Lavender essential oil is currently one of the most used and versatile essential oils in the world. For over 2,500 years medicinal and religious institutions have realized the many benefits of lavender essential oil. It’s fragrance tends to promote calmness for most people and, in fact, many people carry a bottle of lavender with them for stress relief. The best way to experience benefits from lavender essential oil is to rub it topically on your neck and chest or diffuse it in the air.
Lavender Essential Oil and Diabetes
Some very exciting research about lavender essential oil was published in 2014. Scientists from Tunisia tested the effects of lavender essential oil on blood sugar to see if it could help with diabetes. Their research concluded that lavender essential oil treatment could actually protected the body from the following diabetes symptoms:
- Increase in blood glucose
- Metabolic disorders (especially fat metabolism)
- Weight gain
- Liver and kidney antioxidant depletion
- Liver and kidney dysfunction
- Liver and kidney lipoperoxidation (when free radicals “steal” necessary fat molecules from cell membranes)
The radical-scavenging antioxidant activity of lavender was actually better than ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). While this is just one study and more should be done, this particular study was powerful.
New Research Confirms Lavender Essential Oil Helps with Pain
A recently published study investigated the effect of Lavender inhalation on the severity of labor pain and duration of labor. The Lavender group inhaled diluted essential oil for three minutes at three different labor stages, and experienced a significant drop in pain levels. For example 9.6 to 7.6 at 9-10 cm dilation after the intervention. There was no effect on the duration of labor, suggesting that Lavender oil does not affect labor progression.
This is consistent with the findings of a 2000 study by Ethel Burns et al, where 344 mother used Lavender oil during childbirth and 54% reported reduced pain levels, though these were not graded. No adverse effects were reported.
Another study found that lavender essential oil may improve pain control after surgery. Fifty people undergoing breast biopsy surgery received either oxygen supplemented with lavender oil or oxygen alone. People in the lavender group reported better pain control than people in the control group.
18 Benefits of Lavender Essential Oil
- calming effect on nerves
- helps with migraines, headaches, anxiety, depression, nervous tension & emotional stress
- excellent for sore muscles, tense muscles, muscular aches, rheumatism, sprains, backache & lumbago
- stimulates urine production
- supports healthy respiratory function
- effective on lice & lice egg removal
- supports healthy blood circulation
- increases the mobility intestinal tract
- supports healthy immune system
- beneficial for skin disorders
- antifungal properties
- effective for insect bites
- antiseptic properties
- recommended for insomnia
- supports healthy digestion
- added to water makes an effective room spritzer
- improves blood sugar
- benefits pain control after surgery
Lavender Essential Oil Recipes
Lavender Essential Oil Anxiety Blend
3 drops Lavender Essential Oil
2 drops Clary Sage Essential Oil
Multiply blend by 4 to obtain a total of 20 drops of blend. Add oils to a dark-colored glass bottle & mix well by rolling the bottle between your hands. Add the appropriate number of drops from your blend to your aromatherapy diffuser per manufacturer’s instructions.
Lavender Essential Oil Bath Oil
Use a maximum of 8 drops. Run bath. Add oils & close door to stop vapors from escaping. Relax for at least 10 minutes & breath deeply. For a great moisturizing bath, add the Lavender Anxiety Blend (above) to a tablespoon (15ml) of organic almond oil.
For more information about the use of essential oils see: How to Use Essential Oils
Possible Interactions with Medications
CNS Depressants: There are no known scientific reports of interactions between lavender and conventional medications. However, because lavender promotes relaxation, it may make the effects of central nervous (CNS) depressants stronger. These drugs include narcotics such as morphine or oxycodone (OxyContin) for pain, and sedative and anti-anxiety agents such as lorazepam (Ativan), diazepam (Valium), and alprazolam (Xanax). Always ask your healthcare professional before using lavender with these and other sedatives.
References & Research
- Sebai H, et al. Lavender (Lavandula stoechas L.) essential oils attenuate hyperglycemia and protect against oxidative stress in alloxan-induced diab etic rats. Lipids Health Dis 2013; 12(1):189.
- de Rapper S, et al. The In Vitro Antimicrobial Activity of Lavandula angustifolia Essential Oil in Combination with Other Aroma-Therapeutic Oils. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2013; 2013:852049.
- Amorati R, et al. Antioxidant activity of essential oils. J Agric Food Chem 2013; 61(46): 10835-47.
- Hancianu M, et al. Neuroprotective effects of inhaled lavender oil on scopolamine-induced dementia via anti-oxidative activities in rats. Phytomedicine 2013. 15; 20(5): 446-52.
- Hichem Sebai, et al. Lavender (Lavandula stoechas L.) essential oils attenuate hyperglycemia and protect against oxidative stress in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Lipids Health Dis 2013; 12:189.
- Wang D, et al. Neuroprotective activity of lavender oil on transient focal cerebral ischemia in mice. Molecules 2012; 15; 17(8):9803-17.
- Kasper S. An orally administered lavandula oil preparation (Silexan) for anxiety disorder and related conditions: an evidence based review. Int J Psychiatry Clin Pract 2013; 17 Suppl 1:15-22.
- Conrad P, et al. The effects of clinical aromatherapy for anxiety and depression in the high risk postpartum woman – a pilot study. Complement Ther Clin Pract 2012 Aug; 18(3):164-8.
- Uehleke B, et al. Phase II trial on the effects of Silexan in patients with neurasthenia, post-traumatic stress disorder or somatization disorder. Phytomedicine 2012; 19(8-9):665-71.
- Altaei DT, Topical lavender oil for the treatment of recurrent aphthous ulceration. Am J Dent 2012; 25(1):39-43.
- Kim HM, et al. Lavender oil inhibits immediate-type allergic reaction in mice and rats. J Pharm Pharmacol 1999; 51(2):221-6.
- Lavender | University of Maryland Medical Center. University of Maryland Medical Center.