The Science and Evidence Behind Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender is one of the most popular and well known essential oils. It is widely used in aromatherapy and cherished for its calming aroma and widespread applications, making it a must have for every household.

Lavender essential oil is not only soothing, it also boasts a wide variety of therapeutic benefits that are rooted in scientific understanding. The benefits of Lavender essential oil include promoting sleep and relaxation, alleviating stress and anxiety, providing natural pain relief, as an effective antimicrobial and antibacterial powerhouse as well as encouraging wound and skin healing.

In this article, we will explore the scientific evidence behind the claims and understand the benefits of Lavender essential oil. We will also answer all your questions about Lavender essential oil to ensure you have a comprehensive understanding of its therapeutic properties, uses and the scientific principles that make it a beloved addition to your aromatherapy journey.

How is Lavender Essential Oil Made?

Lavender essential oil is obtained through the process of steam distillation from the flowering tops of the Lavender plant. Steam distillation is a process which carefully extracts the volatile aromatic compounds from plants, preserving the plants' essence in a concentrated form.

With over 40 different species of Lavender, including True Lavender, Lavandin, Spike Lavender, French Lavender, and more, the diversity within the Lavandula genus contributes distinct characteristics to the essential oil. Each resulting essential oil has its own distinct profile and different therapeutic uses.

In this article, we will investigate True Lavender, which is distilled from Lavandula angustifolia. It is the most popular and widely used Lavender variety, known for its herbaceous aroma with an undertone of sweet, floral notes. Lavender essential oil contains linalool, linalyl acetate, 1,8-cineole and more, making it excellent for relaxation, sleep support and skin care.

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What Are The Benefits of Lavender Essential Oil?

1. Lavender Essential Oil for Sleep and Relaxation

From linen mist sprays to scented sachets, Lavender is a beloved herb that has found its place in various aspects of our daily lives, especially when it comes to overcoming insomnia and improving the quality of our sleep.

Sleep is one of the most important pillars of overall wellbeing, influencing both our physical and mental health. Sleep deprivation is a common ailment in our modern society due to hectic lifestyles causing stress and increased screen time. However, it can lead to a range of health issues such as impaired cognitive function, a weakened immune system and heightened stress levels. Both the number of hours that we sleep daily and the quality of that sleep are equally important.

Can Lavender essential oil help improve our sleep quality? The answer is yes!

Lavender essential oil is rich in linalool, which exerts sedative effects and fosters a calm and relaxing bedtime environment. Scientific research highlights Lavender's potential to improve sleep quality. In this study, it was found that inhaling Lavender oil at night helped participants to experience less disturbance at night and improved their sleep quality, resulting in more energy during the day. This was supported by EEG recordings, which showed that Lavender essential oil promoted better sleep by directly influencing sleep brain activity. By improving sleep quality at night even when the total sleep time was limited, Lavender can help improve our cognitive function and may also help to prevent neurodegenerative diseases.

How to use Lavender for relaxation and to promote a good nights' sleep

The best way to use Lavender oil for sleep is to diffuse it in your bedroom just before you sleep. For an added boost of aromatherapy, you can diffuse our Insomnia blend. This blend features Lavender as its main star, but also includes other soothing essential oils that are designed to work together to foster a sense of calm and relaxation. Insomnia blend is handcrafted by our Founder and Certified Clinical Aromatherapist Adeline Lim, and it is one of Nila Singapore's best selling essential oil blends.

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2. Lavender Essential Oil for Stress Relief and Reducing Anxiety

We always read about Lavender's stress relieving properties, but did you know that its ability to reduce stress and anxiety is backed by science? Inhaling Lavender essential oil soothes our parasympathetic system by reducing our heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure. This physiological response is due to its main chemical constituents, linalool and linalyl acetate.

Studies suggest that smelling the aroma of Lavender oil can help to reduce anxiety and enhance our mood. This effect is caused by modulating of our neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. In fact, research has found that cortisol, a stress hormone, tends to decrease in response to Lavender oil exposure. A separate study also found that Lavender oil has anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects, and these results are independent of the cause of anxiety. Thus, it is clear that Lavender offers a scientifically grounded, low risk and cost effective approach to stress and anxiety management.

How to use Lavender to reduce stress and anxiety

The best way to harness the benefits of Lavender essential oil for stress and anxiety relief is via inhalation. We recommend putting a few drops of Lavender essential oil into an aroma inhaler stick for a portable aromatherapy experience. Alternatively, you can use our Stress Away Aroma Inhaler. Stress Away is a synergistic blend of calming and uplifting essential oils, including Lavender and other mood boosting essential oils such as Grapefruit and Bergamot. Whenever you feel that you are in a stressful situation or beginning to get anxious, simply inhale deeply from the aroma inhaler stick and feel a sense of calm immediately wash over you.

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3. Lavender Essential Oil for Natural Pain Relief

Lavender is one of the essential oils that has been shown to exert direct analgesic (pain relieving) properties, which contribute to its role in pain management.

How does this work? By modulating pain perception pathways, Lavender essential oil can offer relief from headaches, muscle aches and general discomfort. A recent scientific study showed that Lavender oil was effective in reducing the intensity of pain experienced by post-surgery patients. It was also found that inhaling Lavender oil can significantly reduce pain intensity in children and consequently reduce behavioural distress.

Because Lavender is a safe and gentle oil, this makes it useful for children experiencing pain or discomfort. Its pain-relieving properties can be particularly soothing for common issues like skin irritation, minor cuts, scrapes and bruises. This makes it a parent's go-to choice for a natural pain relieving solution, promoting a sense of calm and comfort for children.

How to use Lavender to reduce pain

When diluted properly, Lavender essential oil can be applied topically to provide relief from minor discomfort and tension without causing skin irritation. For targeted relief such as headaches or relieving muscle aches sprains, Nila's organic Lavender roll-on is a convenient and effective solution, as it offers the soothing benefits of Lavender in an accessible and easy-to-use form. For larger applications such as massages, we recommend diluting Lavender essential oil with a suitable carrier oil or unscented lotion. As you breathe in its calming aroma, this will also have a soothing effect on your nervous system as it promotes a sense of tranquility and relaxation throughout your day.

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4. Lavender Essential Oil for Skin and Wound Healing

Lavender is one of the most gentle essential oils with anti-inflammatory properties, making it a valuable addition to skincare routines. It can aid in wound healing, reduce inflammation, fade the appearance of scars and promote overall skin health. Antioxidants in Lavender essential oil also contribute to skin cell protection and regeneration.

These skin-friendly attributes of Lavender essential oil have scientific support. A study found that Lavender oil has the potential to accelerate wound healing by promoting collagen synthesis and tissue repair at the molecular level. This finding is supported by separate studies investigating the healing potential of Lavender oil for burns and post partum episiotomies. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties also play a pivotal role in reducing inflammation and shielding the skin from oxidative stress, thereby supporting cell protection and regeneration. This scientific validation reinforces the effectiveness of Lavender in nurturing and enhancing the overall health and resilience of our skin.

How to use Lavender for wound healing and fading scars

Dilute Lavender essential oil in a carrier oil before applying to wounds or problem areas of your skin, ensuring that you follow dilution guidelines. For those suffering with oily skin or acne, add a few drops of Lavender essential oil to your usual face cream and it will help due to its astringent and toning properties. For smaller wounds such as paper cuts and scrapes or minor sunburn, you can use our natural and organic Lavender roll-on for convenience. It is formulated with organic Golden Jojoba oil, a nourishing oil that is easily absorbed by your skin and also rich in antioxidants and essential vitamins. This roll-on is perfect for calming any skin irritations, relieving itchy insect bites, soothing minor burns and encouraging the fading of scars.

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5. Lavender Essential Oil's Antimicrobial and Antibacterial Power

Lavender essential oil is a valuable oil, with strong antibacterial and antifungal properties that can be explained by its main components, including monoterpenes such as linalool, linalyl acetate, 1,8-cineole, lavandulol, and more. The strong antimicrobial activity of Lavender essential oil is due to the synergistic action between its major and minor components.

Numerous scientific studies highlight its effectiveness against various bacteria, viruses and fungi, emphasising the role of Lavender oil as a natural antimicrobial agent. In particular, Lavender oil was shown to increase the effectiveness of antiseptics against certain antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. With this powerful antimicrobial property, Lavender adds a layer of protection for you and your family when it is used in personal care or home cleaning products.

How to make the most of Lavender's antimicrobial power

Lavender is one of the best essential oils to use for cleaning and disinfecting your home. Its calming and relaxing aroma makes it especially useful as it transforms your cleaning routine into a therapeutic experience that not only eliminates germs but also creates a serene living environment. Click here for ideas on how to incorporate Lavender and other essential oils into a natural cleaning routine and tried-and-tested DIY cleaning recipes!

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Commonly Asked Questions about Lavender Essential Oil

Can I apply Lavender essential oil directly on my skin?
Lavender essential oil, like all other essential oils, is extremely concentrated. It should not be applied directly to your skin without diluting. Before applying to your skin, dilute by adding a few drops of Lavender essential oil to a carrier oil first and always perform a patch test, especially if you have sensitive skin. You can see our dilution guidelines here. Remember, a little goes a long way with essential oils! Dilution not only ensures safety but also maximises the effectiveness of the essential oil, allowing you to enjoy the many benefits of Lavender while maintaining a mindful approach to its application.
Who cannot use Lavender essential oil?
Lavender is a very safe essential oil that is suitable for most people. However, there are a few precautions. Avoid Lavender essential oil if you have a known allergies to Lavender or other members of the Lamiaceae family (such as basil, mint, oregano). For babies, young children and the elderly who might be more sensitive to essential oils, consider using Lavender hydrolate instead. Additionally, while Lavender essential oil is generally considered safe during pregnancy, it is advisable to avoid essential oils during the first trimester of pregnancy and also to consult with your healthcare provider if you have any doubts.
What happens if I use too much Lavender essential oil?
Lavender is a safe and gentle essential oil with a very low reported incidence of skin reactions despite its widespread use in aromatherapy. Nevertheless, if it is overused, it may cause skin irritation or an allergic reaction in some individuals. If this is the case, immediately wash your skin with mild, unscented soap and water, and discontinue use. If irritation persists or if you have known allergies to lavender or related plants, seek medical attention promptly. For those who are diffusing essential oils, inhaling large amounts of Lavender essential oil in vapour may cause respiratory irritation in some individuals. If this happens, immediately open all windows and ventilate your room thoroughly, then take a few breaths of fresh air and make sure that you drink plenty of water.  Always use diffusers in well ventilated spaces and in moderation.
Are cats and dogs ok with Lavender essential oil?
All essential oils can be toxic to all pets if ingested or if it comes into contact with their skin in concentrated forms. For dogs, you can use Lavender essential oil safely around them but ensure that it is diluted significantly and also that the room is ventilated adequately to minimise the concentration of essential oils in the air. Lavender essential oil or Lavender hydrolate can also be a natural way to keep away fleas, flies and ticks from your dogs. Unfortunately for cat owners, Lavender essential oil is toxic for cats as they cannot process linalool and linalyl acetate in their livers. Thus, we do not recommend using Lavender essential oil around cats. It is always good practice to keep an eye out for any signs of distress or discomfort in your pets when using essential oils. If you notice any adverse reactions, stop immediately and seek veterinary advice.


The science behind Lavender essential oil points towards a versatile array of therapeutic benefits, making it a wonderful addition to support our physical and mental health. From its proven anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties to its calming effects on our nervous system and more, Lavender essential oil has profound effects that are deeply rooted in scientific understanding.

If you are wondering where to buy Lavender essential oil, look no further. Nila Aromatherapy's organic Lavender essential oil is one of the best in Singapore. It is organically cultivated and sourced directly from a local farm in Bulgaria, which has a long tradition of growing Lavender. In fact, Bulgarian Lavender is known for its high linalool and linalyl content, which strengthens the therapeutic properties of its essential oils. Lavender essential oil is unfortunately often adulterated with Lavandin essential oil or synthetic aroma chemicals to give a sweeter scent. Nila Aromatherapy has a rigorous testing regime in place, testing all essential oils via gas chromatography and mass spectrometry at independent, third party laboratories to ensure their purity and that they have not been adulterated in any form.

Whether diffused in our homes, blended into our skincare routines or utilised for targeted pain relief, Lavender essential oil is a pillar in the world of natural remedies. As more scientific scientific research and studies are currently being undertaken to explore the world of evidence-based aromatherapy for holistic wellbeing, let us embrace the science behind Lavender essential oil for aromatherapy that supports our mind, body and soul.

Do you have any questions about Lavender essential oil? Leave a comment below!

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