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Lavender Essential Oil: Origin, Benefits and Other Fun Facts

It’s nearly impossible to walk down the health or beauty aisle without seeing lavender products. Whether it’s soap, shampoo, candles or tea, people are in love with this essential oil. It’s no wonder why it’s the most popular essential oil: it smells incredible and has powerful relaxation effects on the mind and body.

While most people identify lavender by its scent and color, this flower has a quite a fascinating history in herbal medicine.  

The Origin of Lavender

The word “lavender” comes from the Latin root “lavare,” which means “to wash.” The benefits of this essential oil were discovered thousands of years ago.

Did you know the Egyptians used lavender for mummification? And lavender oil was used for bathing in Roman times? It has served as both an antibacterial and cosmetic for centuries. Cultures around the world believed lavender could cleanse the mind and body.

To date, this multipurpose flower is used to treat a wide range of health conditions including anxiety, depression, insomnia, headaches, acne and other skin irritations.

Known for its antioxidant and therapeutic properties, lavender has stood the test of time. Its benefits and uses are versatile.

6 Mental and Physical Health Benefits of Lavender

  1. Reduces stress and anxiety

Do you feel like the wheels in your head are always spinning? Are you tossing and turning at night, anxiously worrying about the future? Let’s face it: stress is inevitable. While we can’t control the stressful situations in our lives, we can control how we respond to them.

Rather than turning to medication, which can have potentially dangerous side effects, you can try lavender essential oil, a more holistic approach scientifically proven to calm the mind.

In a study published by the International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice found that participants who took lavender essential oil supplements experienced fewer symptoms of anxiety, sleep disturbance and depression.

Lavender oil was also proven to be more effective against generalized anxiety disorder compared to prescription medicine, according to another study published in The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology.

  1. Speeds up wound healing and combats infections

Along with promoting mental health, lavender is also beneficial for your physical health.

Packed with antimicrobial compounds, lavender helps to treat bacterial infection and heal wounds faster. Whether it’s a cut, burn or scrape, this essential oil is a powerful healer.

According to research, lavender’s antimicrobial strength is amplified mixed with other essential oils.  In a study examining the effects against candida and staph infections, the combination of lavender and other aroma-therapeutic oils proved to be effective.

  1. Improves brain function

As we age, it’s common to experience memory loss and other types of cognitive impairment. Studies show that lavender oil can improve symptoms of neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Specifically, inhaling lavender can help protect the brain from oxidative stress and improve cognitive decline. Due to its neuroprotective properties, this essential oil can potentially be a treatment option for stroke.

Further research needs to be conducted in this area, but the findings are certainly promising!

  1. Supports hair and skin health

As an antimicrobial and antioxidant, lavender is a popular ingredient in many skin care products. Not only does it reduce inflammation and irritation, but also helps prevent signs of aging.

If you want to create a homemade remedy, all you have to do is combine several drops of lavender oil with ½ teaspoon of coconut or jojoba oil. When paired with a carrier oil, it’s safe to apply to the skin.

Research also confirms that lavender blended with other essential oils such as cedarwood and rosemary can reduce hair loss when applied to the scalp on a daily basis.

  1. Promotes better sleep

Do you often have a hard time falling and staying asleep? You’re not alone. In fact, 50 to 70 million U.S. adults have a sleep disorder.

Since lavender acts as a natural sedative, it’s highly recommended by many health practitioners for improving sleep. Numerous studies confirm the soothing effects of this essential oil. And most importantly, unlike most drug sedatives, lavender doesn’t cause any negative side effects.

According to one study of postpartum mothers, the group who inhaled lavender oil four times a week for 2 months experienced an improvement in sleep quality.

Lavender can be used in many different ways. To start sleeping better, you can massage several drops on your neck and temples. You can also add oil to a bath or put a diffuser next to your bed. All three methods will help you drift off into dreamland.

  1. Acts as a natural painkiller

Along with faster healing, lavender is scientifically-proven to lessen pain intensity.

Research shows the topical application of lavender oil reduces pain while being inserted with dialysis needles. It also is proven to alleviate neck pain when combined with peppermint, black pepper and marjoram essential oils.

Brain-boosting, infection fighting, better sleep, skin and hair: is there anything lavender can’t do? If you’re looking for a natural treatment that provides all of the benefits and none of the side effects, give lavender essential oil a try!

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