injuries such as sprains, inflammations or for acute pain or irritated skin. For a cold compress substitute the above method for a bowl of iced water. For severe injuries or persistent pain always contact a medical practitioner.

Soothing and calming

Roman’s turn. Roman chamomile is lovely to use in skin care because of its sweet floral fragrance, calming effects on the mind and soothing action on sensitive or inflamed skins. I gave this blend to a friend for a nightly facial massage oil to prevent skin breakouts during a period of stress. She found it kept her skin clear and also helped her to sleep peacefully.

Blend 30ml jojoba oil with 6 drops roman chamomile, 6 drops lavender and 6 drops geranium. Massage a teaspoonful on face and neck after cleansing your skin.

Blue and orange, roman and vanilla

For blending tips, I’ve found that blue chamomile blends very well with sweet orange or mandarin oils – in a ratio of orange 2:blue chamomile 1. The sweet zesty scent of orange offsets the strong herby aroma of blue chamomile and makes it much more palatable to use. Carry out a patch test before using sweet orange as it may irritate some sensitive skins.

After receiving some enquiries from a friend about using vanilla oil (an oil little-used in aromatherapy) I decided to explore its use with roman chamomile. They complement each other in equal ratios for a charming, warming and comforting room fragrance.

The chamomiles are among those essential oils whose uses for common everyday conditions are so varied that it would take too long to write them all here. The profiles below provide a summary of their actions and methods of use.

This post is dedicated to Sarah Bee, because she is an oasis of calm.

Profile of blue chamomile:

Latin name: Matricaria recutica
Plant family: Asteraceae (Compositae)
Plant type: herb
Perfume note: middle
Botany and origins: originally grown in Germany (it is also called German chamomile) it is native to Europe, north and west Asia and is also grown in North America, Australia and eastern Europe
Extraction: steam distillation is the most common method, although an absolute can be produced
Chemical properties/active components: 35% sesquiterpenes, which are calming, soothing and anti-inflammatory; main active constituent is chamazulene (sesquiterpene)
Blends with: orange oils, chamomiles, patchouli, geranium and lavender
Key actions: analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, bactericidal, calming, soothing, sedative
Common conditions: a children’s remedy to aid sleep; nausea, muscular pains and spasms, rheumatism and arthritis, sprains, inflamed joints and tendons; soothes dry, sensitive and irritated or itching skin, acne, allergies, burns, cuts, dermatitis, eczema, rashes, insect bites and wounds
Contraindications: non-toxic, non-sensitising and non-irritant. It is reportedly an emmenagogue (promotes menstruation); avoid during pregnancy.

Profile of roman chamomile:

Latin name: Anthemis nobilis
Plant family: Asteraceae (Compositae)
Plant type: herb
Perfume note: middle
Botany and origins: native to south and west Europe, it is also grown in England, Belgium, France, Italy, Hungary and North America
Extraction: steam distillation
Chemical properties/active components: 75% esters (particularly active constituents are angelates responsible for its anti-inflammatory actions)
Blends with: orange oils, citrus oils, floral oils, herb oils – and vanilla!
Key actions: analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, bactericidal, calming, soothing, sedative
Common conditions: a children’s remedy to aid sleep and soothe irritated skin; nausea, menstrual pain and PMS; muscular pain, rheumatism, arthritis, sprains, inflamed joints; acne, allergic skin reactions, burns, cuts, dermatitis, eczema, inflamed skin, insect bites, rashes, sensitive skin; headaches, depression, nervous tension, insomnia, migraine, stress, irritability and restlessness
Contraindications: non-toxic and non-irritant, although it may irritate very sensitive skins. It is reportedly an emmenagogue (promotes menstruation); avoid during pregnancy.

Further reading: These profiles are based on my own experience and knowledge of using these essential oils. Other aromatherapy texts will list a wider range of properties and uses. The most comprehensive essential oil profiles that I have read are given by Salvatore Battaglia’s The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, Second Edition, published by Perfect Potion, 2003, Australia. ISBN:  0-6464-2896-9

Image © 123RF

Lights! Camera! Action! It’s jasmine!

Jasmine was the girl at school ‘most likely to become a movie star’. She is confident, outgoing, sophisticated and glamorous. She has an inner luminosity that brings inspiration and courage to those that fall within her sphere.

Jasmine is a delicate and beautiful plant, reminiscent of warm and dusky summer evenings. It is an evergreen vine, or shrub, with small shiny green leaves and white star-shaped flowers, which release their most potent aroma at night.

Traditionally jasmine has been used as an aphrodisiac in perfume oils and as a tonic for women during menstruation and childbirth. It has many other uses such as relaxing tense muscles and spasms, and relieving catarrh and coughs (although there are cheaper oils that can do this just as effectively, eg lavender and myrtle oils respectively). Jasmine is also thought to be an antidepressant.

I have always found the fragrance of jasmine to be enchanting and spellbinding. Jasmine casts a spell that allows you to believe in yourself, it creates confidence and dispels lethargy and doubt. Jasmine is the friend who pushes you out of your comfort zone and encourages you to reach for your dreams.

Air of inspiration

In spring and summer months I like to burn jasmine oil in the early morning, just as the sun is waking up. The rich scent weaves its magic into the smells of dawn and dew, creating an inspiring air. It awakens the mind and a spark of creativity, dispelling lethargy or self doubt.

For inspiration pour four to five drops of jasmine oil into your oil burner. Light the candle and prepare to be spellbound!

Enchanting hair oil

Jasmine has been used for centuries in India to fragrance hair. To create an enchanting hair conditioning oil you’ll need:

  • medium-sized dark glass jar
  • 100ml coconut oil
  • 60 drops jasmine oil

Melt the coconut oil by putting it in a bowl and standing the bowl in boiling water. When the oil has melted to liquid form pour in your jasmine oil and stir. Quickly pour your blend into the dark glass jar before the coconut oil sets again.

To use, get a teaspoon amount of your jasmine-fragranced coconut oil and massage into your scalp, combing through the lengths of your hair. Cover with a warm towel and leave for 30 minutes. Then shampoo and rinse out. The coconut oil nourishes hair and jasmine leaves it subtly fragranced.

In summer, I also like to buy unscented shampoos and conditioners and create my own scent by adding jasmine oil. Use the same dilutions for jasmine coconut oil – 100ml unscented shampoo or conditioner to 60 drops jasmine oil. Always store your blend in dark glass, because essential oils can corrode plastic containers.

Romantic bathing oil

Jasmine is warming, comforting and soothing. Its fragrance calms nervous tension and anxiety, soothes feelings of restlessness and provides feelings of encouragement and self belief. Its aroma is also perfect for setting a romantic mood.

For a luxurious bath, run your bath water then pour in a blend of 20ml olive oil and 20 drops jasmine oil. This is a 5% dilution that may be used in baths. Enjoy.

This post is dedicated to Lisa, because, like jasmine, she’s a star!

Profile of jasmine:

Latin name: Jasminum officinale
Plant family: Oleaceae
Plant type: floral
Perfume note: middle
Botany and origins: originally native to China, west Asia and north India; also cultivated in the Mediterranean and France
Extraction: solvent extraction to produce jasmine absolute or steam distillation to produce jasmine essential oil
Chemical properties/active components: 54% esters including benzyl acetate and benzyl benzoate; its main volatile constituent is benzyl acetate
Blends with: rose, sandalwood, clary sage and all citrus oils
Key actions: aphrodisiac, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, analgesic, expectorant, stimulant, soothing
Common conditions: skin care for dry, irritated and sensitive skins, and for oily skins; depression, lethargy, nervous anxiety, restlessness and tension
Contraindications: non-toxic, non-sensitising and non-irritant. Avoid during pregnancy
Further reading: This profile is based on my own experience and knowledge of using this essential oil. Other aromatherapy texts will list a wider range of properties and uses. The most comprehensive essential oil profiles that I have read are given by Salvatore Battaglia’s The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, Second Edition, published by Perfect Potion, 2003, Australia. ISBN:  0-6464-2896-9

Image © 123RF

Myrtle, the quiet one

Myrtle is your shy friend. She is quiet and unassuming, often fading into the background. Her nature is humble and pure. When life leaves you feeling a little grey, myrtle will reveal her inner radiance and help you to shake off the cobwebs, allowing you to shine once more.

Myrtle is a subtle and charming plant. It originates from the Mediterranean and grows like a shrub or small tree, with oval and shiny dark green leaves. If you’re lucky your myrtle will bloom delicate white flowers, which will eventually turn into edible dark berries.

There are many myths surrounding myrtle, but the most enduring is that of the goddess Venus and her priestess Myrene. Myrene, a favoured priestess of Venus, took a secret lover and the goddess, angered by her priestess’s indiscretion, killed the young man and turned Myrene into a myrtle tree. Since then myrtle has always been planted by temples of Venus and eventually became a symbol of the love goddess.

Myrtle is a particular favourite of mine because it was the subject of my plant study during my training as an aromatherapist. As a result my mother’s garden is now home to two myrtle plants, which have, as yet, survived assault from our leonberger Mackie.

Easy breathing

Myrtle is helpful for respiratory problems. It has an expectorant action, helping to ease breathing when you have a cold or flu. Its scent is less obtrusive than eucalyptus oil and so it tends to be tolerated better by babies and young children. Its effects are also slightly sedative.

I gave a bottle of myrtle oil to a friend of mine when his baby son was suffering from a persistent cold and having trouble sleeping due to a stuffy nose. I advised dropping a little myrtle oil onto the corner of his pillow, and vapourising the oil in the room about half an hour before bedtime. He reported back that his baby son slept soundly and peacefully through the night for the first time since catching the cold.

Of course, I always like to mention when recommending aromatherapy for children that their primary source of healthcare should be from a medical practitioner (your GP), and a complementary method used only as a helping hand.

Radiant skin oil

After winter I always feel that my skin looks a little grey. To brighten my complexion for spring, I like to make a facial wash using myrtle oil. You’ll need:

  • a medium-sized dark-glass jar with a screw-top lid
  • 50ml aloe vera gel
  • 25ml olive oil
  • 30 drops myrtle oil
  • sterilised teaspoon (stirrer)

Whisk the aloe vera gel and olive oil in the jar with your teaspoon (use the handle of the teaspoon if this is easier) until you have a white-coloured gel. Add 30 drops myrtle oil and stir well again.

You can now use this blend as a simple gel-based facial wash every morning. Remove with a warm cotton flannel. Myrtle oil’s astringent and restorative properties will brighten skin, and clarify and tighten pores.

Purifying fragrance

Myrtle oil is a good choice for lifting your mood and dispelling dark thoughts or negative energy. The effects of its fragrance when burned in a room are uplifting and purifying. With spring on its way, I burned myrtle at home this week to banish negative stale energies and to welcome in positive emotions for the new season, such as optimism and hope.

This post is dedicated to Gosia, whose inner radiance shines like myrtle.

Profile of myrtle:

Latin name: Myrtus communis
Plant family: Myrtaceae
Plant type: floral
Perfume note: top/middle
Botany and origins: a small evergreen shrub with oval-shaped dark green leaves, small white flowers and edible blue-black berries; originally native to the Mediterranean.
Extraction: steam distillation
Chemical properties/active components: primarily cineol (oxide), helpful for respiratory problems
Blends with: bergamot, lavandin, lavender, rosemary, clary sage, lime, ginger and other spice oils
Key actions: astringent, antiseptic, bactericidal
Common conditions: acne, oily skin, large pores; asthma, bronchitis, chronic coughs, colds and flu; bladder infections
Contraindications: non-toxic, non-sensitising and non-irritant. As with most essential oils, it’s advisable to avoid during the first three months of pregnancy. Thereafter, it may be helpful for skin problems.
Further reading: This profile is based on my own experience and knowledge of using this essential oil. Other aromatherapy texts will list a wider range of properties and uses. The most comprehensive essential oil profiles that I have read are given by Salvatore Battaglia’s The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, Second Edition, published by Perfect Potion, 2003, Australia. ISBN:  0-6464-2896-9

Image © Mauro Rodrigues / 123RF

Living with lavender

bumble and honeybee on lavender

Your lavender friend is kind and understanding. She instinctively knows how you feel and she is ready to give a friendly smile and a comforting hug when you need one. 

I became a professional aromatherapist in 2005 after completing my diploma in Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Science with Neal’s Yard Remedies Ltd in Covent Garden, London. I studied hard to learn about the essential oils, carrier oils, anatomy and physiology, massage, beauty treatments, therapeutic relationships, and the history of natural medicine. My studies included profiling over 70 essential oils, such as their chemistry and actions.

My tutor Joyce West was a wonderful aromatherapist who taught us to “live with the essential oils”. Every week we chose an essential oil to wear as a fragrance, to use in skin care and massage, for bathing and other uses around the home. “Live with an essential oil,” said Joyce, “From morning till night, immerse yourself in its aroma and personality.”

This was my first post on my first blog about living with essential oils, which I have now revived here.

An introduction to lavender
Lavender is one of the most commonly used essential oils in aromatherapy. The herb has been popular since ancient times, it is a valued and versatile healer that restores balance to the body and mind. The 17th-century English herbalist, physician and astrologer Nicholas Culpeper (1616–54) described lavender as “being an inhabitant almost in every garden, it is so well known that it needs no description”. He assigned planetary rulership of lavender to the quick-witted messenger of the Roman gods, Mercury, because the herb helped to soothe headaches and aided sleep, yet stimulated the mind. It is lavender’s ability to both revive and calm, to balance most physical and emotional states, which makes it so widely used in aromatherapy.

There are different types of lavender. The essential oil that I lived with, and which is described here, is known as true lavender (Lavandula angustifolia). It has a distinctive yet subtle aroma, being sweetly floral and herbaceous. Its lance-shaped leaves with spears of purple flowers are familiar in most gardens. Press the flower head or leaf between your fingers, rub gently and lift your hand to smell the beautiful fragrance.

Lavender is widely known as the oil which started modern aromatherapy. The story of the French chemist René-Maurice Gattefossé (1881–1950) who discovered the oil’s healing properties in a laboratory accident is mentioned in almost every book about aromatherapy. Gattefossé burned his hand and accidentally immersed it in lavender oil, but then found that the oil eased his pain and helped the skin to heal faster without leaving a scar. It is a popular account of the revival of aromatherapy, although I’m not personally saying that burns and scalds are treated other than medically advised.

Still, I always keep a bottle of lavender oil in my cupboard. It is a kitchen staple because of its usefulness in treating so many ailments: spots, acne, eczema, minor skin infections, insect bites, inflammation, aching muscles, and so on. I find that it is a gentle-acting oil, but effective, and so suitable for most people to use.

My lavender diary
Gentle cleansing oil
I used lavender essential oil to care for my skin this week. A blend of 15 drops lavender oil and 15 drops geranium oil to 30ml olive oil in a dark glass bottle to use as a skin cleanser. The blend gently and effectively removed all traces of make up from my face, although, of course, I didn’t use the oil to remove eye make-up.

To use an oil-based cleanser like this, pour a teaspoonful amount onto the palm of your hand and massage on your face for a few minutes. Wipe off using a hot damp cotton cloth, and repeat. The first cleanse lifts off the grime of the day, while the second cleanse removes deep-down dirt and debris clogging up pores.

Adding lavender oil to my evening skin-care ritual helps to relax my mind and brings harmony to my thoughts at the end of a hectic day.

Relaxing and revitalising bath
After a long hard week, I used lavender oil for a comforting bath. While the bath water ran, I blended 10 drops of lavender oil with 10ml full-fat milk; skimmed milk is no good as the essential oil needs to bind with the fat to blend. When my bath was run, I poured in the whole blend and sloshed around thoroughly. I felt like Cleopatra bathing in my creamy lavender bath as the fragrance restored inner peace.

Sweet dreams
Finally, for a good night’s sleep and to awake feeling refreshed, I poured three to four drops of lavender oil on the corner of my pillow to drift naturally into sleep.

Lavender in folklore
I love to read about the myths and legends of plants and flowers, exploring the wisdom traditions in which they were once used. In Ancient Greece, lavender was a herb of Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft, and in pagan traditions it belonged to the Willow Moon which shone between 15 April to 12 May.

I remember a herbalist telling me how lavender wine was once drunk to help cure flatulence or colic. The herb was also thought to prevent fainting spells when mixed with fennel, cinnamon, horehound and asparagus root.

This post is dedicated to my grandmother, Antonie Ursula Dees, who introduced me to aromatherapy and a world of fragrances.

Profile of lavender essential oil:
Latin name: Lavandula angustifolia
Plant family: Labiatae or Lamiaceae
Plant type: herb
Perfume note: middle
Botany and origins: evergreen shrub native to the Mediterranean, now cultivated worldwide
Extraction: steam distillation
Chemical properties/active components: 45% esters (linalyl acetate, lavandulyl acetate), which are wound healing and anti-inflammatory; rich in alcohols (linalool), which are stimulating, powerful and gentle
Blends with: almost all essential oils
Key actions: antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, cytophylactic (stimulates skin renewal and wound healing, helps prevent scarring), decongestant (mild), sedative or stimulating
Common conditions: anxiety, agitation, depression, frustration, irritability, nervous tension, shock, stress; insomnia, headaches; high blood pressure, muscular aches and pains, rheumatism and arthritis, strains and sprains; colds and ‘flu; cystitis; acne, burns, eczema, inflammation, insect bites, skin infections, spots, sunburn, wounds
Contraindications: lavender is reportedly non-toxic and non-sensitising, but it is advised to avoid during the first three months of pregnancy
Further reading: This profile is based on my diploma studies, knowledge and experience of using this essential oil. Other aromatherapy texts will list a wider range of properties and uses. Some of the most comprehensive essential oil profiles that I have read are published in Salvatore Battaglia’s The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, Second Edition, Perfect Potion, 2003, Australia. ISBN:  0-6464-2896-9.