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Using lavender with patients at the end of life.

The purpose of this blog is not to replace traditional allopathic care, but to complement care modulating pain or easing anxiety.

If people prefer alternative medicine can essential oils or herbal preparations give relief?

Lavender essential oil is easy to find and popular in the mainstream market. Inhaling lavender essential oil – a drop on a tissue or on an inhaler stick can relax, reducing agitation that may arise in the end of life.

Yes, using essential oils via inhalation can provide relief without using essential oil preparations on the skin.

The studies of using lavender essential oil in many ways in addition to other palliative care is proven through studies listed below:
The International Journal of Caring Sciences published an article in the January-April 2020 issue going into depth on using essential oils at the end of life. The studies mentioned used lavender in a variety of ways, inhalation, massage etc., in pediatric and colorectal cancer patients.

Reference the article below:
Usage of Aromatherapy in Symptom Management in Cancer Patients: A Systematic Review
Baykal Dilek, PhD Assistant Professor, Halic University, School of Nursing. Istanbul, Turkey.
Comlekci Necmiye, Research Assistant, Bartin University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Nursing. Bartin, Turkey
Correspondence: Baykal Dilek, Assistant Professor. Halic University, School of Nursing. Istanbul, Turkey.

Linalool and linalyl acetate are the chemical components that are responsible for the therapeutic actions on the CNS (Central Nervous System). Among the many therapeutic actions attributed to linalool: analgesic, antianxiety, antinociceptive, antispasmodic, cognition enhancement and sedative are useful for the end of life patient.

Using lavender with a patient

Making an inhaler with 15 drops of lavender essential oil and keeping it by the bed allows the patient to use the inhaler when they want to. If the patient is not able, keep the inhaler at bedside, so the caregiver to assist.

Use lavender in a diffuser, 30 minutes on and then 30 minutes off. This can be calming to everyone in the room.

A lavender sachet can be placed near the bedside.

A simple rice sock (an old sock filled with rice; add 3-4 drops of lavender) can be heated 20-30 seconds in the microwave for comfort.

A lavender wand can refresh in the room and is pretty to look at.

Adding 5-6 drops of lavender essential oil (Lavendula angustifolia) to an unscented lotion or cream is a 1% dilution. A lotion of this dilution is generally safe for elderly or compromised patients. Always check with the doctor to be sure.

Linalool is present in over 200 essential oils. In lavender oil, according to Tisserand, (2nd edition Essential oil safety, pg. 585) there is 25 – 45% linalool.

There are other oils that have more linalool than lavender.

Have these been studied?

Could Ho Wood at 95% or another oil be used instead of lavender?…..that is for another blog.

Happy Blending,


A faithful person will be richly blessed.

Proverbs 28:20

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Alternative modalities for itchy skin.

Pruritus is the term for itchy skin.
What causes itch?

Itchy skin not caused by a bug bite such as a mosquito can be aggravating physically and psychologically.

Scientifically there are nerve cells in the body that are called C-fibers.

These fibers send an alarm signal to the brain causing the fingernails to scratch the itch, which is the
science behind calming the itch.

Unfortunately, after approximately 100 years of study, there is not one single treatment for itch. Calamine and hydrocortisone creams and lotions, antihistamines, aspirin and ultraviolet light treatment are conventional therapies for the treatment of itch.

How to calm the itch with essential oils, herbs, alternative methods.

In the alternative medicine world, there are herbal and plant essential oils that can help modulate the itch, working much in the same way as calamine and hydrocortisone creams and lotions.

It comes down to what do you want to put on your skin.

Recipes, remedies and hacks

When I was little, my grandma used ACV (apple cider vinegar) on poison ivy rashes. It worked then and occasionally I still do this.

Hydrosols or washes made with Lavender, chamomile or calendula are great for large rash areas.

A chickweed salve is wonderful for a rash.

Picking the right carrier oil for your DIY remedy:

Apricot oil (Prunus armeniaca) is good for inflamed skin with a moderately low comedogenic index, fast absorption, light viscosity, and milk aroma.
Almond oil (Prunus amygladlus var dulcus) has a sweet, light aroma, a moderately low comedogenic index even though it has a thick viscosity and is absorbed quickly.

A few essential oil options to try:

Hives: in a 2 oz. (59 ml or 60 gram) carrier

Add 12 drops lavender, 5 drops roman chamomile, and 3 drops patchouli.

Eczema: in 30 gr lotion;

add 5 drops myrrh, 4 drops patchouli, 2 drops vetiver.

For itchy skin; although I personally did not like this blend; in 14 grams lotion;

4 drops sweet marjoram, 2 drops lavender.

I hope these ideas calm the itch you may have.

Happy Blending,