(Lavendula angustifolia) Lavender is the most versatile aromatic oil used in aromatherapy today, often called 'medicine chest in a bottle' - no wonder it is suggested it be included in every aromatherapy kit. The essential oil is a nearly colorless, with a fragrant, sweet floral-herbaceous scent and a slight woody undertone. Lavender blends well with most oils, especially citrus like Sweet Orange, florals like Ylang Ylang and Geranium, and with woody scents like Cedarwood, and Pine.
Lavender oil is highly regarded for it's relaxing effect on the nervous system, with an overall balancing effect on the mind and the emotions. Besides being versatile, its lightly floral and soothing scent is one that most people find appealing, and is often used as a perfume. It's also one of the few essential oils that can be safely applied neat in all situations (i.e. without being diluted in a carrier oil - another notable exception being Roman Chamomile). Applying directly to the feet can have a wonderful calming effect on many individuals.
Adding to a foot bath can have a marked effect on relieving fatigue.
Lavender has been studied for its ability to help restful, deep sleep; one clinical report noted Lavender oil to be better than Valium in helping folks get a good night's rest. One can diffuse Lavender in their bedroom or just sprinkle a few drops on the sheets for this effect.
Lavender is one of the few oils still listed in the British Pharmacopoeia; it is highly regarded for it's ability to promote tissue regeneration and speed wound healing in some cases. This oil truly began the modern essential oil revolution - It was in the middle of the last century that the term 'Aromatherapy' was coined by French cosmetic chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse - Dr. Gattefosse discovered the healing properties of Lavender when, after burning his hands in a laboratory accident, he submersed them in the flower's essential oil. His amazingly speedy recovery prompted him to write his book 'Aromatherapy' in 1937.
Information courtesy of http://www.anandaapothecary.com
"If you can't eat it, don't put it on your skin."