Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is an evergreen plant native to the Mediterranean. It contains an oil that is known to have calming effects and relax certain types of muscle. It also possesses antibacterial and antifungal effects. People commonly use lavender for anxiety, stress, insomnia, depression, dementia, pain, as well as many other conditions.
Is Lavender Safe?
In a 2016 randomized controlled clinical trial with 90 participants, lavender aromatherapy massage oil reduced knee pain in people with osteoarthritis.
A 2017 study involving 40 open-heart surgery patients revealed reductions in heart rate and blood pressure after the inhalation of lavender essential oil.
A 2006 randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial involving 67 female college students resulted in reduced menstrual cramp pain for the participants who received lavender oil abdominal massage. The placebo massage and control groups didn’t experience the same pain reduction.
(German scientists developed an oral use extract of lavender oil called Silexan. Silexan is an extract that is made from the leaves of the lavender plant and often offered as a tea.)
According to research from 2017, several studies using Silexan have shown that lavender is effective for treating anxiety. One of the benefits of the lavender extract Silexan is that it’s calming without being sedated. Drowsiness is an unwanted side effect for many people who try anxiety medication.
A 2012 study focusing on postpartum women and involving 20 healthy volunteers revealed decreased autonomic nervous system activity after the inhalation of lavender oil aroma. Tests revealed lowered blood pressure, heart rate, and skin temperature. Participants also experienced brain changes associated with relaxation, as measured by an electroencephalogram (EEG).
A component of Lavender is Linalool. Linalool is a terpene that has several effects on the body. These effects can include:
· Apoptosis of cancer cells via oxidative stress, while protecting normal cells.
· Exerting antimicrobial effects through disruption of cell membranes.
· Protecting the liver, kidney and lung through its anti-inflammatory activity.
· Treating conditions such as anxiety and depression due to its effect on the serotonin receptor.
· Is crucial in the release of vitamin E into the body making it a very significant terpene for healthy functioning.
· Anti-Inflammatory and Pain Reducer: Useful for dampening overactive responses to injury or sickness.
· Anti-Epileptic: Linalool is "very powerful in it's anticonvulsant quality"
· Stress Reducer: Inhalation has been shown to act as an anxiolytic (anxiety reducer) and may boost immune system function.
· Vampire Deterrent: Can deter mosquitoes with over 90% efficacy.
· Sedative: Can improve sleep and increase energy the following morning!
Research indicates that anticholinergic, neuroprotective, and antioxidant properties could be found in lavender. The neuroprotective effect of lavender oil against cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury is suggested to be attributed to its antioxidant effects.
A survey conducted at a long-stay neurology department (in patient) showed increased mood scores and reduced psychological distress following aromatherapy with lavender accompanied with tea tree and rosemary. Lavender oil is also believed to modulate GABA neurotransmission. Cholinergic system is suggested to play a role in lavenders analgesic, antianxiety, antidepression, and anticonvulsant effects of lavender. The cholinergic system is a neurological system that uses the neurotransmitter acetylcholine to send messages. This system is involved in regulating immune response, and maintaining homeostasis. The cholinergic system is also the major transmitter of the parasympathetic nervous system, which controls the rest and digest functions of the body.
How to use Lavender?
· Lavender Essential Oil (DIFFUSING) - is always a great place to start. You can diffuse it in a common area during the day, however one of the best places to diffuse is over the bed at night. Apply 5-7 drops of the essential oil to your diffuser, point the mist over the bed, and allow it to diffuse during the night.
· Lavender Chamomile Tea – 4-6 cups of this tea daily can help with anxiety, tension, stress, and mild muscle aches and pains.
When it comes to Lavender, the anxiolytic effects were found to be superior to placebo in 221 patients suffering from anxiety disorder. Lavender (tea, tincture or inhalation) can stimulate the production of serotonin. This is the neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of happiness and well-being.
· Lavender Tincture – 1 dropperful 2-3 times a day. You can take it alone or add it to tea/water/Honey. In addition, studies have shown lavender positively impacted symptoms such as restlessness, insomnia, disturbed sleep, and somatic complaints.
The efficacy of a 6-week-intake of oral lavender tincture was compared to lorazepam in adults with generalized anxiety disorder. This study indicates that lavender effectively improved generalized anxiety disorder and was comparable to 0.5 mg/daily lorazepam.
· Lavender Calming Cream – Essential oil cream that is applied topically. Can be applied several times a day. Promotes a relaxing and calm scent that can also help with mild skin irritations and rashes.
· Lavender Essential Oil (Topical) – (1.) Apply 3-4 drops to hands, rub together, make a tent with the hands over the nose and deeply inhale 4 times.
(2.) Apply 3 drops to the bottom of each foot 2-3 times a day and right before bed. (3.) Apply 2-3 drops to the hands and rub on the side of the neck and shoulders, or apply the drops to the wrists and rub the wrists together.
If you feel Lavender would be a good addition to your medicine cabinet, we carry it all! Place your order today!
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender Calming Cream
Lavender Chamomile Tea