The use of essential oils for health and wellness is a practice that is becoming more and more common in homes all over the world. However, every essential oil has its own unique properties, so it’s important to learn what each can do.
1. Get Better Sleep for More Energy in the Daytime
Lavender has been used for hundreds of years as a way to treat insomnia, restless leg syn-drome, and other sleep-related problems.
In the past, people would dry up lavender leaves and put them under their pillows. The scent given off was said to promote relaxation by inducing alpha waves in the brain.
A study was published in the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand which investi-gated the effects of lavender oil on mood, the central nervous system, and the autonomic nervous sys-tem.
The results showed that the lavender oil caused a decrease in blood pres-sure, skin tempera-ture, and heart rate, along with an increase in the power of alpha and theta brain activities.
How to use it?
In order to create your own lavender sleep aid, you can mix five or six drops of lavender essen-tial oil with a half cup of distilled water.
Add in one teaspoon of witch hazel and put it all into a spray bottle. Before bed, spritz your pillow case and linens with the lavender oil mixture.
You can also fill an oil diffuser with a few drops of the oil and set it by your bed.
2. Relieve Headaches
Lavender oil can be used to soothe and prevent headaches. Whether you suffer from mi-graines or other headache types such as gastric, nervous, general, sinus, or tension, this oil may be able to provide relief.
Researchers at the Mashhad University of Medical Science Department of Neurology per-formed a study on the efficacy of lavender oil inhalation in treating migraines.
The results showed 71% of those who inhaled lavender oil had symptoms improve partially or in full, while only 47% of the paraffin group reported improvements.
They concluded that inhaling lavender can be effec-tive in the acute management of migraine headaches.
How to use it?
There are a few different ways that you can use lavender oil in order to gain the benefits it has to offer for headaches.
One way is by getting an oil diffuser and running your lavender essential oil through it inside your home or office. Add four to five drops.
Another method is taking two to three drops of the oil and directly rubbing it in on the areas of your head that are feeling pain.
3. Reduce Anxiety and Depression
Lavender is calming, anti-convulsive, and a sedative that is used to reduce anxiety and depres-sive feelings.
For patients suffering from severe anxiety, lavender aromas can be used to aid in reprogramming the mind following a panic or acute attack.
With regular use, the relief process can start with the calming memories that surround the scent of lavender.
Forty-two college women studying in a nursing program at Keukdong College had reported is-sues with insomnia and depression.
They were entered into a study to determine if lavender scents would have an effect on their mental health conditions.
The results showed that lavender oil is beneficial for insomnia and depression in female college students.
How to use it?
One way to use lavender essential oils to reduce anxiety and depression is through hand massage. The scent can be mixed in with lotion and gently rubbed onto the surface of the skin.
For those that are suffering from panic or anxiety attacks, simply open up the bottle of oil and inhale the scent. Putting a few drops in a constantly running oil diffuser in your home is never a bad idea either as a preventative measure.
4. Reduce Agitation in Dementia
Lavender scents have been proven to create a relaxing, positive, and stable mood for those that use it.
People that suffer from dementia will frequently become confused which causes irritation and agitation. With the properties that lavender oil has, the ability to reduce these undesirable feelings is possible.
There have been a plethora of controlled clinical studies performed to evaluate the effec-tiveness of lavender oil in patients with dementia.
The goal being to determine if there are any changes in the participant’s moods, agitation, alertness, likelihood to wander, and other side effects related to the disease.
In one such study, lavender geranium and other essential oils were applied directly to the skin of 39 patients for an unspecified amount of time.
At the conclusion of the study, it was recorded that these individuals were more alert, less agitated, and they slept better at night. It was determined that lavender does have a positive effect on the mood of dementia patients, but further research is required.
How to use it?
For people that have been diagnosed with dementia, place an oil diffuser in their room with lav-ender oil.
This is an effective way for them to inhale the scent without someone having to ex-plain to them what they are doing and potentially confusing them even more.
Dementia patients that allow hand massages can also benefit from a few drops in their favorite lotion before appli-cation.