You’ve probably heard something positive about essential oils.
Whether you’ve been told that they can relieve stress or improve your skin, you’re probably wondering if all the hype is true.
It turns out that lavender essential oil, one of the most popular types, has numerous benefits that have been supported by scientific research.
Here, learn about five of these benefits.
The scent of lavender oil might help you to cope with a stressful situation.
In a 2008 study in the Archives of Oral Biology, subjects performed a mathematical task and then rested for 10 minutes.(1)
While resting, half of the subjects were exposed to lavender essential oil, whereas the other half served as a control group.
Researchers took saliva samples from subjects before and after the mathematical task as well as twice during the rest period.
Study results showed that salivary levels of chromogranin A, a biological indicator of stress, were reduced significantly in the lavender group but not in the control group.
The authors concluded that these results indicate that the scent of lavender could relieve stress.
If counting sheep isn’t working for you, lavender oil could provide some relief.
In 2015, researchers for The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine studied 79 college students who were experiencing sleep difficulty.(2)
One group of students practiced good sleep hygiene and wore a lavender inhalation patch to bed every night, whereas the other group practiced sleep hygiene and wore a blank patch to bed.
After five nights, both groups experienced an improvement in sleep quality, but the effect was greater in the group exposed to lavender.
Participants in the lavender group also reported that they woke up feeling refreshed.
The research suggests that lavender oil could be as effective as medication in reducing anxiety.
Researchers for a 2010 edition of Phytomedicine conducted a six-week study of adults with generalized anxiety disorder.(3)
One group of participants was given a lavender oil capsule, and the other took a benzodiazepine medication.
Study results indicated that the two groups experienced a similar reduction in anxiety levels.
If you have been struggling with anxiety but are hesitant to take medication, lavender oil could be a viable alternative.
Lavender oil could be useful when you simply want to unwind after a long week at work or a busy day of running errands and taking the kids to soccer practice.
In a 2012 study in the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand, study participants who inhaled lavender oil experienced significant reductions in heart rate and blood pressure, which are indicators of calmness.(4)
Participants also reported feeling more relaxed after being exposed to the lavender.
In a 2009 study in Holistic Nursing Practice, students who inhaled lavender oil before and during a test experienced a reduction in anxiety levels compared to when they took a test without exposure to lavender oil.(5)
Students heart rates were reduced by eight beats per minute after inhaling lavender.
Benefits for Baby
Lavender can even be beneficial if you have a new baby at home.
In a 2008 study in Early Human Development, researchers compared infants bathed with lavender bath oil to those bathed without, and they found that babies cried less and slept better after their baths when they were bathed with lavender.(6)
Levels of cortisol were reduced among infants after exposure to lavender, indicating that it lowered their stress as well.
Life is definitely easier when your baby is calm, so investing in some lavender oil might be just what you need.
The best part is that lavender essential oil is free of the harmful chemicals found in many over the counter products.
Try out this essential oil today, and you could feel calmer yourself, in addition to enjoying better sleep.
Shop for lavender essential oil at your local health food store, or you can browse online retailers.(check price on Amazon.com)