by Rachel Cringoli
Oh the pretty purple flower. Some love the scent, others struggle with finding the right note for their nose.
There are approximately 45 varieties of lavender. That’s why you might like a certain beauty brand better than another, or find you go through waves when you enjoy the scent and don’t. While lavender is marketed as one general scent, there are many types of lavender they could indeed be using.
What makes lavender so beneficial is something called Linalool. Such a fun word. Linalool is a natural element found in many plants, but has a super high concentration in Lavender and Magnolia. Linalool is actually added to a lot of the products we use ( think soaps, shampoos, personal care products), to enhance the smell.
From a health standpoint, Linalool has been shown to have 5 important impacts in the body
Decreases Stress: Yes, this is an obvious one, Lavender is known to relax us. This helps improve sleep to help us wake more fresh. Less Stress=More Health
Sedative: Along with the above benefit, studies have shown that lavender oil can help lower blood pressure and heart rate in acute states. Acute meaning, a short-term experience when you need help. This was tested in an Intensive Care Unit Setting, where two drops of Lavender oil were placed on a cotton ball, which was then put into the breathing masks of patients for ten minutes. 30 minutes later, vital signs showed a significant decrease in BOTH blood pressure readings and heart rate. That’s a really big deal. (*)
Anti-Epileptic: For people with seizure disorders, lavender can help slow down pathways that cause seizure activity. Now remember, there are SEVERAL TYPES OF LAVENDER, and with epilepsy, SPIKE LAVENDER NEEDS TO BE AVOIDED. Spike Lavender has been shown to WORSEN seizure activity. This is such an important example why you need to know where your oils are sourced from, how they’re tested for purity, and work with experienced people you trust, who can back up the science. Ok, soapbox moment complete.
Anti-inflammatory: Another way said, it decreases swelling. Imagine you have a cut. You hold pressure to slow the bleeding, but it looks like it could scar. Grab lavender and tea tree oil (my standard combination for cuts/scrapes). You can drop both of these oils directly to fresh/healing areas to help heal them faster, with less pain, and less scaring. The less swelling an area has, the healthier it is, and the faster it can heal. Next cut I have, I’ll add in before and afters to show you
Mosquito Repellent: For real. While we enjoy the scent, mosquitos do not like lavender. This is safe to mix with water and spray in a garden, or have diffusing while sitting outside to discourage and deter these little buggers. I have the sweet blood they love, and I notice a difference when this is in the air.
So what do you think? Have you found Lavender helpful for any of these uses?