Lavender is very well known for its therapeutic qualities.
It is calming and relaxing so it’s great for anger, anxiety, stress, irritability, insomnia and depression. It also works topically for muscle aches, cramps and spasms, digestive and wounds..
Lavender essential oil is great for the skin and helps heal the skin from burns as well as the itch and swelling associated with insect bites.
One of the best ways to experience lavender’s therapeutic qualities is from lavender essential oil. The essential oil is complex, containing more than 150 healing compounds. Lavender essential oil is one of the only essential oils (other than tea tree) that can be applied directly to the skin. This makes it extra easy to use. When it’s rubbed on the skin, the oil penetrates quickly and it can be detected in the blood in as little as five minutes.
So it’s important to know that the essential oil is much more than a nice scent.
Fresh or dried lavender buds are another way to benefit from the healing benefits of lavender. Though you need far less of the essential oil to experience the benefits.
Anxiety, Stress, Irritability
When our bodies get stressed or we get upset or irritable, our blood levels go up along with stress-related hormones. Studies done at the Smell and Taste Research Foundation in Chicago found that scents such as lavender increase the type of brain waves associated with relaxation.*
It lends support to the practice of using lavender to treat emotions such as restlessness, anxiety and insomnia.
Researchers at a British hospital divided 90 patients in intensive care into three groups – one group received standard care, another group received standard care with plus up to three massages and the third group received standard care plus aromatherapy massages with lavender. The third group reported the greatest mood elevation and anxiety relief.
Participants in a sleep study at the University of Leicester in England found that they slept longer and more soundly when they were exposed to the fragrance of lavender oil in the last two weeks of a six week study.
Some British hospitals offer lavender pillows or lavender baths to help patients sleep.
The German Commission E, the expert panel that evaluates herbal medicine, endorses lavender for treating insomnia as well as for anxiety and restlessness.
Cramps, Spasms and Digestive Issues
Lavender helps calm the smooth muscles lining the digestive tract, similar to its botanical relatives in the mint family. The essential oil massaged onto the skin enters the blood stream and helps promote the secretion of bile, which in turn helps digest fats.
Lavender also soothes and relaxes the muscle that causes menstrual cramps – the uterus. Lavender oil can also be added to baths to relax spasms and cramping. Women who are recovering from childbirth may also find lavender useful for pain in the recovery area.
This is an excerpt from the book, Lavender Love Affair.