Herbal remedy lavender reduces anxiety with natural anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
English Name: Lavender
Latin Name: Lavandula angustifolia
What is Lavender?
Lavender is an attractive flowering plant that is native to mountainous regions of Northern Africa and the Mediterranean. Lavender is also referred to as common lavender, true lavender and English lavender although it is not native to England. Its beautiful and aromatic flowers can range in color from bluish-purple, lavender and violet-blue to a whitish-pink.
The name lavender comes from the Latin verb ‘lavare,” which means “to wash,” because in ancient times the Romans Greeks and Egyptians used the plant to scent bath water. Its essential oil is extracted from the fragrant blooms and used most commonly as aromatherapy1.
How Does Lavender Work?
While the fragrance of both lavender flowers and its essential oil has anecdotally produced a calming psychological effect, research shows evidence of how the oil does this. Studies found that lavender oil binds to certain receptors in the brain and inhibits the production of certain neurochemicals that can cause anxiety, seizures and other agitation. The components in lavender oil responsible for this binding action are monoterpenes called linalool and linalyl acetate2.
Benefits of Lavender
Besides its calming aroma, lavender oil used topically has been shown to aid in the healing of minor cuts and abrasions by boosting the skin’s collagen synthesis. The anti-anxiety effects of the monoterpenes in lavender can help reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, boost one’s mood, soothe restlessness and alleviate headaches. Its relaxing properties can also induce sleep, thereby remedying symptoms of insomnia. The scent of lavender that is so attractive to humans is actually abhorrent to bugs, so it is often used as an all-natural insect repellent. The oil can also be applied topically to bug bites to soothe itching and irritation.
Products Featuring Lavender
Photos of Lavender
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The content provided is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have a health condition, please consult a medical professional and do not use this information to self-diagnose or self-treat.
- Nagdeve, Meenakshi. "Top 15 Lavender Essential Oil Benefits & Uses." Organic Facts. April 25, 2019. Accessed April 25, 2019. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-lavender-essential-oil.html.
- López, Víctor, Birgitte Nielsen, Maite Solas, Maria J. Ramírez, and Anna K. Jäger. "Exploring Pharmacological Mechanisms of Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia) Essential Oil on Central Nervous System Targets." Frontiers in Pharmacology. May 19, 2017. Accessed April 25, 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5437114/.