11 Health Benefits of Lavender Oil That You Should Know

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In aromatherapy, lavender oil is used primarily as a “holistic relaxant” [1].

It is widely known for its sedative, antidepressive and carminative properties [1, 2].

In other words, it’s the go-to solution when you’re feeling anxious, stressed out or exhausted.

It can also help ward off many types of ailments.

Some people rely on lavender oil for burns, insect bites, flatulence, bacterial infections and other health problems [1, 2].

Let’s find out which of these uses and health benefits of lavender oil are backed by scientific research.

1. Lavender Oil Can Tone Down Anxiety and Stress

Stress has been found to trigger depressive responses such as anxiety [3].

In today’s society, more and more people are affected, with over 40 million diagnosed with anxiety disorder in the United States alone [4].

It’s no something that can be taken lightly, as this can lead to a more serious condition known as depression.

As you know, depression increases the risk of self-harm, suicide and other dangerous circumstances.

Using natural anxiolytic remedies such as lavender oil can help so much in reducing daily stress and anxiety.

Various studies have shown that the oil extracted from the lavender plant can alleviate these negative emotions safely and effectively [5, 6, 7].

Whether inhaled or applied topically, lavender oil can exert its anxiolytic effects, as reported in a 2014 study [5].

In another study, researchers from Germany did a comparative analysis of a lavender-based medication, and lorazepam, a commonly prescribed medication for anxiety [6].

It was noted that both worked in decreasing anxiety but the only difference is that lavender does not have sedative effects, and therefore has “no potential for drug abuse” [6].

Key Takeaway:

  • Lavender oil has anxiolytic effects that can calm the senses and tone down anxiety and stress.
  • It is highly effective, whether inhaled or applied topically.
  • It does not have sedative effects, so there’s no need to worry about it being abused by users.

2. Lavender Oil Can Be Used as Therapy for Stroke

A potentially fatal condition, stroke is caused by a disruption in the blood supply in the brain [8].

Lack of blood flow to any part of the brain can result in the death of brain cells [8].

When this happens, the person may become paralyzed, or may even die.

Needless to say, it’s a serious condition that should be given immediate medical care.

It’s good to know that even though this can put your life at risk, many of those who suffer from stroke are able to survive, and can get back on their feet with therapy.

Some scientists have looked into the efficacy of lavender oil as therapeutic agent for stroke patients [9, 10].

Results show that this oil has neuroprotective properties that can help improve brain function and inhibit oxidative stress [9, 10].

Key Takeaways:

  • Stroke is a deadly disease that can cause paralysis or death.
  • People who survive this condition can engage in therapy to get back to their normal routine.
  • With its neuroprotective properties, lavender oil can be used in the therapy for stroke patients.

 

3. Lavender Oil Can Protect Against Dementia

Dementia is not a single disease but a term used to describe disorders that cause decline in memory, learning, and thinking [11].

The effects are severe enough that a person’s daily life greatly suffers [11].

Most of the time, dementia affects the elderly, but there are few cases in which younger adults also suffer from this problem.

A 2013 study published in the Phytomedicine Journal revealed that lavender oil’s antioxidant, antiapoptotic and neuroprotective effects are potent enough to protect against dementia [12].

This was the conclusion reached after researchers used animal models to evaluate the neuroprotective mechanisms of lavender oil against induced oxidative stress in the brain of rats [12].

Two other studies, meanwhile, report that this oil extract can be used to treat agitated behavior associated with this brain disease [13, 14].

Those who do have dementia can use lavender oil to manage the condition more efficiently.

In a clinical trial involving 15 patients with severe dementia, half were given 2 percent lavender oil aromatherapy while the other half received a placebo [13].

After 10 sessions, 60 percent of the lavender oil users demonstrated great improvement in their behavior, showing less agitation [13].

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Key Takeaways:

  • Lavender oil can effectively protect against dementia, thanks to its antiapoptotic, antioxidant and neuroprotective properties.
  • It can also be used in treating agitated behavior among patients with dementia.

4. Lavender Oil Can Provide Immediate Pain Relief

Pain of any kind can surely prevent you from performing productively.

It can even do so much as to disrupt normal routine.

What you can do is to get immediate pain relief from natural remedies such as lavender oil.

Since the ancient times, lavender oil has been popular for its analgesic and sedative properties that can help relieve most types of pain [15].

Application of lavender oil on the skin can relieve painful conditions such as headache, stomach pain, lower back pain, neck pain, sore shoulders and so on.

Inhalation of this oil, meanwhile, can relieve internal pain with its soothing effects.

In a study conducted in Hong Kong, 15 patients with lower back pain were asked to engage in eight sessions of acupressure with lavender oil for three weeks [16].

These participants experienced 39 percent reduction in pain intensity [16].

Their walking time also greatly improved [16].

It was found that the combination of acupressure and lavender oil aromatherapy was effective in resolving lower back pain and its symptoms[16].

Key Takeaways:

  • A good way to relieve painful conditions is lavender oil.
  • This oil has soothing and relaxation effects that can help provide pain relief.
  • People who suffer from lower back pain can find great comfort in using acupressure with lavender oil.

5. Lavender Oil Can Prevent Epilepsy

In the United States, 1 in 26 people have a seizure disorder [17].

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder caused by a disruption in the nerve cell activity, leading to seizure, strange behavior, and loss of consciousness [17].

A natural way to treat epilepsy is with lavender oil.

In Iran, repeated application of lavender oil was one of the treatment methods recommended for people who suffer from epilepsy [18].

In 2013, researchers from the Shahed University in Iran investigated this matter, using lavender oil extract in mice induced with pentylenetetrazol (PTZ) to stimulate seizures [18].

Research conducted in shows that lavender oil has anti-epileptogenic effects that can reduce the severity of seizures [18].

That’s not all, it also appears to reduce the oxidative injury that takes place in the brain tissue [18].

It turns out that this oil has similar effects with Valproate, a popular antiepileptic drug [18].

Key Takeaway:

  • Treatment of epilepsy with lavender oil can result in reduced severity of seizure attacks.

6. Lavender Oil Can Keep Blood Pressure Down

High blood pressure is not something that can be taken lightly.

Also called hypertension, high blood pressure occurs when the flow of blood through the arteries are at higher pressure than normal [19].

This exerts high pressure on the arterial walls, which can lead to serious consequences.

This dangerous condition can lead to life-threatening ailments such as heart attack, stroke, and aneurysm, among many others [20].

To keep blood pressure levels down, you can make use of lavender oil.

Inhalation of lavender oil can reduce blood pressure level, thanks to its active compound called linalool [21].

Linalool affects blood pressure levels through the central nervous system [21].

And because lavender oil has the ability to induce relaxation, it can help tone down stress and anxiety, which are known to worsen hypertension.

Key Takeaway:

  • Linalool in lavender oil can help stabilize levels of blood pressure, and reduce the risk of heart disease, aneurysm and stroke.

7. Lavender Oil Can Relieve Episiotomy Pain

It’s not just the process of giving birth that’s extremely painful, but so is the aftermath.

Mothers who have delivered their babies the natural way know about this pain.

Fortunately, they can find comfort in using lavender oil.

A study done by English scientists reported that lavender oil reduced perineal discomfort among the majority of 635 women who had just given birth [22].

It was not applied directly on the affected site, but is used as a bath additive for 10 days after normal delivery [22].

Apart from being highly effective, it was also noted in the study that lavender oil did not cause any side effects [22].

A few other studies yield similar results, suggesting that lavender oil application was highly effective for episiotomy wound healing [23, 24].

Key Takeaways:

  • Healing of episiotomy wound is much faster with the use of lavender oil.
  • Mothers who have given birth via normal delivery can make use of this oil as an additive to their bath water.
  • There’s no need to worry about side effects, as it has been reported safe to use.

8. Lavender Oil Can Help Resolve Insomnia

If you’re always having trouble falling asleep, it’s possible that you have insomnia.

Insomnia refers to a disorder that prevents people from getting adequate sleep [25].

Sleep is integral to people’s health as it is the body’s way of recharging itself and healing damage and injury caused by daily wear and tear [25].

Not getting enough sleep can result in low energy and lack of productivity [25].

More alarmingly, it can lower the body’s immune defense, and make the body more susceptible to ailments [25].

There’s no need to suffer from sleep deprivation if you make use of lavender oil.

One of the many therapeutic applications of lavender oil is that it helps manage insomnia with its hypnotic and sedative effects [26].

Lavender oil exerts significant sedative effects at various dosages of 200, 400 and 600 mg per kg, which is comparable to the effects of diazepam [26].

This oil has also been proven effective in helping you fall asleep and at the same time, prolonging duration of sleep [27].

Key Takeaways:

  • Sleep deprivation doesn’t only result in low energy and poor performance, it can also negatively affect the health.
  • It’s a good thing, lavender oil’s hypnotic and sedative properties can help resolve the problem of insomnia.

9. Lavender Oil Can Help Alleviate Colic

Caring for a baby is hard enough, dealing with a colicky baby is even a bigger challenge.

And because babies can’t tell you what’s wrong with them, there’s nothing left for you to do but to try all sorts of things to calm him down.

Colic, which is a condition characterized by prolonged episodes of crying, typically lasts for more than three hours a day [28].

Not only is the cause of crying spells not known, colic also affects even healthy and well-fed babies [28].

One possible way to cope better with this frustrating situation is to make use of lavender oil.

Researchers from Turkey assessed the effects of aromatherapy massage with lavender oil on 40 infants who demonstrated signs of colic [29].

Findings reveal that this natural approach was highly effective in reducing crying frequency among infants with colic [29].

Key Takeaway:

  • Colic can make parenting challenging but one way to resolve this is to make use of lavender oil.

10. Lavender Oil Can Improve Memory and Learning

If you’re one of those people who always can’t seem to remember where they’ve placed their keys or what the name of that new person they’ve just met is, you might find lavender oil useful.

This oil is believed to have positive effects on people’s memory and learning [30, 31].

A 2013 study featured in the Biomedicine & Aging Pathology Journal reported that oral intake of lavender extract improved cognitive functioning and mental performance [30].

Another study, this time published in the Phytomedicine journal, showed that this oil can do wonders in boosting spatial memory [31].

The rats that were administered with lavender oil showed better spatial memory performance in tasks such as radial arm-maze and Y-maze [31].

Key Takeaway:

  • Lavender oil is a natural way to improve memory, learning and cognitive function.

11. Lavender Oil Can Get Rid of Dandruff

White flakes falling from your scalp and landing on your shoulder can certainly cause great embarrassment.

It’s a good thing you can finally get rid of this problem with lavender oil.

Lavender oil is one of the essential oils found to have potent antifungal effects on Malassezia fungi, which cause dandruff [32].

What it does is it disrupts the formation of the fungi, and prevents it from spreading further on the scalp.

It’s also a strong anti-inflammatory agent that can help keep other scalp problems at bay [32].

Just make sure that when you use lavender oil on your skin, you dilute it first with a carrier oil such as almond oil, olive oil or jojoba oil.

Although lavender oil is soothing and relaxing, it can still cause skin irritation if used in its pure form.

Key Takeaway:

  • With its antifungal properties, lavender oil can successfully get rid of dandruff and improve scalp hygiene.

For many years, lavender has been recognized for its vital contributions in traditional medicine.

This has prompted scientists to make investigations on its pharmacological effects, and most have found positive results.

Enjoy these health benefits and use of lavender oil to maintain optimal health.