Lavender infused oils and lotions are often used to help with relaxation and as a sleep aid. But lavender has many helpful properties, and can be used for first aid and to cool down during the Summer months. Lavender essential oil is unique in that it can be used undiluted on the skin. While most essential oils must be placed in a carrier oil or lotion when used topically, lavender can be placed directly on the skin as first aid for insect bites and minor cuts and burns – including sunburn. Lavender is also mild enough to be used on children.
To help ease the pain and discomfort of minor sunburns, simply put a few drops of lavender essential oil into your hands and then gently rub it onto the burned area. While severe burns will require medical attention, the restorative properties of the essential oil can help repair the skin.
To help decrease the inflammation of insect bites, or to help heal minor cuts or scrapes, simply dab the essential oil directly onto the wound. Again, severe or deep wounds will require medical attention. But the anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties of lavender essential oil can help heal the skin.
Lavender cool compresses are a great way to cool down during the Summer. These can be made ahead of time and stored in a freezer or cooler to be used as needed. To make a compress, pour about four cups of cool water into a bowl and add a few ice cubes. Add approximately 30 drops of lavender essential oil. You can also add ten drops of peppermint or spearmint oil to the bowl as well, as these oils have great cooling properties. Stir the water to distribute the oil and then soak a small wash cloth in the water. Next, wring out the wash cloth, fold it, place it in a zipper bag and either toss it in the freezer, or pack it in your cooler when heading outdoors. The back of the neck, the forehead, behind the knees and under the arms are great places to use these compresses when you are overheated.
Remember, there is a difference between lavender essential oil and lavender fragrance products. The essential oil is made directly from lavender flowers, while lavender scented products are made from synthetic fragrances and perfumes. These synthetic products sometimes irritate healthy skin and should not be used on damaged skin or on children. Check the ingredients of any product to verify it was created with essential oils.
Susan Worwood’s Essential Aromatherapy: A Pocket Guide to Essential Oils and Aromatherapy was used as reference for this article.