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Lavender Essential Oil: 2 Myths (Debunked)

Updated: Jun 20, 2021

1. Lavender Can be used for everything

2. If mixed in other oils, lavender is still beneficial.


1. Lavender Can be used for everything

Let us assume, when we are talking about lavender, we are talking about an essential oil that is pure (not diluted) and of good quality. Also, let us assume we are talking about L. angustifolia (but sometimes it's L. officinalis that we are talking about); you do want to know what you are buying. There are other lavender plants as well. Even among the same species, different seasons offer slightly different chemical make-up of the plant. However, lavender is grown, in some cases, in controlled situations so as to monitor the quality of the plant. In any case, most lavender has a relatively high content of linalool and linalyl acetate.

The main components of lavender, linalool and linalyl acetate, have been studied much more widely in recent years, and they have been shown to have many beneficial properties. In fact, these and other chemicals from lavender are approved by the FDA and are put in many food products. Here is a meta-analysis from the NIH on the benefits of lavender. We can almost certainly say that lavender helps with sleep and reduction of anxiety. When anxiety is reduced and someone is sleeping well, that also helps with concentration, mood, memory, and other things, so it is hard to say if lavender directly helps with the other functions of the brain. Also, you do NOT have to ingest lavender to have these helpful effects. A few drops of the oil can be put into a warm bath, on a tissue by your pillow or in a diffuser.

However, there are a growing number of people who are using lavender for pain control, treating epilepsy, treating various forms of dementia, and treating wound and gastrointestinal bacteria. Lavender has been shown over and over to be relatively safe, meaning "it can't hurt", so there may not be any harm in trying it for various ailments. And, if placebo affect alone helps when using lavender, again, no harm done usually. However, I want to reiterate what I put on my previous post about essential oils, which is, it is not recommended that you ingest something if you do not know how it will affect you. Also, we have assumed that your bottle of lavender EO is pure, not diluted, and of good quality. However, what if it is diluted in almond oil? Almond oil has a very short shelf life before bacteria starts to grow, as it is not a stable molecular structure. Would that make a difference upon ingestion? It just might, actually, make a difference between feeling better or feeling worse.

My words to the wise, in the case of lavender, as are follows:

1. Know what you are buying. There are reputable, none-the-less expensive, but reputable organizations that sell lavender (Young Living and Alterra are a couple). However, they also sell lavender in blends, with other essential oils and make Great claims about them. I will get into that below, but my suggestion is to stick with pure lavender, if you want to have the highest chance of positive effects and the lowest chance of negative effects.

2. Lavender is one of the least expensive essential oils to extract. You can find good quality lavender in local stores. Read the labels and make sure it is not diluted (with alcohol or a base oil).

3. Pure, undiluted lavender is not known to go bad or rancid. A little can go a long way and can be kept for a long time.

2. If mixed in other oils, lavender is still beneficial.

Lavender, as is true for all other essential oils, can be sold as pure essential oil, or it can be sold in a blend or diluted. I'll say this again, it is of your utmost best interest to know what you are buying - especially to know if the lavender is diluted or in a blend. When any essential oil is in a blend or diluted, one thing we do know is this - we do NOT know the efficacy of this. Meaning, we cannot extrapolate and say that the same effects will occur as they do with pure lavender. This goes for all oils. We also cannot say it is good to ingest or put on the skin. If you want to diffuse a blend, great. You just don't know if it really will help you relax or if it will just smell nice. Nothing wrong with that, unless it is diluted in a sticky base oil that ruins your diffuser.

Let's say this - Lavender may help you relax, no matter the blend it is in, especially if you like the smell. Placebo effects, again, can be enough. My point here is to know this and not profess anything other than this. You really would not want to do any harm to you or your family.


Here is a link to a friend of mine who sells Young living. She is an RN who prides herself on staying up to date with best practice, research and the literature. Although, I am not promoting Young Living, nor are they a sponsor.

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