The Many Benefits of Lavender Essential Oil

(It Even Kills MRSA Bacteria)

 of Natural Mentor| Dec 10, 2015

ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE

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If you have any experience with aromatherapy or other medicinal methods for using essential oils, you’ve probably come across lavender essential oil.

Lavender is the paragon of relaxation—and for good reason. Its rich, soothing scent cuts right through anxiety, sleepnessness, headaches, and many other symptoms of everyday stress.

But don’t let its gentle persona fool you: lavender essential oil is a powerful panacea. Praise for it never usually extends beyond its calming aroma, but in fact, it’s a whole first aid kit wrapped into one potent oil. Many essential oil specialists claim that, if you only use one essential oil, you should make it this one!

Essential oils have been used medicinally for thousands of years, and those who have carried these traditions into the modern age have long extolled lavender oil for its incredible variety of health benefits. And much more recently, medical science began to back up these claims with hard evidence.

Here’s a handful of research-supported reasons why you should always keep some lavender essential oil handy.

All things calming

Lavender lives up to its reputation as a relaxation agent, even under the scrutiny of scientific research. Study after study confirms that the compounds in lavender essential oil function as an effective nerve relaxant.

This property translates to all sorts of benefits, including decreased anxiety, better sleep, increased cerebral blood flow (and thus improved cognitive function), and overall improved mood.[1] Studies have also revealed that using lavender oil relieved depression in college women and ameliorated the agitation often associated with geriatric dementia.[2]

Many people have even reported experiencing pain relief from lavender essential oil. While the mechanism by which this benefit is conferred isn’t fully understood, researchers suspect that quelled inflammation is a byproduct of lavender’s nerve-relaxing effects. Rubbing the oil directly into affected areas, or mixing it with lotion beforehand, offers a quick and lasting reprieve from aches and pains.

A worthy weapon against illness and infection

What is less well-known about lavender essential oil is its incredible ability to prevent and fight disease. For starters, it offers excellent immune support, especially when taken internally using an inhaler or vaporizer. Putting four drops of essential oil in 20 milliliters of hot water does the trick too (hold your face over the hot water and inhale the steam).

This remedy also shines after you’ve already contracted an illness. Studies have shown that lavender is a surprisingly powerful anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent. It successfully treats even MRSA and staph infections (against which mostconventional antibiotics are powerless) [3]

MRSA, methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, is becoming commonplace. It originated in hospitals as a result of overuse and misuse of antibiotics and has become symbolic of out-of-control mainstream medicine. The disease created by antibiotics used for treatment of staph infections is often far worse than the original.

Most exciting, though, is that lavender oil has been found 100% effective in lab testing to treat some infections, including MRSA. That means it could be used to treat staph infections that drugs can’t touch. This fact alone should make it clear how dramatically underestimated lavender essential is as a legitimate medicine.

You can even apply it topically to clear athlete’s foot and other fungal skin conditions, or use a douche made with lavender flower tea to treat vaginal yeast infections (drinking lavender tea during times of greater susceptibility will also help prevent yeast infections in the first place).

Lastly, by balancing the immune system, lavender oil can even reverse hair losscaused by alopecia areata (an autoimmune condition that causes the body’s immune system to attack hair follicles as though they were foreign agents). Simply apply essential oil to balding spots every day for at least a couple weeks, and you’re bound to see positive results.

All systems go: support for the whole body

The more studies are conducted on lavender, the more benefits are uncovered. Researchers have already linked its use to benefits across many bodily systems.

Respiratory system. When inhaled through steam, lavender essential oil relaxes breathing passages, calms asthma attacks, clears the sinuses, and improves overall respiratory health.

Digestive system. Lavender works as a perfect digestion aid, and improves nearly every aspect of digestive health—studies have shown that it increases nutrient absorption, alleviates nausea, vomiting, and flatulence, and even inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria without hurting your microbiome’s beneficial bacteria.

Circulatory system. Part of lavender’s calming effect is attributed to its ability to improve your blood circulation. This improvement leads to lots of other secondary benefits, including deeper sleep and greatly enhanced cardiovascular health.

Easy to find and use

Because of its popularity and long tradition of use, lavender is incredibly easy to find. Just make sure to buy it fresh if you choose to work with lavender blossoms (growing your own lavender is also very easy, and it can be found growing in the wild in most temperate zones across the United States).

If you work with lavender essential oil, always use brands that are therapeutic-grade (they’re a bit more expensive, but are safer, more effective, and well worth the cost). Before using the essential oil, always apply just a bit to a small area of skin, in order to test for an allergic reaction (they do occur in a very small percentage of people).

Luckily, this incredible natural medicine is widely available to anyone in the United States with the wherewithal to seek it out—unlike in the EU, where lavender is now unavailable without a prescription. Healing herbs and remedies like lavender afford us a special opportunity to take health into our own hands—don’t let it pass you by!

References 

[1] http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/lavender-effective-against-drug-resistant-staph-infection?page=2

[2] https://www.mendeley.com/catalog/lavender-oil-treatment-agitated-behaviour-severe-dementia-placebo-controlled-study/

[3] http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/lavender-effective-against-drug-resistant-staph-infection

8 Home Remedies For Headaches

Headaches, including migraines, are extremely common. Because headaches can stem from a variety of causes, some headache sufferers seek treatment on a near-daily basis. Fortunately, there are several home-remedy treatments that can help alleviate migraine pain and other types of headaches. Read on to discover which headache remedies you can try at home.

Lavender Oil

Not only does lavender smell great — it’s also a useful home remedy for headaches and migraine pain. Lavender oil can be either inhaled or applied topically. Two to four drops for every two to three cups of boiling water are recommended when inhaling lavender-oil vapors as a headache treatment. Unlike many medicinal oils, this home remedy can also be safely applied externally without the need to dilute it. Lavender oil should not be taken orally.

peppermint

Peppermint Oil

 

Peppermint is a soothing home remedy that has been shown to benefit tension headaches. This fresh-smelling oil has vaso-constricting and vaso-dilating properties, which help control blood flow in the body. Headaches and migraine pain are often due to poor blood flow, and peppermint oil helps to open and close the vessels that promote flow. Peppermint home remedies also open up the sinuses so that more oxygen can get into the bloodstream.

 

Basil Oil

Basil, the strong-scented herb used as a topping for pizzas and pastas, certainly tastes and smells good. And for people in need of a natural headache treatment, the oil derived from basil plants can also be a useful home remedy. Basil works as a muscle relaxant, so it is especially helpful for headaches caused by tension and tight muscles.

 

 

Food Diary

One of the most useful home remedies for reducing headaches and migraine pain involves making changes to your diet. Certain foods have been shown to affect the frequency and severity of headaches and migraine pain, including dairy; chocolate; peanut butter; certain fruits, such as avocado, banana, and citrus; onions; meats with nitrates, such as bacon and hot dogs; foods containing monosodium glutamate (MSG); foods containing tyramine, an amino acid found in red wine; and foods that are fermented or pickled. Keep track of these trigger foods and your reaction to them with a food diary.

Scalp Massage

Do-it-yourself scalp massages can be an effective way to alleviate migraine pain, and they feel great. Researchers in Brazil showed that massaging the greater occipital nerve — the area in the back of the head, at the base of the skull — reduces migraine pain. Massage in general has been identified as a useful home remedy for headaches, especially reflexology (massaging reflex points on the hands and feet).

 

Feverfew

Feverfew, as its name suggests, is used to treat fever, but it’s most commonly known as an herbal headache treatment. This home remedy became popular in the 1980s, when a landmark study in Great Britain showed that 70 percent of participants had less migraine pain after taking feverfew daily. Since then, more studies have demonstrated feverfew’s benefit in preventing and treating migraine pain. One study showed improvement in migraine pain among people who took daily feverfew in combination with white willow, another herbal home remedy, which contains properties similar to aspirin.

Flaxseed

Some headaches are caused by inflammation, which can be reduced by consuming omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed can help provide headache relief because it’s rich in omega-3s. Flaxseed can be used as a home remedy in several forms, including as an oil and ground or whole seeds.

 

 

Buckwheat

Buckwheat’s usefulness as a home remedy for headaches and migraine pain comes from a flavonoid known as rutin. Flavonoids are phytochemicals, which are found in plants, and have been shown to contain antioxidant properties, which counteract damage to cells. In addition, researchers in Taiwan have demonstrated the effects of flavonoids on inflammation, a common cause of headaches.

 

 

Everyday Health ARTICLE By Sara Calabro | Medically reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH