Stress and anxiety…they are some of the leading causes of many nutrient deficiencies and hormonal imbalances, as well as being a factor in many major diseases. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) reports that 40 million Americans over the age of 18 are affected by anxiety of some sort; that’s is a huge number! Ask most people you know whether they’ve been stressed out recently and you’ll find it’cs a part of daily life more often than not.
But does it have to be this way?
If you’ve suffered from stress and anxiety, you may have turned to natural remedies or looked into relaxation practices like meditation yoga and massages…and chances are, the smell of lavender essential oil has been a part of these experiences. But lavender’s benefits reach far beyond it’s wonderful aroma.
Now one of the most popular and recognizable scents of the world, lavender can actually be traced back to the times of Egyptians with King Tut himself. It was reported that when they opened his tomb, you could still smell the faint smell of lavender…after 3,000 years! It was also mentioned in Greece, Rome, London (during the great plague of the 17th century) and in the Bible.
Today, lavender oil continues to be used by aromatherapists, herbalist and healers around the world, and for good reason.
Lavender Benefits & Research
The aroma of lavender is calming to the mind in of itself, but this herb also contains anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antidepressant, antiseptic, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties
The benefits of lavender have been shown to be therapeutic in aromatherapy as well as when taken internally and rubbed on topically. Lavender can be used to:
- Reduce anxiety and emotional stress including postnatal stress and PTSD symptoms
- Improve brain function
- Improve sleep
- Help to heal burns and wounds (when used topically) due to its antimicrobial compounds
- Improves skin complexion and health including reducing acne, improve a number of skin conditions, from canker sores to allergic reactions, acne and age spots.
- Slow aging by increasing the activity of the body’s most powerful antioxidants (glutathione, catalase and SOD) and prevents oxidative stress
- Relieve pain – ease sore or tense muscles, joint pain and rheumatism, sprains, backache and lumbago
- Alleviate headaches & migraines
- Protect against diabetes
- Helps cancer patients cope by stimulating the immune system, boosting mood, improving sleep and fighting stress and helping with depression.
How to take Lavender
However you take lavender, always make sure it’s organic as you don’t want to be inhaling or ingesting chemicals along with the herb.
- Add a few drops of the essential oil to your bath.
- Mix with a carrier oil like coconut, jojoba or olive oil and massage into skin.
- Add a few drops into a diffuser.
- Use as a compress by soaking a towel in a bowl of water infused with a few drops of lavender oil.
- Use the dry herb and make into a tea with other therapeutic herbs; it pairs well with chamomile, spearmint and lemon balm which are also known to have calming effects. Steep 2 tsp of the herbs with a cup of almost boiling water for 10 minutes. Lavender is very potent in flavor, so you may to keep it around ¼ tsp per serving.
Also, remember also that what you put on your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream, so even if you’re not ingesting it, it’s important to buy a high quality/organic product.
Drug Interactions & Side Effects of Lavender
Before taking any new herbs, it’s a good idea to test a small area for any allergic reactions and consult your doctor or health professional for possible interactions. Lavender is generally thought to be safe, but does come with a few precautions.
- Topical Irritation – When using lavender oil topically, you always want to dilute it in a carrier oil like coconut or olive oil as pure essential oil is very potent and may cause irritation. Diluted oil is generally considered safe for most adults. Also avoid rubbing lavender oil in your eyes and any mucous membranes.
- Sleep aids/sedatives – If you are taking prescription sleep medication or over-the-counter sleep aids, lavender can increase the effectiveness of these medications, so use with caution and talk to your doctor.
- Pregnancy – Lavender can have a relaxing effect on muscles and can affect hormone levels, so consult your doctor and use with caution in your third trimester.
- Children – There is some concern that lavender’s effect on hormone levels could be harmful for boys who have not yet gone through puberty if used regularly, though there isn’t strong evidence form these studies.
- Gastrointestinal Irritation – When ingested, Lavender is said to be safe up to 80 to 160 milligrams, though minor gastrointestinal symptoms may occur at higher doses. To avoid gastrointestinal irritation, keep internal use to a minimum and be careful if you have a sensitive digestive system.
Lavender + CBD
As CBD has been shown to be extremely effective at reducing anxiety and depression and supporting healthy brain function, combining lavender oil with CBD creates a synergy that promotes relaxation and calms the nerves. To ensure maximum quality and effectiveness, our Anxiety CBD formula uses organic essential oils of lavender and chamomile along with 600 mg of CBD oil, available in THC-free or Whole Plant formulas. As lavender essential oil is very potent and only a small amount is needed when taken internally, we include just enough to get the benefits but a low enough dose as to not avoid GI distress. Find out how the power of Lavender + CBD can work for you.