9 Health Benefits Of Lavender Flower

Native to the Mediterranean and India, lavender is one of the most easy-to-grow herbs, which dates back to over 1500 years. Used in ancient medicine as a healing agent, lavender has plenty of health benefits, especially in its oil form.

1. Fights Depression and Anxiety

According to one study, when lavender essential oil is used in aromatherapy, it can reduce cortisol – the body’s stress hormone levels, thereby combating feelings of anxiety and stress. In another study, participants with mild to moderate levels of depression showed an improvement in mental health, after receiving 60 drops of lavender tincture per day.1

There’s also research to indicate that inhaling the scent of the oil extracted from lavender flower for 4 weeks after childbirth can reduce stress and depression in women, in the postpartum period.2

2. Helps Manage Diabetes

In a 15-day animal study, it was suggested that lavender oil might fights symptoms of diabetes, including increased bloog glucose levels, weight gain, and liver dysfunction. However, it’s important to note that lavender oil must be used only as a supplement for treatment and not as a substitute.3

3. Supports Brain Function

Lavender oil can boost brain function and may prevent and even help treat age-related brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.4 In an experiment, the antioxidant properties of lavender oil was shown to delay dementia and improve nerve function.5

4. Helps Relieve Pain

Lavender oil is a natural analgesic with pain-alleviating properties. It’s been observed that aromatherapy massages using lavender oil can help relieve menstrual cramps and PMS symptoms. Plus, in a study that looked at the effect of essential oils (including marjoram, peppermint, black pepper, and lavender oils) on neck pain, the direct application of a mixture of the above essential oils – everyday, for a period for a period of 4 weeks- reduced the intensity of pain.6 7

5. Treats Cuts and Wounds

Applying lavender oil to wounds on alternating days, for a total of 14 days, can help heal the injury. Studies show that lavender can activate the properties of a protein called TGF β, which can help repair broken tissue and accelerate healing.8

6. Helps Fight Insomnia

Inhaling the scent of lavender flower buds (after boiling and diluting it with water) can promote sleep and may also help fight insomnia. In one study that examined the effect of aromatherapy on new mothers, inhaling lavender oil four times a week before going to sleep – for a period of 8 weeks – improved sleep quality and reduced instances of insomnia.9

7. Improves Skin Health

Topical application of diluted lavender oil can improve and restore skin health. Lavender possesses antibacterial properties that battle fungal and bacterial infections. Studies also show that the anti-inflammatory properties of of lavender can fight acne and rashes.10

8. Aids Hair Growth

A study conducted on mice showed that application of lavender oil increased the number of hair follicles and promoted hair growth. Though it’s not proven that the same result holds good for humans, there is also good empirical evidence to believe that applying diluted lavender oil to hair for a period of 4 weeks can aid hair growth and add a shine to the strands.11

9. Might Help Aid Cancer Treatment

Thanks to lavender’s mood-lifting properties, some studies say that it can be used as a therapeutic agent to supplement chemotherapy for cancer patients. However, results have been mixed and there’s no conclusive evidence to prove lavender’s role in reducing anxiety or depression in patients undergoing chemotherapy.12

References   [ + ]

1. Anxious or feeling down: Can essential oils help? American College of Healthcare Sciences.
2. Kianpour, M., Mansouri, A., Mehrabi, T., & Asghari, G. “Effect of lavender scent inhalation on prevention of stress, anxiety and depression in the postpartum period.” Iranian journal of nursing and midwifery research 21, no. 2 (2016): 197.
3. Sebai, Hichem, Slimen Selmi, Kais Rtibi, Abdelaziz Souli, Najoua Gharbi, and Mohsen Sakly. “Lavender (Lavandula stoechas L.) essential oils attenuate hyperglycemia and protect against oxidative stress in alloxan-induced diabetic rats.” Lipids in health and disease 12, no. 1 (2013): 189.
4. Xu, Pan, Kezhu Wang, Cong Lu, Liming Dong, Li Gao, Ming Yan, Silafu Aibai, Yanyan Yang, and Xinmin Liu. “The protective effect of Lavender essential oil and its main component Linalool against the cognitive deficits induced by d-galactose and aluminum trichloride in mice.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2017 (2017).
5. Hancianu, Monica, Oana Cioanca, Marius Mihasan, and Lucian Hritcu. “Neuroprotective effects of inhaled lavender oil on scopolamine-induced dementia via anti-oxidative activities in rats.” Phytomedicine 20, no. 5 (2013): 446-452.
6. Bakhtshirin, Froozan, Sara Abedi, Parisa YusefiZoj, and Damoon Razmjooee. “The effect of aromatherapy massage with lavender oil on severity of primary dysmenorrhea in Arsanjan students.” Iranian journal of nursing and midwifery research 20, no. 1 (2015): 156.
7. Ou, Ming-Chiu, Yu-Fei Lee, Chih-Ching Li, and Shyi-Kuen Wu. “The effectiveness of essential oils for patients with neck pain: a randomized controlled study.” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 20, no. 10 (2014): 771-779.
8. Mori, Hiroko-Miyuki, Hiroshi Kawanami, Hirohisa Kawahata, and Motokuni Aoki. “Wound healing potential of lavender oil by acceleration of granulation and wound contraction through induction of TGF-β in a rat model.” BMC complementary and alternative medicine 16, no. 1 (2016): 144.
9. Afshar, Mahnaz Keshavarz, Zahra Behboodi Moghadam, Ziba Taghizadeh, Reza Bekhradi, Ali Montazeri, and Pouran Mokhtari. “Lavender fragrance essential oil and the quality of sleep in postpartum women.” Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal 17, no. 4 (2015).
10. Lodhia, M. H., K. R. Bhatt, and V. S. Thaker. “Antibacterial activity of essential oils from palmarosa, evening primrose, lavender and tuberose.” Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 71, no. 2 (2009): 134.
11. Lee, Boo Hyeong, Jae Soon Lee, and Young Chul Kim. “Hair growth-promoting effects of lavender oil in C57BL/6 mice.” Toxicological research 32, no. 2 (2016): 103.
12. Boehm, Katja, Arndt Büssing, and Thomas Ostermann. “Aromatherapy as an adjuvant treatment in cancer care–a descriptive systematic review.” African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines 9, no. 4 (2012): 503-518.

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.