Today, lavender is one of the most popular essential oils used around the world. Its powerful sedative, calming, antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antidepressant properties make lavender oil a perfect oil for therapeutic and cosmetic purposes. The benefits of lavender essential oil range from calming the mind to naturally treating diabetes. Scientific studies are just beginning to look at the health benefits of this must-have oil, and we’re excited to dive into them today.
History of Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil has been used for over 2,500 years. In the bible, the versatile oil was used for anointing and healing, while the ancient Romans used it for cooking, purification, and bathing. The Egyptians used lavender oil during mummification and as perfume and ancient aromatherapy harnessed the therapeutic benefits of lavender to prepare medicines for rheumatism and digestive diseases.
The properties of lavender oil made it a popular oil back then, and new science is finding the same.
7 Benefits of Lavender Essential Oil
Supports Brain Function
Rat research found that lavender essential oil may act as a natural treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The studies found that lavender oil aromatherapy can help improve cognitive impairment and reduce oxidative stress (1,2).
Studies believe that the neuroprotective power of the oil lies in its potent antioxidant properties. In 2012, The Swiss journal Molecules found lavender essential oil to successfully treat neurological dysfunctions like strokes (3).
For neurological support, diffuse 5 drops of the oil, inhale directly from the bottle or apply to the back of the neck.
Reduce Stress, Support Better Mood & Sleep
As seen above, lavender oil can have incredible benefits of neurological damage and function. The calming and sedative effects of lavender have been harnessed for years to help with common ailments like headaches, migraines, and anxiety.
One of the most popular uses of the oil has been to improve mood and reduce stress — and now there is research to support it.
In 2013, the International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice discovered that 80-milligram lavender capsules could reduce anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbance with no adverse side effects (4).
In addition to improving sleep and reducing stress, lavender oil has been found to improve PTSD symptoms. A study showed that oral use of 80-milligrams of lavender oil administered once per day helped reduce depression by 33 percent while dramatically minimizing moodiness and sleep disturbances in those suffering from PTSD (5).
Even more interesting, a 2012 study found that diffusing lavender oil in the homes of 28 high-risk postpartum women reduced postnatal depression and anxiety (6).
Another study in 2015 found that mothers who used lavender oil in their postpartum period showed a significant sleep quality improvement. Inhaling lavender has been proved to promote calming and sleep-inducing effects as well as a decreased disturbance. As a mama who just had her fourth baby, lavender oil is a must-have oil for me (7).
To reduce stress and promote a restful sleep try diffusing 5 drops of lavender, inhaling directly from the bottle.
Supports Healthy Skin & Hair
Lavender oil’s antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties make it a killer oil for healthy skin and hair.
Common skin ailments like acne, eczema, and minor allergic reactions can benefit from lavender’s plentiful healing compounds. Even more, lavender can help reduce the appearance of scarring, wrinkles, sagginess, and dark spots (8).
It’s no surprise that lavender essential oil made our top 3 essential oils for beauty. Studies also found that using lavender in combination with other popular hair health oils (rosemary, thyme) can help improve hair loss when topically applied to the scalp daily.
To use lavender oil for hair and skin health, mix 3-4 drops with a teaspoon or so of a carrier oil (coconut, jojoba) and massage it onto the area of concern.
Heals Cuts & Burns
Lavender’s antimicrobial properties can help prevent bacteria and fungal infections associated with scrapes, cuts, wounds, and burns. Not only that, but lavender oil can also help speed up the healing process.
In 2016, a rat study showed that lavender stimulates wound healing by speeding up granulation tissue formation and promoting collagen production (9).
More research found that a combination of lavender and other healing oils like tea tree, cinnamon, and clove could help fight two common causes of fungal and bacterial infections (Candida albicans and Staph aureus) that can result in skin fungi and respiratory pneumonia (10).
To heal cuts, scrapes, burns, and wounds and to reduce infection rate, mix 3-4 drops of lavender oil with a teaspoon of coconut oil (bonus antimicrobial effects!) and add to the area of concern.
Treat diabetes; hyperglycemia
In 2012, a 15-day animal study found that lavender essential oil protected the body from various diabetes symptoms, including increased blood glucose, weight gain, metabolic disorders, and liver and kidney dysfunction, antioxidant depletion, and lipoperoxidation (11).
While this is exciting research, more studies are needed to determine lavender oil use’s efficacy as a natural treatment for diabetes.
Oxidation and the production of free radicals in the body are major causes for concern in increased risk for disease and aging. Free radical damage leads to a host of problems for the human body. To combat oxidative stress, our body creates antioxidants like glutathione, catalase, and superoxide dismutase. Unfortunately, today, many people are deficient in these antioxidants and can not fight free radicals at a great enough rate.
A 2013 Phytomedicine study gives us hope. Lavender essential oil is loaded with beneficial antioxidants that can help prevent disease and the overproduction of free radicals. The study found that lavender oil increased glutathione, catalase, and SOD production.
To reduce oxidative stress and protect healthy antioxidant activity in the body, diffuse 5 drops of lavender or inhale directly from the body.
Relieves Headaches & Migraines
Lavender essential oil is one of the best oils for headache relief. Its calming components can help relieve tension in muscles and promote relaxation. A study in the European Neurology found that 92 of 129 of those struggling with headaches and migraines saw a reduction in pain after inhaling lavender for 15 minutes (12).
For headaches and migraines, try diffusing 5 drops of lavender or inhaling directly from the bottle. Combine 1-2 drops of lavender with 1-2 drops of peppermint and a teaspoon of carrier oil and apply to the back of the neck and temples.
Now that you’ve discovered all of the wonderful proven benefits of lavender essential oil have I convinced you it’s a must-have?! What are you most excited about using lavender oil for? Let me know in the comments below!