Posted on by Ben Schmidt

 

The Joys of Lavender: An essential tool for a Stress-Free Life

by Beth Blissman, Ph.D.

— The benefits of aromatherapy have long been known to healers, but our sense of smell has oftentimes been ignored and undervalued in our fast-paced modern world. Unless something smells incredibly good – or incredibly bad – we often go through our days without appreciating this sense that our ancestors cherished. (Admittedly, our ancestors primarily used a sense of smell to survive by hunting or to avoid becoming prey themselves, but they were also much more keenly aware of the power of herbal teas, concoctions and crushed flowers to ease pain and heal the body.)

Health Benefits Of Lavender Essential Oil

You may be most familiar with lavender as one of the fragrance options in soaps, cosmetics, perfumes, potpourri, and/or seasonal decorations. However, the health benefits of lavender are also numerous. Lavender (scientific name Lavandula angustifolia) is commonly used to treat various skin disorders such as psoriasis, wrinkles, and/or other inflammatory conditions. Lavender oil, which is extracted from the flowers of the lavender plant primarily through steam distillation, contains both antiseptic and antifungal properties and promotes the formation of scar tissues. Therefore, it has been known to speed up the healing process of cuts, burns, shallow wounds and sunburns.

Lavender essential oil is one of the most beneficial oils in the treatment of acne, as it inhibits the bacteria that build up near the sebum gland, which oftentimes cause the initial infection. The oil also helps to regulate some of the over-excretion of sebum by hormonal manipulation, and can reduce the signs of scarring after the acne has begun to heal. Simply adding a small amount of lavender essential oil to other skin creams or ointments can greatly increase the potential for relief and healing of acne and also assist with keeping skin looking young and fresh. Lavender oil repels mosquitoes and moths, and can also benefit healthy skin when it is combined with chamomile to treat eczema.

According to WebMD, lavender oil can be applied to the skin to treat hair loss (alopecia areata) and/or headache pain. It can also be helpful in treating migraines, sinus pain, depression, and emotional stress. Additional health benefits of lavender essential oil include the ability to eliminate nervous tension, relieve pain, disinfect the scalp and skin, enhance blood circulation and treat respiratory problems.The refreshing aroma of lavender oil removes nervous exhaustion and restlessness while simultaneously increasing mental activity. In a 2012 study, lavender oil caused a significant decrease in blood pressure, heart rate, and skin temperature in subjects when compared to a base of sweet almond oil. This result indicated that the lavender slowed down the autonomic nervous system, which is why it is used as a treatment for insomnia and also as a way to regulate heart-rate variability. Another study showed that people taking tests showed increased cognitive function as well as a significant decrease in mental stress and anxiety when they inhaled lavender oil and rosemary oil before taking an exam.

Lavender oil is very useful in aromatherapy and a variety of aromatic preparations and combinations are made using lavender oil. It blends well with many other essential oils including mint, cedar, pine, clary sage, geranium, and nutmeg. Today, lavender essential oil is frequently used in aromatherapy oil, gels, infusion, lotion, and soaps.

Lavender flowers: Fragrant and Stress-Reducing

The lavender plant is an attractive garden favorite with slim, sage green leaves and spiky purple flowers. It is easy to grow in temperate climates, and adds beauty to a home as well as bringing healing properties. The flowers of lavender herb plants are quite fragrant and have been used for making potpourri for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. To a majority of people, lavender is interpreted as a calming and soothing scent, which makes it an excellent tonic for the nerves and anxiety issues. The scent alone can trigger the body's "rest and digest" response, promoting relaxation, which makes lavender an excellent aromatherapy tool for restlessness, pain, and agitation related to various types of dementias.

In addition to culinary uses of lavender flowers, some people add it to bathwater to treat circulation disorders and improve mental well being. Historically, the herb was used as an aphrodisiac, as a pest deterrent, and as a way to soothe grief. Because the scent of lavender induces sleep it is commonly recommended as an alternative treatment of insomnia. Early studies on elderly patients have shown an increase in their sleep regularity when their normal sleep medication is replaced with a natural solution: lavender!

One of the favorite ways I enjoy the aromatherapy benefits of lavender is through a homemade lavender-flax eye pillow (link to product here). Body Renaissance eye pillows are made for relaxation, and contain flax seed and French organic dried lavender flowers in a colorful cotton fabric. (Cotton holds up longer than silk, and can more easily be heated in a microwave or kept in the freezer for added relief from stress or congestion.) The beauty of lavender-flax eye pillows are that they conform to your features, providing light, evenly distributed weight on the ocular nerve. This helps to relax the body, relieve migraines and headaches in general, and promote sleep.

Whichever way you choose to enjoy lavender – by infusing lavender essential oil, by purchasing eye pillows or skin care products, or even by growing and harvesting it yourself – do take advantage of this easy-to-find source of pain relief and relaxation.

***

Add this note at the very bottom of the article, perhaps in italics? what do you think? (might it be a footnote?)
Please note that – as is the case with many other essential oils – lavender oil should not be ingested, only topically applied topically or inhaled as part of an aromatherapy

treatment, because ingestion could cause serious health complications. Also, persons with diabetes, those with sensitive skin and/or pregnant and breastfeeding women might wish to check with their healthcare provider before using lavender essential oil.

Sources: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-838-lavender.aspx? activeingredientid=838

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/scents-power-heal/story?id=24109788#6

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-lavender- essential-oil.html

http://www.prevention.com/mind-body/natural-remedies/how-lavender-can-help-you- sleep

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/ 225051306_The_Effects_of_Lavender_Oil_Inhalation_on_Emotional_States_Autonomi c_Nervous_System_and_Brain_Electrical_Activity

 

The Joys of Lavender: An essential tool for a Stress-Free Life

by Beth Blissman, Ph.D.

— The benefits of aromatherapy have long been known to healers, but our sense of smell has oftentimes been ignored and undervalued in our fast-paced modern world. Unless something smells incredibly good – or incredibly bad – we often go through our days without appreciating this sense that our ancestors cherished. (Admittedly, our ancestors primarily used a sense of smell to survive by hunting or to avoid becoming prey themselves, but they were also much more keenly aware of the power of herbal teas, concoctions and crushed flowers to ease pain and heal the body.)

Health Benefits Of Lavender Essential Oil

You may be most familiar with lavender as one of the fragrance options in soaps, cosmetics, perfumes, potpourri, and/or seasonal decorations. However, the health benefits of lavender are also numerous. Lavender (scientific name Lavandula angustifolia) is commonly used to treat various skin disorders such as psoriasis, wrinkles, and/or other inflammatory conditions. Lavender oil, which is extracted from the flowers of the lavender plant primarily through steam distillation, contains both antiseptic and antifungal properties and promotes the formation of scar tissues. Therefore, it has been known to speed up the healing process of cuts, burns, shallow wounds and sunburns.

Lavender essential oil is one of the most beneficial oils in the treatment of acne, as it inhibits the bacteria that build up near the sebum gland, which oftentimes cause the initial infection. The oil also helps to regulate some of the over-excretion of sebum by hormonal manipulation, and can reduce the signs of scarring after the acne has begun to heal. Simply adding a small amount of lavender essential oil to other skin creams or ointments can greatly increase the potential for relief and healing of acne and also assist with keeping skin looking young and fresh. Lavender oil repels mosquitoes and moths, and can also benefit healthy skin when it is combined with chamomile to treat eczema.

According to WebMD, lavender oil can be applied to the skin to treat hair loss (alopecia areata) and/or headache pain. It can also be helpful in treating migraines, sinus pain, depression, and emotional stress. Additional health benefits of lavender essential oil include the ability to eliminate nervous tension, relieve pain, disinfect the scalp and skin, enhance blood circulation and treat respiratory problems.The refreshing aroma of lavender oil removes nervous exhaustion and restlessness while simultaneously increasing mental activity. In a 2012 study, lavender oil caused a significant decrease in blood pressure, heart rate, and skin temperature in subjects when compared to a base of sweet almond oil. This result indicated that the lavender slowed down the autonomic nervous system, which is why it is used as a treatment for insomnia and also as a way to regulate heart-rate variability. Another study showed that people taking tests showed increased cognitive function as well as a significant decrease in mental stress and anxiety when they inhaled lavender oil and rosemary oil before taking an exam.

Lavender oil is very useful in aromatherapy and a variety of aromatic preparations and combinations are made using lavender oil. It blends well with many other essential oils including mint, cedar, pine, clary sage, geranium, and nutmeg. Today, lavender essential oil is frequently used in aromatherapy oil, gels, infusion, lotion, and soaps.

Lavender flowers: Fragrant and Stress-Reducing

The lavender plant is an attractive garden favorite with slim, sage green leaves and spiky purple flowers. It is easy to grow in temperate climates, and adds beauty to a home as well as bringing healing properties. The flowers of lavender herb plants are quite fragrant and have been used for making potpourri for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. To a majority of people, lavender is interpreted as a calming and soothing scent, which makes it an excellent tonic for the nerves and anxiety issues. The scent alone can trigger the body's "rest and digest" response, promoting relaxation, which makes lavender an excellent aromatherapy tool for restlessness, pain, and agitation related to various types of dementias.

In addition to culinary uses of lavender flowers, some people add it to bathwater to treat circulation disorders and improve mental well being. Historically, the herb was used as an aphrodisiac, as a pest deterrent, and as a way to soothe grief. Because the scent of lavender induces sleep it is commonly recommended as an alternative treatment of insomnia. Early studies on elderly patients have shown an increase in their sleep regularity when their normal sleep medication is replaced with a natural solution: lavender!

One of the favorite ways I enjoy the aromatherapy benefits of lavender is through a homemade lavender-flax eye pillow (link to product here). Body Renaissance eye pillows are made for relaxation, and contain flax seed and French organic dried lavender flowers in a colorful cotton fabric. (Cotton holds up longer than silk, and can more easily be heated in a microwave or kept in the freezer for added relief from stress or congestion.) The beauty of lavender-flax eye pillows are that they conform to your features, providing light, evenly distributed weight on the ocular nerve. This helps to relax the body, relieve migraines and headaches in general, and promote sleep.

Whichever way you choose to enjoy lavender – by infusing lavender essential oil, by purchasing eye pillows or skin care products, or even by growing and harvesting it yourself – do take advantage of this easy-to-find source of pain relief and relaxation.

***

Add this note at the very bottom of the article, perhaps in italics? what do you think? (might it be a footnote?)
Please note that – as is the case with many other essential oils – lavender oil should not be ingested, only topically applied topically or inhaled as part of an aromatherapy

treatment, because ingestion could cause serious health complications. Also, persons with diabetes, those with sensitive skin and/or pregnant and breastfeeding women might wish to check with their healthcare provider before using lavender essential oil.

Sources: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-838-lavender.aspx? activeingredientid=838

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/scents-power-heal/story?id=24109788#6

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-lavender- essential-oil.html

http://www.prevention.com/mind-body/natural-remedies/how-lavender-can-help-you- sleep

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/ 225051306_The_Effects_of_Lavender_Oil_Inhalation_on_Emotional_States_Autonomi c_Nervous_System_and_Brain_Electrical_Activity