LAVENDER : SLEEP & ANXIETY

In a world that heavily relies on prescription pads and western intervention, many have forgotten about the weird and wonderful plants, herbs, and remedies nature provides. Lavender is one of them.

Most commonly lavender its recommended for oral administration. However, it is also being employed in aromatherapy, aromatherapy massage, dripping oil, and bathing. Unlike many other essential oils used in aromatherapy, lavender oil is often applied undiluted to the skin.

Lavender has a long history of medicinal use and is suggested to possess anticonvulsant, anti depressive, anxiolytic, sedative, and calming properties. It has also been used in aiding the treatment of migraines and pain, while possibly providing anti anxiety effects from continuous exposure.

Lavender oil is also suggested to modulate GABAergic transmission. It has been shown that lavender oil inhibited the sympathetic nerves innervating the white and brown adipose tissues and adrenal gland and excites the parasympathetic gastric nerve. Lavender may inhibit the sympathetic nerve activity and lipolysis through activation of H3-receptors (Silva Brum LF. 2001).

Lavender is traditionally used to have a variety of therapeutic and curative properties, ranging from inducing relaxation to treating parasitic infections, burns, insect bites, and spasms. There is growing evidence suggesting that lavender oil may be an effective medicament in treatment of several neurological disorders. Several animal and human investigations suggest anxiolytic, mood stabiliser, sedative, analgesic, and anti convulsive and neruoprotective properties for lavender. 

Anxiolytic effect of lavender was superior to placebo in 221 patients suffering from anxiety disorder. In addition, lavender improved associated symptoms such as restlessness, disturbed sleep, and somatic complaints and had a beneficial influence on general well-being and quality of life (Kasper S. 2010).

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