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Lavender Essential Oil Could Help Ease Your Anxiety and so Much More

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is a beautiful plant, thanks to its striking purple hue, but it is also incredibly useful; from flavoring in food and beverages to fragrances in cosmetic products (such as shampoos and soaps). Lavender can also be used for medicinal purposes, such as relieving anxiety and menstrual pain, among other conditions, WebMD notes.

Lavender is great for relaxation, and according to Science Daily, research has indicated that the smell of linalool, a fragrant compound found in lavender extracts, can have a calming effect on an individual.

Lavender is often used in the form of essential oil (extracted primarily through steam distillation), and Medical News Today notes that it is a multipurpose oil commonly used by aromatherapists, who believe it contains “anti-inflammatory, muscle-relaxing, and anxiety-relieving properties.”

The use of lavender essential oil for anxiety has been the topic of several studies including 2012 research which suggested that lavender aromatherapy could ease anxiety by “impacting the limbic system,” Healthline reports. While Medical News Today refers to 2017 review, which despite limitations in the research, looked at the effect of aromatherapy with lavender oil on patients awaiting surgery and cosmetic procedures, and how their anxiety was eased.

The scent may also be beneficial to those waiting for dental surgery. Research was conducted on a sample group of 340 adult patients, half of whom were exposed to lavender scent, and they were found to have reduced anxiety levels when compared to the group who did inhale a lavender scent. The study author, Dr. M. Kritsidima, told Medical News Today: “Our findings suggest that lavender could certainly be used as an effective 'on-the-spot' anxiety reduction in dentists' waiting rooms."

So, how can you use it at home? A few drops of lavender essential oil can be added to a warm bath to reduce restlessness or nervous exhaustion, Organic Facts reports. It can also be rubbed on the temples to aid headaches, nervous tension, and emotional stress.

Research has also indicated that the oral admission of a lavender oil product, Silexan (80-160 mg), over a 6 to 10 week period: “improves anxiety and sleep and prevents anxiety recurrence in people with mild-to-severe anxiety,” WebMD reports.

A final note: Although there is some evidence to suggest that lavender essential oil can help with many conditions, including potentially reducing mild anxiety, it should not be used in place of professional medical health treatment.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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