Lavender has been used for producing medicine, perfumes, soaps and flavors ever since the Middle Ages. Medieval doctors used to prescribe lavender for patients with epilepsy and migraines, due to its anticonvulsant, calming and antidepressant properties.
This medicinal plant has some of the most diverse healing effects out there: sedative, anti infective, antiparasitic, healing and antispasmodic. It is also known as a useful item against pain and shaking.
An increasing number of recent studies have shown lavender oil can be an effective remedy against some neurological problems.
Lavender for the nervous system
Researchers in domains such as neurology, physiology and epilepsy from Iran and Germany executed an expertise that analyzed the results of several clinical and experimental studies on lavender and its benefits on the nervous system.
According to the study, which was made on both humans and animals, lavender has sedative, analgesic, anxiolytic, neuroprotective, anticonvulsant and mood-regulating properties. While the plant has long been used in alternative medicine for improving and promoting mental health, it has only recently been scientifically recognized as a valid treatment.
Tests on lavender’s effects
- Continuous exposure to lavender for 7 days inhibited anxious and depressive behavior in rats. Its anxiolytic effects have been compared to those of synthetic drugs such as diazepam and chlordiazepoxide (a tranquilizer using in anxiety and alcoholism therapy).
- In tests, lavender oil has also been found to reduce aggressive and conflictual behavior in animals. Its calming effects on humans represent a big reason for its use in aromatherapy. More than that, lavender has been shown to improve spatial memory deficits caused by the cholinergic system malfunction in animals with Alzheimer’s disease.
- In mice, lavender accelerated sleep initiation and increased its duration. Lavender (as an hydro alcoholic extract) also inhibited the appearance of convulsive attacks in mice and reduced their duration and intensity. The same effects have been obtained through aroma inhalation.
- The neuroprotective effects of lavender on cerebral ischemia have been tested on mice. Researchers discovered that lavender reduced the neurotoxicity, neurological deficits and heart attack severity, on top of attenuating neuronal damage caused by cerebral ischemia. This is due to the plant’s strong antioxidant effects.
Due to the combination of its neuroprotective, anticholinergic and antioxidant properties, lavender can be an effective tool in treating Alzheimer’s disease.
Lavender – beneficial for other diseases as well
As expected, its antioxidant properties bring many other positive changes to the body: it helps improve the skin’s health by protecting it from damaging UV rays, it helps with mood swings and it boosts your immune system, helping it fight various diseases, from common colds and the flu to more severe diseases.
Clinical studies done on humans support the efficiency of lavender in treating neurological and psychological problems. For this purpose, the plant has been used orally or in the form of oil extract for aromatherapy and massage.
Lavender has been used for its healing properties for a long time and with scientific confirmation being available now, it is only a matter of time before it becomes an official tool in combating mental problems.