Lavender essential oil highlighted in science :
As recently proven in various scientific publications, Lavender Essential Oil offers real calming benefits and help reduce even severe anxiety. Its effect is even comparable to anxiolytic drugs.
Aromatherapy has so many amazing wellbeing properties: from soothing your mind to healing the skin and body. But unfortunately we are often scared by what many non-scientific publications claim about essential oils.
The Science Says
We want to let science do all the talking in this post and so we visited the science based online library: pub med (US national Library of medicine. National institute of health)
Being familiar with this website and basing all our skincare formulations on multiple crossed and verified publications, we decided to share with you today 6 different publications (related to lavender essential oil and anxiety).
And to prove how amazing Lavender Essential Oil really is, when using the US national Library of Medicine research’s tool and typing lavender and anxiety, over 180 results appeared!
(And by typing the Latin name: lavandula, almost 800 results pop-up!
Ingested essential oils: lavender has a powerful soporific effect (yes lavender essential oil can be ingested in small doses by healthy individuals)
*only under medical supervision and for adults as it hasn’t been tested on children yet.
Aromatherapy has a powerful medicinal impact and the scientific approach shows that it needs its whole essence intact for it to be potent (which means that the lavender oil should not have been processed or diluted and that the essence should have been extracted without the use of solvents).
The scientists quote: “Medicinal plants are used since ancient times to prevent from neurological disorders. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is very efficacious and possesses the ability to improve several neurological disorders. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly used against pain and inflammation. However, effectiveness of NSAIDs in the treatment of various psychiatric ailments is also reported”.
A significant decrease in blood of stress markers levels with increase in antioxidant enzyme activities was observed in the study. However, the effects of lavender oil were more as compared to standard drug ibuprofen in diminution of stress induced behavioral and biochemical changes in rats. This study demonstrates that lavender oil is more remedial than ibuprofen in stress related disorders.
This following publication underlined the importance of using the whole essential oil and not extracted molecules out of its natural entourage
Many botanical extracts, essential oils, and their main constituents are active on the Central Nervous System (CNS). In fact, they have been used as sedatives, hypnotics, or tranquilizers for their activity in treating the nervous system disorders
In this research, scientists looked into the possible activities of Lavandula angustifolia (LA) essential oil and of its main constituent, linalool, as anti-stress compounds on anxiety and social interaction.
Acute administration of Lavender essential oil blocked stress-induced anxiety, while linalool (one of the molecules composing the lavender essential oil) showed no effects.
This scientific publication is a review of different extremely powerful drugs used in our day to day pharmacology to reduce stress such as fluexotine, dulexotine, benzodiazepines, tricyclics antidepressants, pregabalin (we are pretty concerned by the heavy side effects of these drugs. The scientific training that France went through added to her personal experience as a neurologically injured patients who had been prescribed these molecules to manage neuropathic pains, make us really aware of the importance of going for the most natural approach before going through these heavy medications. But this is a matter to be discussed with your medical team)
Prolonged use of Lavender essential oil has been evaluated in adults with general anxiety disorder and sleep disorders. One trial that compared benzodiazepine lorazepam (often prescribed to those suffering from anxiety disorders) with standardised Lavender Essential oil, showed significant improvements in the anxiety levels when using Lavender Essential Oil instead of lorazepam.
In Germany, a standardized essential oil extract of Lavandula angustifolia has been developed and approved for oral administration and for use in subsyndromal anxiety.
How lavandula augustifolia works:
To make it simple: it has a real chemical action on our pain and stress transmission, also called neurotransmitters (with no or low side effects)
The publication quotes: it appears to be related to inhibition of voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs), reduction of 5HT1A receptor activity, and increased parasympathetic tone.
Lavender essential oil appears to have a calming effect without the side effect of sedation which is advantageous in every day use compared with benzodiazepines (formulated for anxiety treatment) or pregabalin (formulated for the treatment of epilepsy).
Lavender essential oil also avoids a withdrawal syndrome and is not thought to have abuse potential.
Lavender essential oil reduces anxiety thanks to its chemical action to the brain and nerves:
“Lavender oil-potent anxiolytic properties via modulating voltage dependent calcium channels.”
Lavender essential oil shows some similarities with the established anxiolytic pregabalin (Pregabalin has been prescribed for years as an anti epileptic drug as well as a neuropathic pain treatment).
It is therefore amazing to discover how effective and useful lavender essential oil can be without any of strong side effects often associated with other anti-anxiety drugs.
Lavender essential oil also offers other benefits to our health and wellbeing. We are glad to always source the best quality of essential oils from trusted and sustainable producers in the South of France.
We are glad science is following all over the world, reinforcing our own experience in the use of this precious oil from South of France. Some extremely good quality of lavender essential oil is also produced in Bulgaria and offers similar properties.
As much as we enjoy sharing our knowledge and the scientific publications from professors all over the world, we urge you to always consult a physician specialised in aromatherapy before any treatment. We are beyond happy to spread all this scientific knowledge, however we don’t intend to suggest any auto medication. Essential oils are concentrated plant based substances and need therefore an expertise before using for medical purpose.