The use of lavender essential oil is very common in aromatherapy, for its soothing properties. There have been a lot of studies focused on lavender essential oil and its various health benefits, but the studies have shown that it’s particularly beneficial with anxiety and insomnia.
Several studies have shown that lavender oil has some anti-anxiety benefits, but there hasn’t been a large-scale clinical trial recently to prove these benefits. However, in the past, there have been several studies that have tested lavender oil’s benefits to people with anxiety. Research published in Physiology & Behavior in 2005 is one example of such studies. The study involved 190 people, who were awaiting dental treatment, and it found that the scent of lavender reduced their anxiety and improved mood.
In another study the researchers found that aromatherapy, involving lavender essential oil, can help reduce anxiety in high-risk postpartum women. In the study, the participants involved had given birth in the past one and a half years, and it was found that aromatherapy sessions reduced the symptoms of depression and lower the anxiety levels. Although there is a lack of large-scale clinical trials, there is evidence that the oil can help with anxiety.
A 2015 study found that lavender oil therapy when combined with sleep hygiene techniques, helped students to get better sleep. Another study found that lavender aromatherapy can improve sleep quality and duration in elder people.
Where there are benefits, you can expect some side effects as well. The possible side effects of lavender oil include allergic reactions or skin irritation. If, after the use, you experience headaches, vomiting, or nausea, stop using it. Consuming the oil can have toxic effects, so it is advised to consult a medical professional first.
So far, no recommended daily dosage for lavender oil is available. If you breathe in the scent of the oil or apply it to the skin, it will transmit messages to the limbic system, a brain that can help in regulating emotion. The most common practice is to combine the lavender essential oil with a carrier oil, and then you can massage it or add it to your bath.