Health Benefits Of Lavender Essential Oil: Lavandula Vera

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Lavender is easily one of the most popular plants and essential oils in use today. In fact, I believe it should be a staple in every home. In our modern day and age, stress is something that affects almost all of us. It’s practically an inevitability as we rush to and fro, trying to make ends meet and keep up with the never-ending changes that seem to perforate every aspect of our lives.

The sad reality is that stress is more than an uncomfortable sensation. It has the potential to lead to the formation of a wide variety of illnesses and diseases that can ultimately be fatal. Cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, and a weakened immune system have all been linked to increased stress levels.

It is one of the many dangers that we seem to overlook -- or have even come to accept as simply being a part of daily life in this era. But nothing could be further from the truth! Reducing stress and keeping it at a reasonable level is key to leading a happier and healthier life. There are many ways to keep your stress levels in check that don’t include the use of pharmaceutical tranquilizers or sedatives (which often come with a long list of side-effects).

Regular exercise, a balanced, healthy diet, and getting enough sleep are some of the easiest ways to manage your stress. Essential oils have been used for hundreds, if not thousands of years, to treat a lot of different kinds of illnesses and ailments. However, they also play a key role in the formation of aromatherapy and you can use them to treat anxiety, stress, and depression.

Lavender oil, and Bulgarian Lavender essential oil in particular, are particularly effective in helping to reduce stress and treat anxiety and depression easily and effectively. The oil produced from this variety of lavender have a rich and multifaceted aroma and can be blended with other essential oils, or inhaled by itself to relieve your body and mind from the immediate symptoms of stress.  So if you want to find a natural, organic stress reliever or are simply intrigued by this essential oil and its uses -- keep reading!

What Is Bulgarian Lavender Essential Oil?

Lavender field.

Lavender field.

As the name describes, Bulgarian lavender is a species of the lavender family (lavandula vera) which is native to Bulgaria. The general air-humidity, regular precipitation, and well-drained loamy soil makes for the perfect conditions for the cultivation of this plant.

Because the conditions are so well-suited to growing the plant, mass-cultivation is quite easy. In fact, Bulgaria is one of the largest producers of lavender and lavender oil in the world. Lavender has been around since as early as 600 BC. 

Lavender has been used as a natural insecticide and aromatic scent since the times of the ancient Persians. Some people utilize it as a natural treatment for stomach cramps and constipation. You can inhale it or use it in a steam treatment. You can even use it as a key ingredient in a lice treatment. It helps to soothe the scalp of dryness and inflammation as well as reduce itching.

You produce lavender oil through the process of steam distillation. Steam distillation is one of the oldest methods of producing essential oils and the basic principle of the method dates back to ancient Greece. A historian known as Pliny noted that when evaporated and recollected, seawater could be reduced to a fresher, less salty version of itself i.e. distillation. Since then, the technique has been developed into a mechanical process, which has naturally evolved over time. However, the process that we use today is still largely the same as the original method.

The stems, leaves, and flowers of the lavender are harvested and crushed (either by hand or in a mechanical press). This helps to release phytochemicals and bioactive compounds contained within the plant. The plants are then added to a vat which is filled with boiling water. The organic matter boils for 5-6 hours at high temperatures. These high temperatures help to break down the cells of the organic matter.

The steam produced by the boiling water then extracts the phytochemicals from the organic matter through the process of evaporation. This steam then passes into a separate cooling chamber where it condenses to form droplets. As these droplets gather at the base of the chamber, they form the liquid that we know as the final product -- essential oil.

Differences Between Regular Lavender Essential Oil And Bulgarian Lavender Essential Oil

Regular Lavender

Hand holding lavender bouquet.

Lavender.

Regular lavender (lavandula angustifolia) is commonly found in the areas around the Mediterranean and the southern regions of Europe. It was first thought to have originated in ancient Persia and as the trade routes opened up, it quickly spread. Today, you will find it grows in many different regions of the world.

Lavandula Angustifolia (also known as ‘English Lavender’) has a light, and flora aroma, yet retains the fixative properties associated with the scent i.e. it has a lasting odor. It is a powerful natural antioxidant and you can use it to help cleanse the surface of your skin and the inside of your body from germs and bacteria, as well as eliminate free-radicals.

It has been known to work as a natural insect repellent and is often grown around vegetable gardens to help keep bugs at bay. The plant, and the oil it produces, is also a famous natural and holistic stress-reliever. You can inhale the oil directly from the container or include it in a steam treatment to help relieve stress, as well as treat the effects of anxiety and depression.

It has a wide variety of skin uses too. You can use it as a skin toner to help remove dead skin cells and balance out your skin’s natural oil levels. You can apply the oil directly to your skin with a clean cotton swab. It will leave your skin feeling fresh and smelling great. The oil helps to stimulate blood flow and can help to increase cell and tissue regrowth. This makes it ideal for healing wounds and scars.

Bulgarian Lavender Essential Oil Vs. French Lavender Essential Oil

Many agree that Bulgarian lavender essential oil is the best form of lavender oil. The conditions for growing lavender are perfectly suited for this plant. They, therefore, tend to produce a better quality yield more consistently. Bulgarian lavender is generally grown in lower regions which makes it easier and cheaper to cultivate en masse. French lavender tends to favor higher altitudes and cooler climes, which naturally makes it harder to cultivate.

Although the medicinal and healing properties are very similar, the only noticeable difference between the two is the scent. Bulgarian lavender has a deeper, more fixative scent with a herbaceous tone. Meanwhile French lavender has a lighter more floral tone. 

Top 5 Uses For Bulgarian Lavender Essential Oil

1. Acne

Woman checking her skin in the mirror.

Woman checking skin for breakouts.

As I mentioned in the previous section, lavender oil makes for a great natural skin toner. You can easily apply it to the surface of the skin with a fresh cotton swab after your normal facial routine. The rich natural antioxidants contained within the oil help to get rid of any toxins that may be lingering on the surface of your skin. This will help to keep your skin clean and healthy over time.

The oil also helps get the blood flowing underneath the skin. With continual use, this can result in brighter, more radiant skin. This is because blood helps to bring the necessary nutrients and oxygen to the skin cells. This also helps the healing process. It can effectively heal (or help to treat) acne scars and wounds on your face.

Lavender essential oil can also help to prevent the formation of blemishes (such as blackheads) and breakouts. By removing the dead skin cells and excess oil from your skin, you can allow your pores to breathe and prevent buildup which is the main reason why we get blemishes in the first place. The oil also helps to kill off and remove any germs that may cause inflammation and breakouts.

2. Pain Relief

Woman holding leg in pain.

Woman in pain.

You can use lavender essential oil as a natural analgesic or pain reliever. These properties have been known for hundreds of years. The plant was often crushed up and added to herbal teas to help relieve headaches and general pain.

Because the oil is absorbed into the bloodstream easily and can go deep beneath the skin’s surface, it’s often used as a natural muscle relaxant and pain reliever. It’s effective on rheumatoid pains including joints, spasms, and sprains. In my opinion it’s an essential addition to any gym bag. You should definitely have it nearby if you exercise on a regular basis.

The oil can also be added to teas or used in steam treatments to help remove general body pains and headaches, as we mentioned above. The oil is quite effective and doesn’t come with the side-effects that we generally associate with most conventional pain-killers or tranquilizers. It will also help to stimulate your senses and make you feel calm and at ease, so you’ll be able to relax more and not focus on the pain as much.

3. Respiratory Issues

Man wearing hat and looking at sky.

Man breathing deeply.

Most of us have experienced the flu at some point in our lives. A cough or sore throat generally tends to accompany it. I’m sure you use the over-the-counter medications that are designed to treat the flu. There are also various mixtures that help soothe a sore throat and relieve your cough.

The trouble is that these medications can often make you feel drowsy or are ineffective (it’s usually the sleep that’s induced by them that helps you to recover). Not to mention the fact that cough mixtures can be harmful to you if you take the wrong dosage. However, none of these problems come from using lavender oil as a treatment.

By inhaling the oil directly from the container, or utilizing it in a steam treatment, you can effectively help to soothe a sore throat and loosen up phlegm that may be worsening your infection. The oil can also help to strengthen your immune system and flush out toxins.

Unlike most conventional treatments, lavender oil helps to treat the infection from the root cause, not only the superficial symptoms. It’s definitely worth having a vial of this oil in your home during those cold winters or around flu season.

4. Sleep

Girl lying in daisy's.

Woman sleeping in a flower field.

Anyone who’s ever had problems with sleep issues knows how damaging the effects can be to your health. In fact, studies have shown that irregular sleeping patterns, or not getting enough sleep regularly can lead to the development of various health risks later in life. These range from having a weaker immune system and weight gain, to more serious issues like depression and even cancer.

So, enabling your body to get enough rest is important for leading a healthy life. Without enough sleep, your body cannot regenerate the strength and energy it needs to defend itself against infection or stimulate healthy cell and tissue growth. These are essential for healing wounds and preventing disease and infection.

If you’re having problems sleeping stay far away from conventional sedatives or tranquilizers. They’re dangerous and highly addictive. Instead, I would recommend blending lavender oil, ylang ylang, and bergamot oil in a diffuser, as well as adding 2-3 drops of each to some steaming water.

As you inhale the steam, you’ll soon feel your mind and body relax and unwind. After at most 10 minutes, you should feel calm and ready for a good night’s rest. You can even take a few drops of the oil and add them to your pillow. This helps you to induce a long, peaceful sleep throughout the night. After a week of good sleep, you’ll feel happier, more energized, and healthier in general.

5. Insect Repellent

Woman spraying legs with insect repellent.

Most insect-repelling balms or sprays tend to contain harmful additives.

If the area that you live has many insects or you enjoy spending time in the outdoors, then you’ll know how important having a good insect repellent is. Getting a bite is annoying, painful, and can even be harmful. So, avoiding insects is definitely a necessity.

Most of the common insect-repelling balms or sprays tend to contain harmful chemical additives that can irritate your skin. On top of this, the toxins absorb easily into your body through your skin or olfactory gland (situated in the nose). This can eventually make you ill.

So, if you’re trying to keep insects at bay without risking your own health to do so, then I’d highly recommend using lavender essential oil as a healthy and natural alternative. The oil’s scent is strong and has fixative properties which means that it will last a long time once applied.

It can also easily be rubbed onto the exposed parts of your skin.  You can also burn it in an oil burner to help deter insects. Also, you can add the oil to DIY candles and burn as an effective insect repellent. It also has a great scent and will help to soothe and nourish your skin, whilst healing previous insect bites.

Side-Effects Of Bulgarian Lavender Essential Oil

As with anything in life, too much of a good thing can be bad for you. Lavender oil is largely considered a safe, non-toxic substitute to many of the conventional, pharmaceutical treatments. The truth is that they come with loads of harmful side-effects that could potentially worsen your current level of health.

That being said, there are some basic rules that come with using any essential oils. If you stick to these, you shouldn’t ever have any problems. Firstly, it’s best to avoid all essential oils during pregnancy and on children under the age of 8. Although they’re all-natural, they’re still quite potent and can affect you and your child’s hormonal balance as well as the birthing process. If you do decide to use them during pregnancy, it’s best to consult a doctor first.

Besides that, simply patch testing any essential oil on the surface of your skin is a good way to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction. If you know you’re allergic to a particular plant, stay away from its essential oil. Finally, only use the oil in regulated doses, as using too much can lead to an upset stomach or headaches. So balance is key and if you use the oil responsibly you shouldn’t have any problems.

Conclusion

To conclude, I’ll repeat what I said in the opening of this article: I would recommend that Bulgarian lavender essential oil becomes a staple in every household. It’s a tremendously useful natural oil and can help to treat a wide variety of ailments and illnesses.

Bulgarian lavender essential oil is particularly useful because it’s a highly concentrated form of the plant and is rich in phytochemicals and naturally occurring compounds. It has a lasting and wonderful scent that can help to stimulate the senses and help you unwind.

If you’re in need of a natural flu treatment or even just want to relax and unwind more often, lavender oil is perfect for you. It is a readily available and cost-effective alternative to the conventional medications available. It’s also better for your overall health and happiness levels. Bulgarian lavender essential oil definitely ranks high on my list of essential oils. The results will speak for themselves.