Lavender essential oil, distilled from the plant known as Lavandula angustifolia, is one of the most widely used essential oils in the world. The oil is commonly used for aromatherapy or for its scent alone. It’s reported to encourage relaxation and help to relieve anxiety, depression, insomnia, among other health issues.
Aside from that, it’s thought to be anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and contain antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
While it can help with all of these health issues, it’s effects on positive mental health are heavily researched and backed by science. We have no hesitation suggesting this oil to be used in aromatherapy.
Most Researched Health Benefits of Lavender
A lot of research has gone into examining lavender essential oil and its ability to enhance our health. Here are some health issues which can be relieved through the use of the oil.
There exist several studies demonstrating lavender essential oil’s effects as an anti-anxiety agent. While there is always room for more large scale studies, what is out there establishes lavender as a way to relieve mild anxiety.
A 2005 study in the journal Physiology & Behavior brought in a group of dental patients in order to assess whether lavender could relieve their feelings of anxiety. Patients were examined while awaiting dental treatment. The lavender’s effects were compared to a group of patients listening to music before a dental exam as well as a group receiving no treatment.
The findings showed that patients inhaling lavender essential oil experiences less anxiety than the other groups. They were calmer and less anxious overall.
Another study, this one published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, examined the effects of aromatherapy on women with postpartum depression, with the aim to improve anxiety and depression. Lavandula angustifolia was used alongside rose otto in a 2% dilution.
The study results were positive, proving lavender essential oil (and aromatherapy in general) is a low-risk treatment for certain mental health conditions.
Lastly, a review of lavender’s effects on relieving anxiety found that two compounds of lavender, linalool and linalyl acetate, were responsible for the oil’s anxiolytic effects. So, when you’re searching for your own lavender essential oil, look at what percentage of these compounds exist in your product.
Depression often goes hand-in-hand with anxiety, and many of the studies already listed support lavender essential oil as a treatment for depression. Because aromatherapy is a promising method to alleviate depressive symptoms, it’s recommended to try it. It’s a low-risk method available to everyone for cheap.
A 2019 study published in Elsevier examined the oil’s ability to relieve the symptoms of depression in rats. The rats inhaled lavender daily and treatment with the oil reduced depressive behavior in the rats
If you’re looking for alternative treatments to depression and anxiety, there’s no reason not to try aromatherapy. It’s a low-risk, high-reward method of treatment that is inexpensive to boot.
Comorbidity is high between depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Being unable to fall asleep at night, or suffering from constant interruptions, can actually cause depression. It’s an endless cycle, and without treatment, it’s hard to break it.
A study found in Holistic Nurse Practicing examined the elderly. The nursing home residents inhaled lavender essential oil daily, and their sleep quality was measured. It was determined that the aromatherapy improved the quality of sleep in these patients.
A 2015 study measured the effects of inhaling lavender on sleep quality in a group of college students. The study examined how lavender could improve sleep quality and quantity, which were measured using a FitBit. The patients inhaling lavender experienced marked improvements in sleep quality, as was expected. They reported feeling more refreshed in the daytime and had higher energy levels throughout.
Now, there are plenty of treatments out there for insomnia, some better than others. However, if you’re looking to avoid popping pills or want to enhance the effects of your melatonin or other sleep aid, lavender is the way to go.
Side Effects of Lavender for Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy doesn’t have a ton of side effects, especially when inhaling the essential oils. However, when using an essential oil on the skin, you may experience irritator. This is why we recommend diluting the essential oil in a carrier oil like jojoba or almond.
Some people are allergic to certain essential oils. If you experience nausea, vomiting, or any other symptoms, you should steer clear of using said oil. Also, never consume pure essential oil. You can buy supplements that are carefully made in the correct dosage. Consuming them pure could be toxic.
Preparing Lavender Essential Oil for Aromatherapy
In aromatherapy, there isn’t a certain dosage that’s recommended for all usages. Aromatherapy works by taking the properties of the essential oil into the body either through inhalation or being absorbed into the skin.
Common methods of inhalation include using a diffuser or sniffing the lavender essential oil straight from the bottle. You can also use a room spray made with essential oils to get a convenient burst of fragrance. Companies like ours combine essential oils, aroma oils, and other plant-based ingredients to make affordable air fresheners.
Perhaps the most common method of aromatherapy is by using a diffuser. Diffusers disperse the molecules of the essential oil into the air, allowing them to permeate the space for a long period of time. You can mix whatever essential oils you want together to create a smell you love. Check out our favorite fall essential oil blends!
You can make a formula using only essential oils or mix them with a carrier oil, like jojoba oil or almond oil. When used in a diffuser, you don’t always need a carrier oil. When applied to the skin, you must always dilute your essential oil with a carrier oil or risk irritation.
Carrier Oils to Use With Lavender Essential Oil
Much like essential oils, carrier oils are made from plants. Carrier oils “carry” the essential oils beneficial properties into your skin while having their own positive effects as well. They often have neutral scents that don’t really alter your essential oil’s fragrance, although some may.
When choosing your carrier oil, you have to think about a couple of things. For starters, if you’re using essential oils for their fragrance, ensure the carrier oil doesn’t alter the scent. If you’re going to use them on our skin, spot test the carrier oil alone to make sure it doesn’t cause an allergic reaction or any irritation on your skin.
Make sure to use carrier oils that are 100% pure and free of additives and preservatives. Some cooking oils can be used as carrier oils, live cold-pressed, organic virgin olive oil.
Coconut oil is made from the meat of coconuts. It’s often used for cooking, and tons of people love it as a body moisturizer. It contains fatty acids and polyphenols that the skin loves, making it an excellent massage oil or skincare oil. It can cause breakouts, so proceed with caution!
Jojoba oil is another oil loved by the skincare community. It’s made from the jojoba plant, namely the seeds derived from the plant. It closely resembles sebum found naturally on our skin. It’s a good carrier oil for massages or for the skin, as it doesn’t cause acne. In fact, some claim it has helped reduce acne.
Sweet almond oil is another oil in common use today. It has a pretty potent aroma, so it may alter the fragrance of your essential oils. However, it’s lightweight and extremely moisturizing, making it great for use as a massage oil, a bath oil, or you could even use it in soap.
Some honorable mentions include grapeseed oil, olive oil, apricot oil, rosehip seed oil, and argan oil.