Of all the pure essential oils, the most popular and well know would have to be lavender.
Lavender is such a versatile oil and it is one of only two oils that can be used neat on the skin. The other oil that can be used neat is tea tree. They are both gentle oils but have great strength in the service they provide to us. Always try a test dab first before just using over the whole area.
It is a middle note oil, and as such, has a great balancing and harmonizing effect for the body. There are different types of lavender and the one we are talking about here is Lavandula angustifolia.
It has an affinity with the skin and when using essential oils for skin complaints, lavender should always be considered. It is great for burns, insect bites, acne, eczema and other skin conditions and wounds.
Modern day aromatherapy is actually attributed to a French scientist, Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, who burnt his hand in a laboratory accident, and plunged it into a vat of lavender oil which was nearby. The healing effects were so great that Dr. Gattefosse changed his direction of study and shortly after that released his first book on 'aromatherapie'. It is believed this is where the current term of 'aromatherapy' came from.
It is helpful for sunburn when used in conjunction with peppermint. When using peppermint low dosages are recommended as it is a very strong oil, and not suitable for everyone. This, of course, should not be applied neat to the skin. The essential oils should be mixed into a carrier oil, lotion or cream to apply to the skin.
Sore or aching muscles can benefit from a mixture of lavender with ginger and lemon, making a great blend for this purpose.
If you have trouble getting off to sleep, mix it with frankincense for a very helpful solution. You can, of course, use lavender on its own for this purpose. It is normalizing and settling for the nervous system which in turn promotes relaxation and de-stressing.
Lavender calms the mind which helps with alleviating anxiety and it is also uplifting at the same time.
It is helpful for colds, flu, and throat infections. It could be mixed with tea tree and eucalyptus for this purpose.
Due to its affinity with skin, it can be used for any skin type as part of a cleansing and skin maintenance routine - this includes anti aging routines.
Of course, when it comes to children, lavender can play a large part in aromatherapy as it is so versatile. It can be used to help children settle at bed time, if they have a sore that needs dressing, a headache or a cough or cold. It is great for calming kids down and can assist with a better night's sleep as well.
As you can see, lavender is extremely useful and should be one of the first choices of essential oils for the first aid kit.
It is very important to know who you get your essential oils from, because the pure oil can be mixed with cheaper alternatives to make a lower grade oil. To get therapeutic effect, you must use a therapeutic grade oil.