Of the three most commonly used lavender oils today, lavender spike oil is the one preferred by most herbal oil producers and aromatherapy enthusiasts. But what sets this unique oil apart from other types of lavender oil?
Basic Facts About Lavender Spike Oil
Lavender spike oil comes from spike lavender, also known as Portuguese lavender (Lavandula latifolia). This coarse plant is notable because of its spiked flowers and broad leaves (its Latin name, in fact, means “broadleaf lavender”). This flowering plant is native to the western Mediterranean region, including Northern Italy, central Portugal, Southern France, and Spain.
Spike lavender thrives best at low altitudes, unlike the other true lavenders that naturally grow at high altitudes. This environment provides the plant more camphor, the chemical responsible for its sweet herbaceous smell. Spike lavender can grow from 30 to 80 centimeters tall, and has pale lilac flowers that grow on spikes. The flowers bloom from June to September, depending on the weather.
Lavender spike oil is either clear or yellowish, and has a refreshing floral yet slightly spicy scent.
How Is Lavender Spike Oil Produced?
Lavender spike oil is usually made via steam or water distillation. The aromatic flowers of the plant produce a higher yield than other lavender varieties, which is why it is inexpensive to manufacture and widely available.
To make high-quality lavender spike oil, pick the fresh flowering tops while they are still coated with morning dew and then distill them directly. This potent essential oil contains beneficial components such as L-linalool, d-borneol, geraniol, d-camphor, d-camphene, d-pinene, cineol, and n-hexanol. The best quality lavender oil should have low or no alcohol content.
Banish Headaches, Pains, and More With Just One Oil
In the fragrance industry, lavender spike oil is known for use in soap formulations, but at home, this oil can have a variety of medicinal uses. When diffused or inhaled, it can help relieve headaches. When applied topically, it can ease aches and other discomfort. It also works as an insect repellent.
Lavender spike oil may also soothe and heal cuts, burns, and other skin problems owing to its powerful antiseptic properties. It may also help treat throat infections, dandruff, asthma, ringworm, and halitosis.
Can’t sleep well? You can try lavender spike oil to regulate sleep and calm your troubled mind and body. Lavender spike oil can help relieve stress and alleviate depression, as well as promote mental alertness.
A word of caution: lavender spike oil is slightly stronger than regular lavender oil, so use it sparingly or dilute it with a safe carrier oil, such as coconut, olive oil, jojoba, or almond oil. This fragrant oil also blends well with eucalyptus, patchouli, rosemary, sage, cedarwood, and clove essential oils.
Some Additional Reminders Before You Use Lavender Spike Oil
Lavender oil is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women, as well as young children, without the advice of a health care provider. To determine if you are sensitive to this oil Dr. Mercola recommends a skin patch test before using it topically.
Avoid putting lavender oil anywhere near your eyes or mucous membranes. Do not use it before driving or operating any machinery, as it has sleep-inducing effects.
For more fun facts, check out Dr. Mercola’s Ultimate Guide to Herbal Oils – a wonderful resource that provides you the A to Zs of essential oils.