The Special Health Benefits Of Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender’s key actions are calming and regenerating; it imparts these actions on our physical body as well as our psyche, leading to a variety of useful applications. The synergy of these effects is important, as both our physical bodies and our minds need stress relief before healing can occur. Bumps and bruises on skin need the swelling to go down, scrapes or burns need the inflammation to clear, and our psyche has to let go of tension for us to live happy and healthy lives. Lavender essential oil has a sweet aroma brings calm to nearly everyone — it’s anxiety-relieving effects have been proven in several university studies, and this is perhaps the easiest medicinal action to utilize.
The wonderful aspect of the stress-relieving action of Lavender is that it’s so easy to make use of the oil this way. For personal use, you only need to inhale deeply from a bottle, or dab a couple drops on your wrists to get a little whiff of the scent now and then. For the home, family, or workplace, there are several styles of essential oil diffusers available which release aroma into the air. Any diffuser style will work for stress reduction; it just takes a hint of the aroma in the air to have its effect.
Some of the latest research reports on the oil are the most fascinating, discussing the anti-stress effects of ingesting a little Lavender. To the aromatherapy practitioner, this is somewhat unexpected, as the action of the oil has always been attributed to the activity within the olfactory sense, and then the emotional centers of the brain.
Special Lavender Essential Oil Products
This latest research (abstracts of all research referenced in this article are available through pubmed.gov) was an evaluation of a new capsule containing 80mg of the essential oil (the equivalent of about 2 drops of oil). Study participants took one capsule daily for ten weeks, and came in every two weeks for an assessment of their mental, emotional and physical well-being. The primary focus was whether the Lavender capsule was effective at treating “non-syndromal” anxiety, which essentially means anxiety that isn’t so serious as to be all-consuming of one’s life. The results were impressive: under every evaluation technique or scale used in the study, the fresh Lavender capsule outperformed the placebo. Participants were less stressed, slept deeper, and had better health and well-being overall.
To really be convincing, these same researchers also evaluated the Lavender capsule against a well-known, very potent anti-anxiety drug. The results were very impressive. The natural capsule was as effective as the pharmaceutical preparation in every way, with the researchers noting the important difference that the essential oil capsule had no potential for abuse. This was due to the fact that all the anti-anxiety properties came about without the additional feature of sedation; the Lavender oil pill could put you at ease without knocking you out!
Previous research that has focused on the aroma has also produced statistically significant results. In two separate placebo-controlled trials, participants in common stressful situations were exposed to Lavender aroma. One study examined the response of people waiting to have their teeth worked on, and others were about to take a major exam. In both cases, the essential oil resulted in reports of lower anxiety.
Other researched features of Lavender essential oil has been that the aroma has reduced the need for painkillers after operations. Smelling the aroma lowers the amount of cortisol being produced in the body. Cortisol is a hormone produced under stressful situations, and high levels of cortisol have been linked to a number of unhealthy conditions, including weight gain. The aroma increases the amount of deep, slow-wave sleep. And all these effects can lead to something greater: lessening stress and improving rest is almost always connected to a greater overall level of health, well-being, and positive mental outlook.
Hopefully this has been a convincing review of the benefits of Lavender essential oil! Particularly in this day and age, with the incredible amount of stress many people are exposed to on a daily basis, this readily available, inexpensive (and great smelling) essential oil may be a worthwhile addition to your lifestyle, and perhaps to your home and work environment as well.