You probably know that lavender is a beautiful plant that can make you and your house smell great, but do you know about its many health benefits? In addition to being one of our favorite scents, lavender and its natural essential oil can be used to better your mind, body and skin. Here are just a few of the many beneficial uses of lavender oil.
Benefits your skin.
Because of its antiseptic and antifungal properties, many natural health practitioners recommend lavender oil to treat various skin conditions including skin inflammation, eczema, psoriasis and acne. According to the book "Prescription for Herbal Healing," lavender essential oil reduces the perception of pain and inhibits inflammation. Moreover, its anti-inflammatory properties can help to soothe redness and inflammation associated with psoriasis. Lavender oil is also believed to ward off skin and nail infections. A recent study published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology found that lavender essential oil "shows a potent antifungal effect against strains of fungi responsible for common skin and nail infections."
Lavender is believed to alleviate stress and relax the mind. The natural scent of lavender contains a compound called linalool, which relieves anxiety when inhaled. According to RealAge.com, “In animal studies, the vapors of linalool helped induce calm. Blood cells called neutrophils and lymphocytes, which change in response to stress, were brought into equilibrium by the aroma. In fact, the scent of linalool even appeared to favorably affect the way the body is programmed to handle stress on a genetic level.”
Prevents premature aging.
The scent of lavender may slow premature aging due to stress. A 2007 Japanese study found that smelling lavender increased free radical scavenging activity for preventing oxidative stress and decreased the stress hormone, cortisol, which protects the body from oxidative stress. By sniffing lavender, you may look and feel younger.
Helps you sleep.
Lavender has long been used to help us get our Z's. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, "Scientific evidence suggests that aromatherapy with lavender may slow the activity of the nervous system, improve sleep quality, promote relaxation, and lift mood in people suffering from sleep disorders." Adding lavender to your bedtime bath or applying lavender lotion before bed may help you get a better night's sleep.
Information courtesy of Seaweed Bath Company's blog, found here.