Lavender Oil: Nature's Chill Pill

Lavender Oil: Nature's Chill Pill

Lavender Oil: Nature’s Chill Pill

Essential oils have gained popularity in the last few years. Many have proven their ability to help minor ailments as well as calm the mind. Many people use oil diffusers to spread aromatherapy through their homes. Others dab a little oil on their temples and wrists that will last a few hours. Essential oil jewelry has been created to hold the oil of your choice, so it lasts all day. There are several popular oils on the market right now, but one has had a lot of research done to prove its effectiveness and that is lavender oil. Lavender oil is extracted by a steam distillation process, where the flowers are steamed, then the steam is captured, and the oil is separated and collected from the water. You can usually find lavender oil at health food stores, or even drugstores, located near the other essential oils (mindbodygreen).

Types of Lavender oil

Contrary to popular belief, lavender oil has been scientifically proven to help certain issues. However, the misconception is that all lavender is the same, and that’s simply not true. The two primary species of lavender you should look for in essential oils are Lavandula angustifolia, commonly known as English lavender, and Lavandula latifolia, commonly known as spike lavender. Different varieties exist even within these two species, but if an essential oil label states either of these botanical names in its purest form, you can be confident you're getting a quality essential oil (Chicago Tribune). These differences are very important when picking what lavender oil works best for your needs.

Spike Lavender

Lavandula latifolia or spike lavender, contains higher amounts of a natural camphor-smelling component, making it more fragrant. While fewer ailments are addressed with this species than with English lavender, this type of lavender is helpful in equally crucial areas. The National Institutes of Health suggests essential oil derived from spike lavender can help ease respiratory symptoms such as bronchitis, sinusitis, or other viruses as well as help ease headaches.

English Lavender

Lavandula angustifolia or English lavender contains the best combination of nutrients for a multitude of issues, especially anxiety and depression symptoms. The NIH explains that English lavender is rich in linalool and linalyl acetate, which have a calming effect on individuals. This type of lavender has shown to be best in treating anxiety and pain as well as promoting relaxation, sleep, and wound healing.

Researchers have reported the sedative effects of lavender oil caused by the major components linalyl acetate and β-linalool (ThaiScience). However, did you know that certain types of English lavender oils have also recently been reviewed for their benefits when taken orally? Recently, a form of English Lavender was approved in Germany for the treatment of restlessness related to anxiety (Nature).  It was subjected to  several clinical studies showing its benefits on anxiety. In one double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 221 adults suffering anxiety not otherwise specified (DSM IV definition) were studied where one group received 80mg a day of English lavender oil while others received the placebo. Over 10 weeks the subjects were studied and measured for anxiety using the Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAMA) and for sleep quality using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). Patients treated with English lavender oil saw a 59.3% drop in their anxiety score and saw a 35.4% improvement in their sleep quality (PubMed).

Should I take lavender oil for anxiety?

With anxiety coming to the forefront of psychiatric disorders in the last decade and lavender administration suggesting a possible treatment. Research suggests that some lavender oil can aid in anxiety, insomnia, and depression (Medical News Today).  

We always suggest that our consumers speak with their doctor before adding any vitamins, supplements, or oils to their daily regimen. Once you do, keep in mind that here at Virtue, we scoured the globe to source a GMO-free English lavender oil from India. So we’ll be waiting for you with Virtue’s Anxiety + Stress Relief supplement. 
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