How lavender calms the mind and offers emotional support...
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is a soft and sweet classic floral scent most are familiar with. Lavender oil is steam distilled from freshly cut flowering tops and stalks from the plant. I find it quite a contentious oil as some people enjoy the scent and relate it to fond child hood memories, while others do not like the scent at all. Let me explain this further...
When inhaling or diffusing essential oils the scent travels up through the nasal passage and up into the olfactory system (the sensory system) to the olfactory bulb which is a neural structure of the vertebrate forebrain. The olfactory bulb has receptors that transmit messages to the limbic system, which then provokes a reaction in the brain. This part of the brain is responsible for a persons behavioural and emotional response and is connected to our memories and emotions. Therefore, you may love a particular essential oil as it evokes positive affiliations to a particular memory, or it could have the oppostite effect. This is why inhalation or diffusion of essential oils is the best mode of application when wanting to reduce anxiety, depression, mood swings or psychological issues.
Lavender's long list of therapeutic properties is vast and what makes it such a versatile oil. Lavender is my go to oil when needing to assist with harmonising the nervous system to help with sleep issues, anxiety or stress or to calm the mind, as it acts as a natural antidepressant. Lavender also has analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties and can therefore help reduce muscle aches and pains and also acts as a decongestant and will assist with colds and flu. Due to it's subtle nature lavender is one of few oils that can be used around babies and children, of course using minimal and safe dilution rates.
Lavender is non-toxic, non-irritating and non-sensitising and blends beautifully with many oils including neroli, geranium, clary sage, sandalwood, cedarwood, patchouli, peppermint, bergamot and most citrus and floral oils.
Next time you have a headache pop 3 drops of lavender oil and 3 drops of peppermint oil in your diffuser and sit back and relax. (This dilution is suitable for people over the age of 12.)
So for me lavender essential oil is an absolute must have in your aromatherapy kit, as it is by far one of the most versatile oils in aromatherapy practices.