Lavender has been used to treat stress and anxiety disorders for a long time. There have been several clinical trials to investigate whether lavender can help reduce stress and anxiety symptoms. The results of these trials show that lavender improves anxiety symptoms like restlessness, somatic complaints, and trouble sleeping. People often have many questions about reducing stress with lavender and wonder if it is beneficial. 

Benefits of Lavender

Lavender has several benefits that help reduce anxiety symptoms. Common benefits include:

  • Lowers heart rate
  • Improves mood
  • Lowers adrenalin levels
  • Regulates breathing
  • Improves sleep

How Does Lavender Help with Anxiety?

Lavender can help reduce stress and anxiety symptoms in various ways, including:

Can Physically Calm you Down

Lavender oil can help activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for relaxation. It controls the body’s processes associated with anxiety like breathing rhythm, heart rate, and hormone secretion. Lavender helps decrease the somatic or physical symptoms of anxiety and calms you down by restoring a neural state. 

Improves Quality of Sleep

People with anxiety symptoms often have difficulty sleeping. Research has found that lavender oil can help reduce the symptoms of anxiety and improve sleep quality.

Helps with Anticipatory Anxiety

People can sometimes experience anxiety leading up to an event. Studies have shown that lavender essential oil can help calm any anxiety that you may experience before a specific event. In one study, breast surgery patients were given lavender oil and another unscented aromatherapy oil before the surgery. The people who were given lavender oil were able to deal with the anxiety symptoms slightly better. 

Will Not Cause Withdrawal or Dependency

Lavender oil is safe to use and will not lead to any dependency or withdrawal symptoms if used for a long time. Hence, it can safely be used to reduce anxiety symptoms in individuals.

Ways to Use Lavender for Anxiety

Lavender is typically available in the form of essential oil. This oil can be used in various ways like:

In your Bath

Adding lavender essential oil to your bath can help soothe, calm, and relax you. Just add a few drops of the oil to your bath and soak in to enjoy its benefits. You can even combine the lavender oil with other fragrances like orange or lemon. The hot water in the bath will also help relax sore muscles.

In a Diffuser

You can use an aromatherapy diffuser to disperse the lavender oil into the air. When the oil gets dispersed into the air around you, you inhale it while breathing. This inhalation of the essential oil can help reduce anxiety levels considerably. It will also help deodorize your room, make your surroundings pleasant and promote good sleep. You can combine the lavender oil with chamomile or orange oil. If you don’t have a diffuser, you can put a few drops of lavender oil on a cotton pad and place it near you. Inhaling the aroma for 15-30 minutes will help you calm your nerves.

Apply to your Body

Lavender oil gets quickly absorbed by the skin when topically applied. It acts like a sedative and makes you feel relaxed. You can apply the oil either by using a rollerball or by patting it on from the bottle. Massage the oil on your body for 10-15 minutes by diluting it in a carrier oil like almond or olive oil. You can apply the oil throughout the day or as many times as you need. 

Take it Orally

Oral administration of lavender oil can help treat anxiety symptoms effectively. You can take one-day capsules to help with the symptoms. However, you must read the warnings and dosage information on the bottle before consuming the capsules.

As Tinctures

Tinctures are extremely concentrated herbal and plant extracts. Lavender tincture is a concentrated liquid extract that is made by distilling lavender buds and flowers in alcohol. You can consume lavender tincture by placing a few drops under your tongue and swallowing them. 

Risks and Side Effects of Lavender

Lavender oil is typically safe to use. However, there are certain possible risks and side effects that you should consider like:

Reaction to the Skin

People with sensitive skin should be wary of using lavender essential oil. For instance, if you have eczema, you should be careful when using lavender products. A compound in lavender can cause contact allergy in individuals with eczema. It can lead to sun sensitivity as well. 

Effects on the Stomach

Oral consumption of lavender essential oil may lead to gastrointestinal side effects as the essential oil can be toxic in some people if consumed directly. Hence, most practitioners will not advise consuming the essential oil orally.

While lavender cannot cure anxiety by itself, it can help in reducing symptoms and calming you down. But how well lavender will work on your anxiety will depend on the cause of the condition. Visit Bolton’s Naturals to know more about lavender and its benefits on anxiety and stress.