I had some lovely Borage growing in my garden from a wild seed bomb and for a while it looked beautiful. However it is a tall and heavy plant, and the heavy rain we had weighed it down even more. It was literally horizontal across my grass, so a couple of Fridays ago I decided to pull it up. Borage is quite a prickly plant so when my hands were stinging a little I didn’t worry too much about, nor did I the ants crawling over it. I washed my hands and thought nothing more of it. The next evening my hands were sooo itchy and lots of little lumps started to appear. Next my body erupted into hives, not much sleep happened that night or the next. Finally after 48 hours, the hives started to calm down but my hands were left sore, blistered and very itchy. I initially blamed the Borage but on further reading it seems the ants are the more likely culprit. I didn’t even know that black ants bit – they do. Some also go onto to squirt acid into the bite which causes the blister, I think mine did. The bites can take 24 hours to show themselves, mine just kept on appearing – I’d say maybe 150 or more – hence the hives I guess!
Anyway BIG gardening rule learnt – always wear gloves! On the positive side – an ample opportunity to try lots of products – I’ve been throwing everything at them!! One thing I hadn’t thought of though for some reason was neat Lavender. I had it in the house but it wasn’t until someone suggested it on Instagram that I gave it a go. And what a brilliant suggestion it was.
I did an experiment and just put it on one hand to start with. The oil immediately soothed my hand and it didn’t itch when the other was going crazy – you know how that normally goes, one bite itches and all the rest get going too.. I had a LOT of bites that swelled, covering quite a big surface area of my hands and in between my fingers too, so at first I used the oil neat all over my hands. I did also use moisturisers too, such as Calendula. Once my blisters started to go down, I stopped using the oil all over as I think it might have started to dry it out. I have carried on using it on troublesome patches though and it has been brilliant. I really think it has played a huge role in actually how quickly my hands have cleared up, considering how bad they were.
Lavender is one of the very few oils that can be used neat on the skin as it has a very low toxicity. However don’t smother yourself in it undiluted, use it topically to treat things like burns, insect bites and stings; it is an amazing first aid remedy. Then for bigger surface areas blend it in with other oils and carrier oils, then you can smother yourself in it!
Lavender is one of most versatile and well used essential oils. It is balancing and calming which gives it the ability to help with soooo many things. Insomnia being a popular one, I’m sure everyone knows it’s good for sleeping; put some on your pillow to help you nod off. It is also great for headaches, irritability, depression and shock to name just a few of its uses.
The word aromatherapy was actually coined in the 1920’s when french chemist Rene-Maurice Gatttefosse plunged a bad burn into a vat of lavender oil. His burn healed remarkably well with no scarring. He went on to develop aromatherapy as we know it today.
I know Lavender sometimes get associated with old ladies, but I love the smell. Obviously if you don’t like it, it’s not going to be emotionally therapeutic. However, if you’re going to have any essential oils in your house, Lavender needs to be one of them. I’ve got one in my skin bag in my professional make-up kit too. Put it on a cotton bud to calm any skin irritation. It’s also great on temples and wrists (if you like the smell) to reduce anxiety or soothe a tension headache – you or your client!
When I saw this on Save the bees Australia’s Instagram, it made me love Lavender even more.
Australian Researchers Make Extraordinary Discoveries About Lavender and Bees
‘They discovered that the smell of Lavender has a calming effect on bees and enhances their memories. Also that olfactory cues triggered by scents like lavender were directly linked to the expression of certain bee genes causing epigenetic changes to their DNA. Bees are not on Lavender for pollen or nutrition but to rewire their DNA. This enables bees to do various jobs throughout their lives’
Credit – ABC Catalyst Honeybee Brains and Lavender
How do you use Lavender? Do you have a favourite essential oil?