What is Lavender Essential Oil Good For?

What is Lavender Essential Oil Good For? 

Megan Richardson

Most people have at least heard of lavender essential oil. I find a lot of people have been told at some time or another to put a drop of lavender on their pillow to help them sleep. Lavender is a wonderful plant with some powerful properties but what exactly can it do for you?

  1. Relax You: This is probably the most obvious and widely used application. Diffusing lavender oil has been shown to relax people when studied in GAD, post partum depression, pre-op anxiety, general restlessness/agitation, and more.[1] One study also showed when lavender herb was ingested via tincture it reduced heart rate in anxiety producing situations. [2]
  2. Improve Sleep: It may sound cliché to put a few drops of lavender on your pillow but it has been shown, especially in younger females, to improve sleep. It also can have an impact for the elderly and those with autism.[3]
  3. Relieve Pain: Lavender essential oil inhaled post operatively was shown to decrease the demand for opiates.[4] It has also been shown to reduce pain due to migraines and pain due to childbirth (both natural and cesarean section).[5] In these cases lavender oil was inhaled, however it has also been shown to be effective at reducing pain when used as part of a massage regimen as well.[6]
  4. Improve Memory: In one study conducted, over 100 people made fewer errors when lavender was diffused than when no oil was diffused.[7] If you are studying for a test lavender might be a good oil to diffuse. It has even been proven to decrease Alzheimer’s symptoms.[8]

aromatherapyLavender is a very basic essential oil and is one of the safer ones to start with if someone is new to essential oils. It is also very widely accessible but make sure you are getting 100% pure oils (refer to GCMS testing if available). Please use safe practices. Do not ingest essential oils. Diffusers are great for reaping most of the benefits of lavender as it is a very aromatic oil. If using topically please dilute for children. I hope you find lavender beneficial for you!

[1] Woelk H, Schläfke S. A multi-center, double-blind, randomised study of the Lavender oil preparation Silexan in comparison to Lorazepam for generalized anxiety disorder. Phytomedicine2010;17(2):94–99.

[2] Bradley BF, Brown SL, Chu S, Lea RW. Effects of orally administered lavender essential oil on responses to anxiety-provoking film clips. Human Psychopharmacology2009;24(4):319–330.

[3] Hirokawa K, Nishimoto T, Taniguchi T. Effects of lavender aroma on sleep quality in healthy Japanese students. Perceptual & Motor Skills2012;114(1):111–122.

[4] Kim JT, Wajda M, Cuff G, et al. Evaluation of aromatherapy in treating postoperative pain: pilot study. Pain Practice2006;6(4):273–277.

[5]  Hadi N, Hanid AA. Lavender essence for post-cesarean pain. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences2011;14(11):664–667

[6]  Yip YB, Tse SHM. An experimental study on the effectiveness of acupressure with aromatic lavender essential oil for sub-acute, non-specific neck pain in Hong Kong. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice2006;12(1):18–26.

[7] Degel J, Köster EP. Odors: implicit memory and performance effects. Chemical Senses1999;24(3):317–325.

[8]  Jimbo D, Kimura Y, Taniguchi M, Inoue M, Urakami K. Effect of aromatherapy on patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Psychogeriatrics2009;9(4):173–179.