Lavender as a sanitizing Agent

We have recently received many inquiries regarding lavender as a sanitizing agent.

For centuries, the ability of lavender essential oil to treat, limit or even prevent a wide spectrum of diseases and disorders caused by antimicrobial agents — bacterial, fungal and viral — was informed by everyday observation by healthcare deliverers and populations at large. The arrival, over the past two to three hundred years, of synthetic chemical alternatives that were easier or less expensive to produce in large quantities largely displaced this use of lavender essential oil. People in general turned to synthetics because they were more readily available, less expensive or indeed in some cases more effective.

This disinfectant property takes center stage in our Organic Lavender Hydrosol. Lavender essential oil is a disinfectant, yes. It has been used successfully as a disinfectant to prevent a variety of bacterial, fungal and viral infections as well as to treat them. That said, there are varying degrees of potency and efficacy among the wide range of available disinfectants, ranging from just soap and water to alcohol and bleach, with lavender somewhere in between. Details on chemical disinfectants can be found on the CDC website.

Lavender essential oil has not been specifically tested against the virus that causes the Covid-19. For that reason we cannot and would not make the claim that it kills that virus. That said, we do have personal and considerable anecdotal experience of its efficacy with other viral infections, including for example cold sores on the tongue or lips — but again, even in those cases, we are not aware of any significant laboratory evidence of its ability to kill those viruses.

So while we cannot say, for certain, that lavender essential oil (and by extension Organic Lavender Hydrosol) is effective in managing Covid-19 in particular, it may be. Accordingly, it should not be used as a substitute for any hand sanitizer that meets the CDC recommendations (contains at least 60% ethyl alcohol or 70% or more isopropyl alcohol) regarding agents that have been shown to kill the virus that causes Covid-19.

For management of Covid-19, given the serious nature of the current pandemic, lavender should only be considered in situations when a hand sanitizer that does meet CDC Covid-19 guidelines is not available, OR in any other situation when such a hand sanitizer is not acceptable for any other reason, OR in situations where, in addition to thorough washing with soap and water, hand sanitizing is being used for other, i.e. non-Covid-19 related, reasons, including disinfection protection against bacterial or fungal diseases.