Lavender oil is extracted from the flowers of the lavender plant and has been used for centuries for treating various ailments. There is growing evidence suggesting that lavender oil may be an effective medicament in treatment of anxiety and depression. It is very effective at soothing, calming, balancing, and revitalizing both mind and body. Lavender essential oil is one of the most widely used oils in aromatherapy.
Composition Of Lavender Oil
Lavender essential oil is obtained from steam distillation processing of the flowering tops of L. angustifolia plant. Lavender oil has a chemically complex structure with over 160 active constituents, many of which interact synergistically to contribute to its healing effects.
Relative amounts of bio-active constituents can vary significantly from one lavender oil to another. The chief botanical constituents of lavender oil are linalyl acetate, terpinen-4-ol, and camphor. This oil is rich in esters, which are aromatic molecules with antispasmodic (suppressing spasms and pain), calming, and stimulating properties.
How Does Lavender Oil Work?
The antidepressant activity of Lavender oil has been attributed due to the following properties:
Increases Mental Activity
Lavender essential oil has a calming fragrance which makes it
Positively Affects The Nervous System
Lavender oil can increase the expression of GABA-A receptors (inhibitory neurotransmitter receptors in mammalian brain), which can help to calm the activities of the brain.1
Helps During Mood Imbalance
The pleasant aroma of lavender oil acts on the limbic system (a complex system of nerves and networks in the brain, concerned with instinct and mood) and fixes mood imbalance like anxiety, insomnia, nervousness and depression.2
Beneficial Effects On Coronary Circulation
According to studies, Lavender aromatherapy has beneficial effects on coronary circulation and reduces serum cortisol levels in men, which plays a central role in the body’s response to stress.3
Reduces Anxiety And Other Symptoms
Lavender oil helps in reducing anxiety, relieving headaches, migraines and insomnia symptoms, which all add up over time to increase depressive tendencies.
How To Use?
- Lavender oil can be used for topical application or oral intake.
- Lavender capsules are available which can be taken in a dose of 80 mg per day for better results.
- Lavender essential oil, can be added to bath water. Six drops of lavender oil extract may be added to bath water.
- A few drops of lavender essential oil may be added to your massage oil, and diffusers.
Research Studies On Lavender Oil
Essential oils contain active and highly concentrated plant essences. Research studies that has proven the effectiveness of lavender oil for treating signs of anxiety and depression are as follows:
- Lavender oil aromatherapy has shown its efficacy in decreasing the symptoms of anxiety and depression in small and medium-sized controlled and uncontrolled clinical trials.4
- Linalyl acetate, a constituent of lavender oil is described to exert
- Lavender oil has been shown to be equally effective as pharmaceutical drug lorazepam for the treatment of depression. Thus, it is possible that lavender essential oil can be an effective substitute for other common and potentially addictive psychoactive drugs used for anxiety.6
- Lavender helps with depression symptoms. Lavender helps with restlessness, nervousness and insomnia.7
Precautions And Safety Instructions
- It is essential to look for 100 percent pure organic lavender essential oil, free of chemicals.
- Most people experience no negative symptoms when consuming lavender oil, but some people may develop an allergic reaction to lavender oil.
- Pregnant women and nursing moms should avoid using this oil, as the safety of
|↑1||Aoshima H, et al. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 1999; 63:743-48.|
|↑2||Koulivand, Peir Hossein, Maryam Khaleghi Ghadiri, and Ali Gorji. “Lavender and the nervous system.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013 (2013).|
|↑3||Shiina, Yumi, et al. “Relaxation effects of lavender aromatherapy improve coronary flow velocity reserve in healthy men evaluated by transthoracic Doppler echocardiography.” International journal of cardiology 129.2 (2008): 193-197.|
|↑4||Kasper, Siegfried, et al. “Lavender oil preparation Silexan is effective in generalized anxiety disorder–a randomized, double-blind comparison to placebo and paroxetine.” The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology 17.06 (2014): 859-869.|
|↑5||Tisserand R, Balacs T. Essential oil safety. A Guide for Health Care Professionals. Harcourt 1999: Glasgow.|
|↑6||Woelk, H., and S. Schläfke. “A multi-center, double-blind, randomised study of the Lavender oil preparation Silexan in comparison to Lorazepam for generalized anxiety disorder.” Phytomedicine 17.2 (2010): 94-99.|
|↑7||Akhondzadeh, Shahin, et al. “Comparison of Lavandula angustifolia Mill. tincture and imipramine in the treatment of mild to moderate depression: a double-blind, randomized trial.” Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry 27.1 (2003): 123-127.|