Lavender essential oil is the best-selling and well-known essential oil on the market today due to the many lavender essential oil benefits and uses. Many believe it is one of the “must-have on hand at all times” essential oils. It is no surprise with its ability to promote relaxation, calming, and recognizable scent. It is also an extremely adaptable essential oil, everything from being used in perfumes and soaps or addressing minor skin issues such as mild burns, bug bites, and sunburn to aiding in sleep for many.
The lavender essential oil can be called common lavender, true lavender, or English lavender and should be listed with the botanical name Lavandula angustifolia, Lavandula officinalis, or Lavandula vera. The botanical family is lamiaceae (labiatae). Lavender essential oil is on the lower-middle cost end for essential oils. Prices range from $7.50 to – $23 for 15 ml depending on the brand and if it is organic.
Lavender essential oil has GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe for food additive or flavoring by the US Food and Drug Administration) status.* The main constituents (over 10%) are linalool and linalyl acetate. The fragrance note classification is middle-top and the consistency is thin.
For much more on essential oils, be sure to see my Guide to Essential Oils.
Lavender Essential Oil Benefits and Uses
There are so many lavender essential oil benefits and uses, which makes it one of the best essential oils to have in your collection. Lavender essential oil provides an earthy floral scent that is experienced anytime that it is used. Here are many of the ways lavender essential oil can be used:
- Relaxes mood
- Use in massage
- Helps depression
- Heals minor burns
- Reduces scarring
- Reduces the appearance of wrinkles
- Reduces stress
- Soothes sunburn
- Soothes skin irritations
- Reduce inflammation and pain
- Relaxes and aids in better sleep by placing drops on bedding, diffusing or applying topically
- Add to lotion or other skincare products
- Add to laundry detergent, wool dryer balls or a cloth in the dryer to lightly scent laundry
- Reduces hair loss
- Use to make lice spray
- Diaper rash (if comfortable using on baby and should be a low dilution, please note dilution rate by age below or use a hydrosol)
- Add a drop or two to shampoo or conditioner
- Use on canker sores to relieve pain and heal quickly
- Bath oil (dilute properly prior to adding to bath)
- Freshen fabrics, rooms, and closets by making a room spray
- Reduces anxious feelings
- Bed bug spray when traveling (just spray the mattress)
- Some will use to flavor food and drinks, such as lemonade to make a Lavender Lemonade*
Essential Oils That Blend With Lavender Essential Oil
Blending essential oils together allows users to create interesting scents that offer additional therapeutic benefits than using one essential oil at a time. Many of the leading essential oil blends share recommended essential oils that blend well with the lavender essential oil uses, here is a collective list.
- Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
- Black Pepper (Piper nigrum)
- Blue Cyprus (Callitris intratropica)
- Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana)
- Chamomile – German (Matricaria chamomilla)
- Chamomile – Roman (Chamaemelum nobile)
- Citronella (Cymbopogon winterianus)
- Clove Bud (Syzygium aromaticum)
- Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)
- Cyprus (Cupresses sempervirens)
- Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata)
- Geranium (Pelargonium x asperum or Pelargonium graveolens)
- Grapefruit (Citrus x paradisi)
- Helichrysum Italicum (Helichrysum italicum)
- Jasmine (Jasminum sambac or Jasminum officinale var. grandiflorum)
- Juniper Berry (Juniperus communis)
- Lemon (Citrus x limon)
- Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus)
- Mandarin (Citrus reticulata)
- Marjoram (Origanum majorana)
- Neroli (Citrus x aurantium)
- Oakmoss (Evernia prunastri)
- Orange (Citrus sinensis)
- Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin)
- Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii var motia)
- Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
- Pine (Pinus banksiana)
- Ravensara (Ravensara aromatica)
- Rose (Rosa x centifolia)
- Rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora)
- Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
- Sandalwood (Santalum spicatum)
- Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
- Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
- Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides)
- Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata)
If you are not ready to start mixing essential oils on your own, you can always look to purchase one that has already been formulated. Many of the essential oil companies offer essential oil blends that have been created by aromatherapists on staff who understand how the chemistry of essential oils impacts the human body.
These are sometimes listed as blends or synergies with their own marketing name that usually gives some indication of what they might address. Since lavender essential oil is so versatile there are many synergies and blends that contain that are being sold on the market today, here are a few examples:
- Worry Free from Plant Therapy
- Stress Away from Young Living
- Peace from doTERRA
- Calm Leg Blend from Aromatics
- Age Defy from Eden’s Garden
How is Lavender Essential Oil Made?
To extract the lavender essential oil, most brands will use steam distillation with the flowering tops of the plant. Most essential oil brands source their lavender flowers primarily from Bulgaria as well as France, Greece, Hungry, Spain and the USA. Some will indicate where their lavender flowers have been grown in the product information as this causes variations in the chemical composition of the essential oil. A number of the essential oil brands sell different types of lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil listed by the country of origin.
The Shelf Life of Lavender Essential Oil
The shelf life of lavender essential oil is approximately 4-6 years with proper storage in cool, dark spaces. Older oils can potentially cause sensitization or skin irritation due to oxidation.
Can You Use Lavender Essential Oil on or Around Children?
Yes. Recommended age is over 2 years old for normal use with appropriate dilution. With so many lavender essential oil benefits and uses it is great to know it can be used on children to help with their ailments.
When needing to do the topical application on young children, consider using a Lavender hydrosol. A hydrosol is the aromatic water that remains from the distillation process for obtaining the essential oil. It contains many of the therapeutic benefits of the essential oil, but is not as strong and much more gentle on the skin. These typically do not need to be diluted and would be a safer option for young children.
Many essential oils can be used for children under the age of 2 years old but should be done so mindfully and carefully. Always refer to the specific instructions listed for the essential oil by the brand you are purchasing from.
Lavender Essential Oil Dilution Rate for Topical Application
- Adult: 2-5% dilution
- 0-3 months of age: general dilution rates recommended at 0.1-0.2%
- 3-24 months of age: general dilution rates recommended at 0.25-0.5%
- 2-6 years of age: general dilution rates are recommended at 1-2%; some brands recommend a max of 1% for children
- 6-15 years of age: general dilution rates are recommended at 1.5-3%; some brands recommend a max of 1% for children
Things to Consider When Using Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil does not have any known cautions, hazards, or contraindications. Refer to the botanical name for the lavender essential oil to ensure you are purchasing the essential oil intended, as there are other lavender species essential oils such as spike lavender (lavandula latifolia or lavandula spica), Spanish lavender (lavandula stoecha), and lavandin (lavandula x intermedia, lavandula hybrida or lavandula hortensis) that offer other benefits, scents, and cautions. For example, Spanish lavender (lavandula stoecha) should not be used in any way in pregnancy and breastfeeding due to the high content of the constituent camphor.
Lavender essential oil’s natural chemical profile and scent vary depending on the country of origin. Growing lavender in higher altitudes can also alter the chemical profile and provide enhanced therapeutic benefits.
Some companies produce Lavender hydrosols, which are great for children, pets, and adults. This product can be used as a toner, soothing skin that has been over-exposed to the sun, instead of distilled water in DIY recipes or as a room and linen spray.
Since lavender essential oil can cause drowsiness and sleepiness, it should not be used when taking sedative medication.
Some brands state that lavender essential oil can cause possible skin sensitivity. Keep out of reach of children.
Lavender Essential Oil Facts
Lavender has been used in many cultures and for thousands of years in many of the ways we use lavender essential oil today. It was found in King Tutankhamen’s tomb, was used during the mummification process, and was used for beauty in ancient Egypt. Greeks and Romans used lavender in the worship of their gods, to scent their bathwater, and medicinally.
During the Medieval and Renaissance periods clothes were washed with lavender. In England, it was used to address the Great Plague in London and has been used in everything from soaps, and perfumes to brewing as tea.
In the early 1900s French chemist and scholar René-Maurice Gattefossé was in a laboratory explosion and used lavender essential oil to rapidly stop the spread of gas gangrenous sores. He spent time after this incident researching the benefits of essential oils and is considered the Father of Aromatherapy. He is credited with coining the word “aromatherapy” when he wrote his book in 1937 called Aromathérapie.
Final Thoughts on Lavender Essential Oil Benefits and Uses
There are many lavender essential oil benefits and uses used throughout the years as mentioned above. Lavender is a staple essential oil to have in your collection so as needs arise you can easily address them with this incredible essential oil.
*Please note, that not all essential oils should be ingested and the specific essential oil brand labels and directions should be followed. Also, there is debate within the industry regarding the ingestion of essential oils without following guidance from a physician or certified aromatherapist.