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10 Health Benefits of Lavender

Updated: Mar 10, 2019

What is Lavender?

Lavender (Lavandula) is a group of plants native to southern Europe, northern and eastern Africa, southwest Asia, and southeast India.

Historically, lavender has been used for medical purposes. In the medieval era, physicians used lavender to treat epilepsy and migraine attacks .

lavender flower

Health Benefits of Lavender

Lavender Reduces Stress , Reduces Anxiety and Depression , Improves Sleep Quality, , Enhances Brain Functions,

Has Anti-Inflammatory Effects, Enhances Wound Healing, Helps Reduce Pain and Itchiness, Alleviates Menstrual Cramps, Helps with Headaches, Might Increase Hair Growth

Health Benefits of Lavender

1) Lavender Reduces Stress

Lavender oil decreases blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature, indicating a decrease in the fight-or-flight response. It also reduces anxiety, emotional distress, and pain perception

Lavender increases heart rate variability, which signals a higher stress tolerance. However, this effect is short-term

2) Lavender Reduces Anxiety and Depression

Lavender increases relaxing brain waves (alpha and theta)

In mice, taking lavender oil orally alleviated their anxiety via N-type and P/Q-type voltage-dependent calcium channels. They inhibited the hippocampus, a region of the brain important for anxiety disorders

In a study of 140 women who recently gave birth, their anxiety, stress, and postpartum depression levels were significantly lower when they inhaled lavender daily

For low-anxiety situations, lavender helps lower heart rate, increase the variation between heartbeats, and decrease sweat secretion, indicating a decrease in anxiety levels. An increase in variation between heartbeats indicates a higher tolerance to stress

In high-anxiety situations, lavender causes an increase in variation between heartbeats in women and an increase in sweat secretion in men. However, while the increase in variation between heartbeats indicates a mild decrease in anxiety for women, the increase in sweat secretion proves the opposite effect for men

3) Lavender Improves Sleep Quality

Lavender inhalation can help with insomnia and improve sleep quality by reducing the stress responses, lowering resting heart rate and increasing the variability between heartbeats in the short-term.

Lavender oil increases sleep efficiency by allowing longer and deeper sleep. It decreases the amount of time spent awake during the night as well as morning tiredness. Also, lavender decreases restlessness

Lavender increased the percentage of time spent in deep, restorative slow-wave sleep in a study of 31 healthy participants. In women, lavender increased light stage 2 sleep and decreased rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep. In men, lavender has the opposite effect on these two stages

Scientists examined the brain activity of 10 healthy women who were exposed to lavender odor. A brain imaging study showed that lavender increases both brain arousal and feelings of relaxation

4) Lavender Enhances Brain Functions

Aromatherapy with lavender, rosemary, lemon, and orange essential oils increased cognitive function in a study of 17 elderly patients with Alzheimer’s

Lavender extract effectively improved the spatial performance of rats with Alzheimer’s Disease

Rats that were injected with lavender oil demonstrated neuroprotective activity against strokes caused by insufficient blood flow to the brain and alleviated neurological symptoms

Lavender oil improved the motor coordination and motor function in rats through the enhancement of dopamine receptors. Dopamine is responsible for movement and emotions

5) Lavender Has Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Lavender essential oil has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects

In rats, lavender oil prevented inflammation and allergic reactions when applied either topically or through injections

6) Lavender Enhances Wound Healing

Lavender treats wounds, burns, ulcers, and other skin disorders

In rats, treatment with lavender ointment on excision wounds resulted in the wounds healing faster. Lavender ointment also enhanced protein synthesis for tissue restoration.

Also, lavender oil applied to canker sores reduces inflammation, pain, ulcer size, and healing time

7) Lavender Helps Reduce Pain and Itchiness

Lavender essential oil can relieve muscle pain and itchiness from insect bites [

Aromatherapy using lavender can also alleviate joint pain

Lavender essential oil applied topically to the insertion area of a needle reduced the intensity of the pain caused by needle insertion in 30 healthy volunteers and 34 dialysis patients [

8) Lavender Alleviates Menstrual Cramps

In two studies (RCTs), lavender used in an aromatherapy massage to the stomach region significantly reduced the severity of menstrual cramps [

9) Lavender Helps with Headaches

In a controlled trial of 47 patients, the inhalation of lavender oil significantly reduced headache severity compared to placebo

10) Lavender Might Increase Hair Growth

In a DB-RCT of 86 balding patients, the group that massaged a mixture of essential oils (lavender, thyme, rosemary, and cedarwood) onto their scalp experienced an improvement in hair loss symptoms

Lavender oil also promotes hair growth in mice


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