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How to Use Lavender Essential Oil for Burns

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By Plant Therapy

One of the many, many amazing things about essential oils is that they are so versatile. Each oil has a number of different uses. And when you need help with allergies or a headache or energy, there are many essential oils to choose from. But when it comes to burns, there is one oil that is better than all the rest: Lavender. It is unsurpassed in its ability to help soothe burns, promote healing and smooth scars. Even if you use it for nothing else, Lavender Essential Oil belongs in your collection.

But first, if you’re dealing with anything more than a minor burn (ie. 2nd or 3rd-degree burns), seek medical attention immediately. Essential oils should not be used as a substitute for proper medical care. With that out of the way, let’s dive in.

Rene Gattefosse’s Burn (And Why It Matters)

If you spend enough time in the aromatherapy world then chances are you’ll hear the story of Rene Gettefosse and how he discovered the healing effects of Lavender on burns (more specifically gas gangrene). As the story goes, he experienced a horrible chemical burn while working in his lab. He immediately plunged his hands into a nearby liquid, not knowing it was Lavender, and noticed how it soothed his skin and helped heal his burns.  But this isn’t quite how things went down. Gettefosse did burn his hands in a lab accident and he did use Lavender to help heal the burns, but it wasn’t an accident that he used Lavender. He wrote in his book Aromatherapie (which is incidentally the first use of the word aromatherapy in print!) that after he cooled his burns, he used Lavender to stop the continued burning of his skin and start healing the healing process. [1] Thanks to Gattefosse, we know what this amazing oil can do!

 

Why Lavender?

Lavender is well-known for its skin-nourishing abilities. It helps with everything from soothing irritation to smoothing wrinkles to reducing the appearance of scars. Because it has anti-bacterial properties, it makes it a great choice for healing minor scrapes, and in this case, burns. A recent study even found that Lavender promotes wound healing and increases collagen synthesis. [2] In short, its ability to soothe irritation and promote healing makes it the best choice for your burns.

Diluting for Burns
When you apply essential oils for burns, as you would for any topical application, it’s important to dilute your essential oils. This ensures you won’t have a risk of sensitization or further skin irritation, which would only worsen the problem. Luckily, with more acute situations like small burns, you can dilute at a higher percentage than you would for normal everyday use.

When you’re first applying Lavender after the burn, dilute it to 10% in a carrier oil, or better yet, use Aloe Jelly. That would be 15 drops in a teaspoon of carrier. Depending on the size of the burn, you can make a bigger batch. As you continue to use Lavender over the next few days to help speed healing, reduce down to a 5% dilution rate, or 7-8 drops in a teaspoon.

Double the Relief
Aloe Vera is another natural ingredient that is known for its ability to help soothe burns and speed up burn wound healing. [3] If you want to use fresh Aloe on your burn, go for it! However, because it is water-based, it will not properly emulsify your essential oils. You can get the best of both worlds with our Aloe Jelly. It contains the nourishing Aloe as well as the emulsifiers and preservatives that are necessary for adding essential oils to the mix. If you want to make things easier, you can go for our Lavender Aloe Jelly which has the Lavender prediluted. Lavender Hydrosol is another gentle way to take advantage of the cooling and soothing benefits of Lavender whenever you need it. Plus the hydrosol is safe for babies and young children.

Essential Oils for Sunburns
We all know that regularly applying sunscreen is important for protecting your skin from the harmful rays of the sun and preventing skin damage. But we get it, sunburns still happen. This DIY combines the healing and properties of Lavender and Aloe Vera Jelly with the skin-loving benefits of Frankincense and Helichrysum.

What you’ll need:

9 drops Lavender
6 drops Frankincense Frereana
3 drop Helichrysum Italicum
1 oz Aloe Vera Jelly
What you’ll do:

Dilute in an ounce of Aloe Vera Jelly and apply to the area of concern.

Important note: Lavender comes in many forms. Feel free to use Lavender Fine, Lavender Diva or Lavender Flower CO2 with your burns. Lavandin and Spike Lavender can also help with burns, but their chemical composition is slightly different as they are higher in camphor, which has antibacterial properties, and 1,8 cineole, which has anti-inflammatory properties.

[1] Retrieved from https://roberttisserand.com/2011/04/gattefosses-burn/

[2] Mori, H. M., Kawanami, H., Kawahata, H., & Aoki, M. (2016). Wound healing potential of lavender oil. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4880962/#CR16

[3] Maenthaisong, Ratree & Chaiyakunapruk, Nathorn & Niruntraporn, Surachet & Kongkaew, Chuenjid. (2007). The efficacy of Aloe vera used for burn wound healing: A systematic review. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17499928