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Lavender: Your Secret Weapon For Burns
By Meagan - July 03, 2013
Guest Post by Sarah of How To Live Naturally Ahh!   The 4th of July. There’s nothing quite like popsicles, parades, fireworks, and burns. Wait a minute, burns? Yes, BURNS. Burns and summer seem to go hand in hand. Whether it’s a burn from lighting that firework, a burn from the hot-dog laden grill, or a burn across your back because you didn’t realize just how long you were sitting in the warm sunshine, the fact is that July is filled with burns. So what will you turn to that will help you with your burns? As most of you know, aloe is the first thing that most natural minded people turn to, to relieve burns, but what I want to tell you about is the secret weapon that goes hand in hand with aloe... but it must be applied first! That secret weapon is Lavender essential oil! Why do I suggest Lavender essential oil for burns? Let’s go back in history and see… Back in 1910 there lived a famous French chemist and scholar named René-Maurice Gattefossé. He worked in a laboratory of a cosmetic firm that was owned and named after his family. In July of that same year, Gattefossé was in a terrible lab accident. He fled the laboratory literally aflame. Rolling on a grassy lawn, he extinguished the flames but later wrote, "Both my hands were covered with a rapidly developing gas gangrene." He did not "accidentally" plunge his arm into a strategically placed vat of lavender essential oil. Gattefossé had been studying essential oils in earnest for three years at that point. He knew the healing power of lavender and immediately resorted to this jack-of-all-trades essential oil. In his book, Aromatherapy, he wrote: "Just one rinse with lavender essence stopped 'the gasification of the tissue.' This treatment was followed by profuse sweating, and healing began the next day.'" (1) He was later surprised by how quickly his burn healed and how little scarring there was. This intrigued him and he began to study essential oils in earnest. His first test subjects were burned soldiers in military hospitals during the First World War. Fast forward almost a hundred years and we can now tell you what is in the lavender that helps! Lavender contains Linalyl Acetate (24-45%) and Linalol (25-38%) which have local analgesic and anesthetic effects. It also contains Terpinen-4-ol (2-6%) which, like Linalol, is an antibacterial agent. These two contribute to Lavender’s anti-bacterial properties, which in the case of a burn is very important. As you can see Lavender has been used for burns for a long time! Before we talk about how to use lavender for burns, let’s first talk about the different types of burns and how they should be handled.

Degrees of Burns

Seeing as it’s the 4th of July, let’s start with good old fashioned firework burns.  Obviously the degree of burn from fireworks can vary, and it is that variance that helps us determine how to handle it. Most fireworks burns settle in the second degree burn stage which will result in blistering, discomfort, and some possible scarring when all is said and done.  Let’s review the degrees of burn briefly to make sure we are all on the same page. First degree burns; this would be your typical sunburn, are red and hurt mildly, and usually only affect the first layer of skin. Second degree burns are worse and may have blistering with much more pain. This may affect the first layer of skin as well as the underlying skin. Third degree burns are very bad. The outer layer of tissue is typically gone and depending on how bad the burn is, the tissue may be red, yellow, white, or black and leathery. This is an emergency and you should seek medical help right away! Do not put anything on this type of burn. Leave these to the professionals. First and Second degree burns (and simple chemical burns) can be easily treated at home. Start by cooling the skin by holding the burned area under cool or tepid water. You can also apply a cool or tepid compress with 8 to 10 drops of lavender on it. Never use ice directly on the skin, as it is fragile and you could shock it. For an extra boost, add some aloe juice or gel (try to get as close to 100% aloe as you can). The best kind of aloe is, of course, the kind that you grow at home! When you have your own aloe plant all you need to do is slice off a nice thick leaf, cut it in half and scoop out the contents and add about 10 drops of Lavender to 1/2 cup aloe, or you can apply the lavender directly to the opened aloe plant if that is how you prefer to use it. This makes an amazing healing combination because as the lavender is up against your skin desensitizing your nerves, relieving the pain, healing and preventing scarring, the aloe is cooling while acting as a salve, sealing in the moisture and pushing the lavender into your skin. Young Living has even simplified the process for you by creating Claraderm Cooling Mist, which contains de-ionized water, Aloe Vera leaf concentrate, lavender essential oil, and ionic trace minerals. Toss this little spray bottle into your beach bag, and enjoy the sun!

Burn Testimony

I have very personal testimonial in regards to Lavender and burns. This past winter was the first winter we have had a woodstove. I didn’t have ANY experience with woodstoves, my husband taught me all that I know. Well I made a rookie mistake and ended up with a fireball coming out of the stove and running up my arm, and up my face. Thankfully I have glasses, but it took all the hair off my arm, most of my eye lashes, some of my eyebrows and the edges of my hair. I got first degree burns on my arm and face, but my hand that was holding the lighter stick sustained second degree burns. I wanted to see how well the lavender worked so I took this picture the same day that I received the burn. It is hard to see the burn because it is so fresh, but anywhere it looks red, is where the burn is, the worst being on my index finger knuckle.

When I got the burn I instantly applied lavender. It soaked in immediately so I kept applying more. The pain got pretty intense and I discovered some aloe in the back of my fridge! That helped by cooling it down, but it still ached, so I wrapped my hand in a plastic glove and then applied a frozen gel pack. After one night of that I was able to just apply the lavender and aloe and be ok. One week later this is what the burn looked like. You can clearly see where the fire hit and the scabs that had formed. The worst part of the burn was on my knuckle.

I just took a picture of my hand today, six months after the incident, and I challenge you to find the scar, because I can’t! This is just a testimony of the amazing properties of lavender essential oil!

As with any essential oil, I only recommend therapeutic grade essential oils. If you have questions about how to purchase these oils, please contact me! I hope that now you have learned about this amazing plant’s properties, you will be better prepared should you or anyone you know get burned this summer! Have a WONDERFUL 4th of July!!! Sources: Sarah Adamo lives in Southeastern Wyoming. She is married to her best friend, Jacob, and they will be celebrating 10 years of marriage this year! She is a homeschool mom to her 5 children, ages 8 and under, and works on her blog when she can squeeze out the time. She and Jacob are expecting their 6th blessing in the early spring! She loves to eat good food, read books, play with essential oils, learn new things, and spend time with her family. You can also find Sarahon Facebook and Twitter.
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26 Comments

  1. Thea
    Good and timely advice. I am a big believer in Lavender essential oil and keep it on my medicine shelf. I recently used Young Living roll-on 'Tranquil' blend of essential oils for a very bad rabbit scratch. I was away from home and keep the YL roll-ons in my purse for emergencies. Because it has a lot of lavender in the blend, it worked amazingly well; removing the irritation and healing the scratch in record time. Thank you, Sarah, for your great article!
  2. JAMES R
    I never knew this about Lavender...I just thought it smelled pretty, boy was I ever wrong.Thank you for sharing this info Ms.Sarah.8-)
  3. […] trick to quicken the healing process and reduce the stinging pain is the usage of lavender oil. Clean and dry the burnt area of the skin. Apply a generous amount of lavender oil over the burn 3 […]
  4. […] notably: tissue regeneration! Whether it be stretch marks, acne, eczema, rashes or my favorite: burns! The French scientist René Gattefossé first discovered lavender’s ability to promote tissue […]
  5. Peita
    I know this is a year old already.... but just a little correction!

    The burns product you listed from Young Living, is not ClaraDerm. This is for anti ageing!

    "LavaDerm Cooling Mist" is the one for burns :)
    1. Meagan
      Thank you Peita!
  6. ANgela DUNN
    Just burned my hand last night when hot wax splashed on my hand. I cooled it in water for a LOOOOONG time then applied lavender oil ALL over it, twice. I have no pain this morning, and I had expected to not even go to school today ( I am a teacher) and have no use of the hand. THANK YOU lavender!!!
    1. Meagan
      Good for you Angela! Thanks for sharing your success story with us!
  7. Cecily
    Just a quick note that on this page (Lavender burn page) you reference Claraderm when I believe you really mean Lavaderm since Claraderm doesn't have the ingredients you listed. I only know because I was just reading and researching both and that's how I found your page! Great info - Thanks!!
  8. Charu
    Hello.. Can we apply lavender oil on the burn or wait for it to heal. Thank you
    1. Meagan
      It's best to cool the burn under cool water, pat it dry, and then apply your EO.
  9. Meena
    Amazing! I dindt know about it. Thankyou.. thankyou very much. Actually i had an aciident 15 min back ,hot water spilled on me and i was in pain . I have some essential oils at home and i am experimenting with them but i didnt know about lavenders magic on burns. I mmidiately searched in the web . I used your website to see about lavenders magic. Without reading much i immidiately reacted and applied lavender on my burns. It was magical . Pain had gone in just 1 second. Thankyou for this information.
  10. Briseida
    Hi I just read this and I have horrible sun burns. How should I apply and what kind ? The hurt so bad and just the aloe vera isn't cutting it. Thank you for your time.
    1. Meagan
      Personally I'd dilute it in a bit of sweet almond oil (or coconut or olive oil) and rub it on several times throughout the day. I hope you feel better soon! If you have any white willow bark tincture or meadowsweet tincture, taking those internally can help with the pain. Best of luck!!
  11. Emily
    I finished radiation for breast cancer a week ago. I had some pretty bad burns. Everything they gave me to put on it caused more irritation. I am allergic to sulfa and sulfa based meds. So, my pastors wife suggested the Lavender oil and gave me some. I put it on Wednesday night and the next morning I had no pain and the red raw skin was only pink. Today there is no pain, no red raw skin, just dark tan skin that seems to be ligtening up. Why don't doctors recommend this to the many people battling the pain of radiation burns?
    1. Meagan
      I honestly don't know. Maybe they don't know about it, maybe they don't believe it, maybe they can't because it's not approved by whoever they answer too. It is a shame, but I'm glad it's helping you, and I hope your cancer treatments are a success! BTW... you may want to look into medicinal mushrooms like Turkey Tail. They've shown very promising results with cancer patients.
  12. Michaela
    My daughter was burnt by a very hot cup of coffee 3 days ago and she's suffering from 2nd degree burns on tops of her thighs. The ER put xeroform on her and told me I can not take it off (and I can't or I'll tear her skin). I've been given some Do Terra lavender oil and lots and lots of aloe by friends. Do you suggest putting the oil and aloe on the bandage or wait until it comes off?
    1. Meagan
      We can't give medical advice here Michaela. I'm very sorry. In this situation, I'd do what the doctors have recommended since you've already had them taking care of the situation, and just wait until the bandage comes off for further action. You could try putting the oil near the bandage. I'm sure the absorption in her skin couldn't hurt. Perhaps it would be best to ask them if it would interfere with the xeroform in any way. I'm not familiar with that product. Best of luck!
  13. Tj
    Does it matter if the blisters from a 2nd degree burn have are open or closed
    1. Meagan
      I used a burn cream with lavender essential oil on a second degree burn with open blisters and it did just fine, but the essential oil was diluted. From my understanding though, and I'm not an aromatherapy expert, you can use lavender essential oil on open wounds. Personally, I'd dilute it to play it safe. Hope this helps TJ.
  14. Melinda
    Hi, back in October I by mistake was wiping some tears away from under my eyes with the linen sheet in the dr office. When I went to waiting room I noticed the blueish and pink under both eyes and more on my left with some swelling. I immediately thought of sheets and it was confirmed that they use lot of bleach in sheets in washing them. I've tried icing and coconut oil and and it's still there. I'm not sure if YL lavender oil which I have because it so close to the eyes. It's in the skins right under the eyes. Wondering if you know of anything that could be helpful? Thanks!
    1. Meagan
      I'm sorry Melinda, but we can't offer any specific advice. If it were me, I'd check with a local source (doctor, herbalist, aromatherapist, etc.) as they will be able to see what you're talking about and offer more specific advice for you. Best of luck, friend!
    2. Meagan
      I'm so sorry Melinda, but we can't offer any type of medical advice here. Your best bet would be to see a doctor or herbalist who can see what you're referring to and give you some more individualized advice. Best of luck!
  15. edeebee
    Funny story about the 4th of July, lavender, and fire; I sheer my lavender plants with an electric hedge trimmer before the 4th so I can get another flush of flowers by the fall. I had so much lavender that I ended up putting a lot of it in the trash can. That night, we set off our fireworks in the driveway and my husband was too quick to pick them up and toss them in the trash, whoosh! the trash caught on fire. I guess the volatile oils from the lavender ignited and we had a pretty big fire going on in our garbage can.
    1. Meagan
      Woah! I'm so glad you all were okay! What a story to tell. Thanks for sharing with us!
  16. Lorrie
    So lavender oil will not sting an open wound?