Today’s video is about a personal favorite of mine: the fragrant lavender plant. (If you’re not already following us on YouTube, check out our videos!)
We all know that lavender smells incredible and has been used for centuries to help induce sleepiness; that’s why a nice sachet of lavender under your pillow has been a long-time favorite solution for insomniacs. But you might be surprised to learn about some of the other fantastic qualities of lavender—for instance, did you know there are hundreds of species of lavender, some of which are even edible?
Check out these 4 amazing health benefits of lavender.
A randomized, controlled study from 2018 looked at the effects of lavender oil aromatherapy on anxiety and sleep quality in patients undergoing chemotherapy, in which 70 patients were randomly assigned to a lavender oil group, a tea tree oil group, and a control group with no oil. Researchers compared trait anxiety values both before and after chemotherapy and found “a significant difference in the lavender group.” And a systematic review and meta-analysis from 2019 which aimed to assess the efficacy of lavender on anxiety and anxiety-related conditions found that “overall, oral administration of lavender essential oil proves to be effective in the treatment of anxiety.”
So if you’re having restless sleep, a whiff of lavender oil might be what you need to get your sleep health back on track! But that’s not all lavender is good for…
2) Lavender helps decrease the symptoms of menopause. Listen up, formerly menstruating folks: lavender is coming to the rescue! A 2017 double-blind cross over clinical trial carried out on 100 menopausal women found that lavender aromatherapy decreased the menopause symptoms for those using it, compared to the control group. Another study from the Journal of Chinese Medical Association suggested that 20 minutes of lavender aromatherapy twice a day could help reduce menopause flashing and improve quality of life.
3) It’s a brain booster. Another major benefit of lavender comes in the realm of cognition and mental health. In 2003, a randomized study of 140 subjects, using a cognitive assessment battery test and self-assessment mood scale, found that inhalation of rosemary and lavender oils enhanced cognitive function.
(FYI, rosemary has long been thought to help with memory—in fact, Greek students over 2000 years ago placed sprigs of it in their hair during exams!—so it’s fascinating to finally see science back up these age-old remedies. To learn more about the health benefits of rosemary and other herbs, check out my blog on the medicinal uses of herbs.)
4) … and more! Other studies have found that it’s also antibacterial, antifungal, carminative (smooth muscle relaxing), sedative, antidepressive… and even effective for burns and insect bites!
Sounds like a whole lot of reasons to keep lavender around! To learn more about lavender and its sleep-inducing properties, check out today’s video on why lavender is so good for sleep.