Skip to main content

Lavender has been a staple ingredient in beauty products and traditional medicine for centuries. Cleopatra reportedly used lavender in her seduction of Julius Caesar in BC47!  In addition to its lovely fragrance, lavender also holds numerous medicinal properties and healing powers, due to its many health and longevity benefits.

Lavender oil for a natural pro-aging boost

I was interested to read some recent research conducted by the team at WeThrift. They revealed that over the last month, searches for lavender oil have increased by 68%. That’s a significant increase and they should know. They sell tons of products with this ingredient in them. So I decided to take a closer look at the power in this flower.

1.  Anti-anxiety benefits

Mental health is a key component of healthy longevity. There are many good references on lavender all over the internet. I like the way Very Well Mind writes about this essential oil when it comes to its mental health benefits.

They explain, “While there’s currently a lack of large-scale clinical trials testing lavender’s effects on people with anxiety, a number of studies show that the oil may offer some anti-anxiety benefits.”

Several studies have tested lavender’s anxiety-reducing effects in specific populations. For example, a study published in Physiology & Behavior in 2005 focused on 200 people awaiting dental treatment and found that breathing in the scent of lavender both lessened anxiety and improved mood.

Research shows positive results

Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice in 2012 indicated that lavender-essential-oil-based aromatherapy may help soothe anxiety in high-risk postpartum women. There’s also some evidence that ingesting lavender oil may help relieve anxiety. In a report published in Phytomedicine in 2012, for instance, scientists analyzed 15 previously published clinical trials and concluded that dietary supplements containing lavender oil may have some therapeutic effects on patients struggling with anxiety and/or stress.

“A more recent review of the literature found 5 studies (2010, 2010, 2014, 2015 and 2016) showed benefits ins participants with moderate to severe anxiety.” – Mind Body Well

2. Stimulates hair growth 

As you age, hair thinning and hair loss occurs. This can be caused by many different factors.  Including over-styling, genetics, hormones, medications, and stress. The anti-microbial properties in lavender oil, for example, can help create a cleaner scalp. This is essential for hair growth and is beneficial to alopecia. The chemical compounds within the oil can also ease inflammation and promote hair growth.

A study carried out in 2016 found that when lavender oil is applied to animals, it makes them grow more hair at a thicker and faster rate than normal. The oil can keep your scalp healthy, nourish hair follicles, fight breakage and split ends, keeping locks strong from root to tip.

3. Lavender oil can treat dandruff 

Dandruff is a chronic condition that occurs when the scalp becomes dry, red, itchy, and produces dead skin cells.  It can be very debilitating for a sufferer, causing additional anxiety and stress. Sadly, it can worsen during periods of stress, and sickness and can even be triggered when the weather turns cold and dry.

Lavender oil’s natural anti-fungal and antiseptic properties can prevent bacteria and fungi from growing on your scalp. Combined with anti-inflammatory benefits, it can help soothe itchiness and dryness on your scalp and fight dandruff or common scalp infections.

TIP: For the most effective results, mix a few drops of lavender oil with coconut oil, massage into the scalp and hairline and then rinse.

4. Soothes eczema and dry skin 

Eczema is a chronic skin condition that is characterized by itchiness, inflammation, swelling, and cracked skin on your body. Whether the skin condition is mild or severe, it can cause itchy red patches on the skin that get more irritated when scratched. This oil has anti-fungal properties and can reduce inflammation, it helps to soothe eczema-prone skin.

Additionally, the antiseptic properties of lavender can help to speed up the headline process of burns and scars.

TIP: To reap the benefits of lavender oil, gently massage directly onto the affected skin, but make sure you dilute it with a carrier oil.

anti-age your skinHelps add a natural glow to your skin

Lavender oil is rich in antioxidants which help stimulate the activity of your body’s natural antioxidant processes and help to tackle free radicals. The application of lavender oil can help keep your skin supple and provide a youthful glow. Just don’t overdue it and clog your pores.

5. Heal acne

According to Healthline, lavender oil works to kill bacteria, and this can prevent and heal acne breakouts. It unclogs pores and reduces inflammation when you put it on your skin.

“To use lavender oil for acne, dilute it in coconut oil or another carrier oil and apply it to your skin after washing your face. You can also use lavender oil as a facial toner by mixing 2 drops of lavender oil with 1 teaspoon of witch hazel. Soak a cotton ball in the blend and then gently rub it over your face.” – Healthline

TIP: Mix 1 drop of lavender oil with 1 drop of argan oil and put it directly onto a pimple twice a day.

6. For better sleep and longevity

We know sleep is critical to longevity. Several studies have shown lavender essential oils may help promote sleep and fight insomnia. Keep a bottle by your bedside, on hand.

In a 2013 publication in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary Medicine, the authors reviewed up-to-date research in animals and humans on the effects of lavender on the nervous system.  They found that most human studies, were only small, short-term studies, however, these did show lavender to have a beneficial effect.

TIP: Sleep doctor recommends using lavender oil for 30-minutes in a well-ventilated room.

  • Sprinkle a few drops onto a cloth and inhale directly, or
  • Use a few drops in an aromatherapy diffuser or vaporizer.

Lavender and the sleep cycle

Various studies have examined the effects of lavender on the sleep cycle, and some have had positive findings. For example, a 2005 American study reported the effects of lavender oil on the sleep cycle of 31 young, healthy sleepers. Study participants inhaled either lavender or distilled water at around 11 pm, on 3 consecutive nights. Sleep recordings were taken, and data was recorded about sleep and mood.

In both men and women, inhalation of lavender increased the percentage of slow-wave (deep) sleep. In women, the use of lavender increased stage 2-light sleep and decreased REM sleep.  The length of time to the first waking in the night in women (wake after first onset sleep latency) was also increased.

Slow-wave sleep (NREM) is deep sleep, imperative for human survival. During slow-wave sleep, brain metabolism and general levels of activation, slow down to around 75% of their normal levels when awake. Slow-wave sleep is important for memory consolidation.

REM sleep – associated with rapid eye movements – is the time in the sleep cycle when the thalamus is active. This is when dreams occur. REM sleep occurs in short bursts during the night, lasting around 10 minutes.

A lowering of REM sleep could be a sign of a resting brain. Notably, when REM sleep was reduced, there were then longer periods of deeper, slow-wave sleep.

Closing comments

Lavender oil has many uses inside and out.  You can use lavender for your mind and body health, however, if you experience any side effects from using the oil, such as a skin rash, stop using it and talk with a doctor.

TIP: Always be sure to use a carrier oil with any essential oil on your skin

Whenever you use essential oil directly on your skin, dilute it with coconut oil or another carrier oil.

References

National Library of Medicine:  Hair Growth-Promoting Effects of Lavender Oil in C57BL/6 Mice
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4843973/
Healthline: Lavender Oil for Skin https://www.healthline.com/health/lavender-oil-for-skin#fights-acne
VeryWellMind: https://www.verywellmind.com/how-is-lavendar-used-for-social-anxiety-3024968

Open access: Lavender https://www.openaccessgovernment.org/aromatherapy-can-lavender-aid-those-who-struggle-with-insomnia/91028/

mm

Em Sloane

I am an introverted nature lover, and long time contributor to LongevityLive.com. My role is to publish the information in a consumer friendly format, which we receive on the latest medical news, press releases and general information on the latest longevity related research findings.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.