Lavandula (known by the common name lavender) is one of the 39 known species of flowering plant to make up the mint family. Lavender is native to Europe, India and Asia but is now found widely across the globe with the most common form being Lavandula angustifolia which is cultivated for its flowers.
Since the time of the Roman Empire lavender has been highly regarded for its health and beauty benefits. The word lavender itself stems from the Latin word lavare which means “to wash”.
Lavender is being increasingly cultivated for the production of the oil obtained by distilling the flowers of certain species of the plant. Lavender oil is believed to have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, alongside the ability to treat anxiety, insomnia and even digestive issues such as IBS and vomiting.
A closer look at lavender.
Lavender for wound healing
Celal Bayar University in Turkey carried out a study and published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine comparing the effects of several treatments for wound healing on laboratory rats.
The researchers compared the effect of saline solution, iodine, electrical nerve stimulation and lavender oil on wound healing and concluded that “wound healing closure progressed more rapidly in the nerve stimulation and lavender oil groups that the control or other study groups”.
Lavender for the treatment of Anxiety
The Medical University of Vienna in Austria discovered that 80mg of lavender oil administered orally had an anxiety reducing effect on patients with subsydromal anxiety within two weeks.
The team concluded “”Silexan (lavender oil) had beneficial effects on typical co-morbidity symptoms of anxiety disorders, for example, disturbed sleep, somatic complaints, or decreased quality of life. Except for mild gastrointestinal symptoms, the drug was devoid of adverse effects and did not cause drug interactions or withdrawal symptoms at daily doses of 80 or 160 mg.”
Lavender scent was also shown by researches at King’s College London to help with anxious dental patients. The researchers measured the dental anxiety of 340 adult patients while they waited for dental treatment.
Half the patients were exposed to lavender scent, while the other half were given not. The team established that those patients exposed to the lavender scent reported lower levels of anxiety when compared to the other patients. The calming effects of lavender were present regardless of the type of dental treatment the patients were having.
Lavender and Premenstrual Emotion Symptoms
Researchers from Shitennoji University, Kyoto University and the Center for Advanced Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, all in Japan, carried out a study to determine whether using lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) aromatherapy treatment might help alleviate premenstrual emotional symptoms.
Although PMS is extremely common, no single treatment has been universally recognised as effective, with many turning to natural therapy.
The study involved 17 women with an average age of 20.6 years with mild to moderate premenstrual symptoms. The women spent one menstrual cycle without the use of lavender aromatherapy, and the other cycle with.
The research concluded “The present study indicated that lavender aromatherapy as a potential therapeutic modality could alleviate premenstrual emotional symptoms.”
With more and more individuals turning to natural therapies for a myriad of ailments, it is clear that lavender is a hot contender for a one stop herb. At Ethical Trade Group we are proud work closely with France’s leading charitable organisation purchasing picked and packed lavender bags supporting youth unemployment outcomes.