Winter is Coming, but Summer’s Hottest Oils are Here to Stay

Orange butterfly in lavender field.

Fresh, fruity, and tangy meets floral, light, and sweet to create the ultimate perfect pair this winter. Lavender and orange essential oils have a wide range of beneficial qualities. If you’re having difficulty sleeping, feeling stressed and breaking out, or just want to give your space a deep clean, both of these oils can help you overcome many of life’s more common problems.

Similar, but different, these two are essential oil heavyweights. Their scents blend together seamlessly and depending on their application, can boost and enhance their mutual properties.

Sleeping & Anxiety

We understand very little about why sleep is so important to the human body, but we do know that it plays a vital role in brain function and healing. Getting enough sleep is a fundamental component of maintaining good health, but too often the hum of everyday life creates anxiety and takes a toll on our ability to properly rest. 

Anxiety is a natural response to stress, fear, or apprehension. Symptoms often include an increased heart rate, nervousness, or racing thoughts; beginning in the amygdala and spreading throughout all major body systems. On the surface, anxiety is an inability to feel relaxed. Chronic anxiety on the other hand, can affect these important body systems over time, negatively impacting respiratory and cardiovascular function. 

Used together, lavender and orange are a powerful duo, promoting relaxation and alleviating anxiety. Lavender is more commonly used to induce sleep and restfulness, but combined with orange’s mood-lifting capacities they make a great pair to help relieve symptoms of depression. And more specifically, Lavender Essential Oil is known to be a fantastic remedy for insomnia and can promote relaxation in the evenings, particularly for those who experience racing thoughts at bedtime.

It’s not just theory, either. Lavender’s calming effect, in particular, has been studied in patients prior to receiving dental treatment to test their stress response with and without lavender. The study found patients who were exposed to lavender in waiting rooms experienced less anxiety than those who were not.

In times of stress and anxiety, lavender and orange can serve as Pavlovian cues to the brain that it is okay to relax. Repeated use deepens this response over time, consistently sending the message that the scents are tied to periods of rest and restoration. 

For portable stress relief, create a lavender and orange oil skin lotion by diluting them both with a carrier oil. Melting coconut oil and adding a few drops of each will make a soothing skin treatment. Keep the combination on hand for quick application and anxiety relief. When a diffuser is available, combining orange and lavender essential oils will boost anxiety-reducing properties, and simultaneously increase energy and focus. 

Cleaning 

The benefits of lavender and orange don’t end at anxiety or insomnia relief, since these plants have long been known for their antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. In fact, the word lavender comes from the latin root lavare, meaning “to wash.” 

No matter what area of the house is being cleaned, orange and lavender are great for freshening up any space. Both essential oils inhibit bacterial and fungal growth which makes them particularly effective in the kitchen and bathroom. For the best of both worlds, combine these two oils together to create a natural-cleaning powerhouse. 

Household Cleaners

Orange, specifically, has been shown to prevent the growth of E. coli isolates, kill staph bacteria, and prevent the growth of fungi that can cause food to spoil. These properties are particularly useful in the kitchen where food is stored and prepared. Additionally, orange oil is a known insecticide against housefly larvae and can help prevent the propagation of household flies.

If you want a one-two punch of calm and cleanliness, both can be mixed with distilled white vinegar to create an easy, DIY all-purpose household surface spray. The vinegar will lift and remove grime, while the antiseptic properties of lavender and orange will prevent the growth of microbes and bacteria. 

Linen Spray

These oils also make a fantastic linen spray alternative. Lavender Essential Oil is especially well-suited for treating textiles and linens. Mix a few drops with ¾ water and ¼ witch hazel. Then, spray it onto any textile in the house. Whether it’s the bedsheets, carpet, rugs, or furniture, the dispersed lavender will quickly freshen up the room and treat any stale odors. As an added bonus, the natural bug repellent properties of lavender will provide textiles with extra protection from moths and other pests.

Skin-Care

When it comes to acne, orange and lavender are also the perfect team to treat blemishes and to keep skin clear and radiant. 

While acne is often associated with teenagers, it is a common misconception that they will simply grow out of it. For many adults, and especially women, acne can persist well into their 40s, and even 50s. It’s still debated how much hormones, genetics, diet, and stress all play a role in the development and persistence of acne, but what dermatologists do know is that a blemish occurs when there is bacterial buildup in the skin. 

Most acne treatments work by targeting and killing this bacteria, which is why antibiotics have historically been prescribed to clear skin. However, the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, along with a better understanding of how harsh antibiotic treatments are to the human microbiome, has led doctors to no longer recommend this course of treatment. 

Instead, there is increasing research on the benefits of alternative acne treatments. At the forefront of these studies is Orange Essential Oil, which has been used historically as a natural acne treatment. Modern research suggests that orange essential oil is effective at reducing acne-causing bacteria, with skin improvements that ranged from 43 percent all the way up to 75 percent. 

Paired with lavender, which is often used to reduce inflammation of the skin and improve redness, these two oils can be just what the skin needs to eliminate pimples and blemishes. Make sure to dilute both products in a carrier oil first, but try to avoid coconut, as it may clog pores. Apply the mixture directly to blemishes as a spot treatment. To prevent skin dryness, you can apply honey to the same spot, which will help restore the skin’s natural pH balance.

Alternatively, create a lavender and orange toner to use as an acne preventative. Mix one drop of lavender oil and one drop of orange oil with a teaspoon of witch hazel, and then gently apply the mixture to the skin. Keep in mind that orange essential oil can cause photosensitivity, as do most drugstore acne treatments, so, be sure to always apply sunscreen before sun exposure. 

Better Together

On their own and together, lavender and orange have many desirable qualities, including calming scents and the ability to brighten up any space. They complement each other without overpowering the other. Whether you are tired and exploring the benefits of aromatherapy, learning about natural skin care and treating acne, or just looking for non-toxic ways to clean your home, lavender and orange are two essential oils that you just can’t do without. 

Categories: Essential Oils

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