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Lavender essential oil – the Queen of Aromatherapy!
If you have a terrible headache and a fungal infection, you’re unable to fall asleep and have anxiety, and on top of it all, you’re losing hair, would it surprise you to know that there is one essential oil that can fix it all?
Popularly called the most versatile essential oil in aromatherapy, lavender essential oil has a wide range of uses and benefits.
A Brief History Lesson on Lavender Essential Oil
The use of lavender essential oil can be traced back in ancient texts to 2500 years ago. It is the highest produced essential oil in history – most likely due to its incredible versatility. For thousands of years and across many different cultures it has been used for purposes ranging from medicinal to spiritual ceremonies.
According to various ancient texts, it has been used to clean cuts, soothe bruises, calm skin irritation, help kings and queens sleep, scent the air in religious rituals, or ward off evil spirits. In Rome, it was used for bathing due to the relaxing scent and antiseptic properties, and commonly used in their cooking. In ancient Egypt, it was used during the mummification process and in perfumery. Cleopatra is said to have worn lavender oil to seduce Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. Traces of lavender were found in Tutankhamun’s tomb.
In traditional Asian medicine, it has been used to heal the Shen, or mind, by soothing the heart. This is believed to calm and relax the troubles in peoples’ minds that give rise to tension in the body.
It has also been used from the 16th-19th century in England, France, Spain, and Portugal. Everyone from the rich to the poor, from kings to gypsies, used lavender essential oil in their daily life.
Uses in Modern Times
Today, lavender essential oil is used in aromatherapy, for medical purposes, and in many cosmetics. You can find lavender oil in thousands of products used around the world. Many people have claimed to see improvements in their overall health after incorporating lavender into their life. Now, these claims are being backed by modern scientific research.
The benefits of lavender essential oil have been rigorously studied by scientific researchers. Science is looking at this miraculous oil for possible answers to many different physiological and mental health conditions. These studies are (not surprisingly) coming back with positive results, which is making the much of the medical community look at natural medicine in a new way.
The benefits of lavender essential oil that have been written about in ancient texts are now being backed by peer-reviewed scientific studies and published in modern medical journals. These studies are proving just how versatile lavender essential oil really is.
Top 7 Benefits of Lavender Essential Oil
1. Anxiety relief
Lavender essential oil has been officially regarded as an alternative medicine for General Anxiety Disorder (GAD). In 2014, the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology published a randomized, double-blind, peer reviewed study that showed lavender essential oil’s positive effects on those diagnosed with GAD.
It has also been proven to reduce anxiety after before and after surgery. It has also been scientifically proven to lessen the effects of postpartum depression and anxiety. An effective method of using lavender essential oil for anxiety relief is aromatherapy.
Lavender essential oil has been used to improve quality of sleep since ancient times. However, recently it has been scientifically found to improve sleep for those struggling with insomnia.
Many different research studies on lavender essential oil concluded that the effects of insomnia lessened and there were notable improvements in the quality of sleep of participants in a wide age range. Lavender essential oil was helping people fall asleep and stay asleep for longer periods, without the harsh sedative side effects of many prescription drugs.
Using lavender essential oil in aromatherapy is one of the most recommended methods for treating insomnia.
3. Wound healing
In a 2016 study, researchers found that lavender essential oil improves wound healing in skin tissue for cuts, scrapes, bruises, and burns. To use this for wound healing, create a mixture by diluting lavender essential oil in coconut oil. Use a cotton ball to apply to the affected area. It can also be used to treat and fade scar tissue.
4. Fungal or viral infections
Lavender essential oil has antifungal and antiviral properties, alongside many others. The Journal of Medical Microbiology published a study in 2011 that found lavender oil was lethal to a range of strains that cause infection to the skin.
5. Healthy skin
Lavender essential oil is used in thousands of different cosmetic products due to the amazing skin benefits it possesses. It has been scientifically proven to heal acne, eczema, dry skin, hyperpigmentation, even helps to fade fine lines and wrinkles. This is because it has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and is also full of antioxidants.
6. Hair loss
Lavender essential oil can be treated to promote healthy hair and decrease hair loss. In a 2016 study, lavender oil applied to mice made them grow more hair. Their hair grew thicker and faster than normal. While more human studies are needed to further the evidence, many people have used lavender essential oil to treat their hair loss and pattern baldness.
The key is in applying the essential oil directly to the scalp and working it in. Dilute the essential oil with coconut oil to protect the skin. Creating a mixture of lavender, coconut, jojoba, and castor oil will yield the best results.
7. Pain relief
One of the most scientifically backed benefits of lavender essential oil is pain relief for a wide range of conditions. It has been proven to help ease acute as well as chronic inflammation or severe pain.
For example, it was successfully shown to reduce pain in women after a cesarean section, after an episiotomy, and perineal discomfort following normal childbirth.
One study showed that the use of lavender aromatherapy in an oxygen face mask following surgery reduces the demand for opioids. Furthermore, lavender essential oil has also been scientifically proven to help with neck and back pain, as well as migraines and chronic headaches.