A part of the mint family of herbs, the lavender genus comprises approximately 40 different species. It is easily identifiable by its tall, spear-like appearance and its vibrant, purple blossoms that emit a highly fragrant aroma. The essential oil found within the plant is camphorous and potent, with a very pungent scent of floral undertones. Essential oil of lavender has many uses.
Lavender's use in aromatherapy is common, and practitioners of aromatherapy believe that inhaling the scent of lavender can help relieve many issues. Anxiety, insomnia, stress, headaches and depression all are ailments treated with lavender aromatherapy. The essential oil of lavender is placed in a ceramic warmer or oil burner to release its pleasing aroma. Essential oil of lavender also is found in incense, candles and potpourri dishes to freshen the air and invigorate the senses of those who inhale the fragrance.
Oil of lavender has camphor-like properties, much like eucalyptus, and when rubbed into the skin creates a pleasurable warming sensation. Massage therapists often make their own oils from oil of lavender, but many commercial massage oils contain it as well. Essential oil of lavender is excellent for massaging your feet after a hard day at work.
According to the University of Maryland, oil of lavender has been proved in studies to aide in some medical ailments. For instance, a study of 86 people with alopecia, a hair loss condition, found that by massaging the oil into the scalp a person may experience hair regrowth. Candidiasis, acne, wounds, burns and eczema are dermatological disorders for which lavender oil is used. It also is a popular allegation that post-operative patients experience better pain control when given oxygen-treated lavender oil.