The Great Lavender

I know you’ve heard it before: the rave about lavender. Lavender this, lavender that. But I’m here to tell you that it really works. In fact, I’ve been using lavender as a calming agent since I was a child.

So what’s the big deal about lavender anyway?

Well…let’s get a little scientific, shall we?

The Department of Otolaryngology (study of the head and neck) at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York performed a study where they tested the efficiency of lavender aromatherapy on the reduction of preoperative anxiety in surgery patients. We’ve all been to the doctor, right? We all know what it’s like to walk into the waiting room and feel sense of anxiety, no matter how big or small. Imagine sitting in the waiting room waiting to be called back to have someone cut into your throat. I’m sure that would produce some kind of anxiety in anyone.

The results of this study suggest that lavender does have a calming effect on the body, as multiple participants reported that they felt calmer while receiving the aromatherapy and found the lavender scent to be pleasant–which it is!

Another study done in Korea at the Eluji University Hospital examined the effects of lavender, chamomile, and neroli oil aromatherapy on anxiety, sleep, and blood pressure in patients with coronary artery disease who were admitted into the intensive care unit.

Now, I’ve never been admitted into the intensive care unit, but I can only imagine what someone who has feels/felt. All of those tubes, machines, and cold medical tools are scary enough to be straight out of a horror movie!

Since the anxiety level of the group who received aromatherapy was lower than the group that didn’t, the findings from this study further stress (HA) the possibly that lavender has the ability to bring a sense of serenity to an otherwise highly anxious individual.

So what? Why should this matter?

It should matter because it’s proof that there are alternative methods to achieving lower anxiety levels! These methods are natural and don’t involve the risk of becoming dependent, unlike synthetic drugs.

My mom first introduced the use of lavender as a sleep aid when I was little. There were so many nights when I would struggle to sleep because of my anxiety and how much it would make my mind race. Then one night, I didn’t have as hard a time as I did the night before. My mom used to wash our bedsheets and pillowcases at least every two weeks, and that night, she’d sprayed my pillow with a lavender sleep spray. From then on, I used that spray until we ran out. I haven’t been able to find that exact brand again, but here is a link ThisWorks Deep Sleep Pillow Spray that has been highly praised by Glamour, Allure, and Byrdie and is one of Amazon’s ranking products:

Since going to college and getting my own place, I’ve gotten into the habit of burning candles, one of my favorites being lavender scented. My favorite lavender candle actually came from Tj Maxx. It was one of those random brands that only Tj Maxx, Marshall’s, and Ross carries, but since buying it the first time, I haven’t really liked any other lavender candle that I’ve burned. I usually come home in the evenings, burn the candle in my room, and go take a shower. By the time I get out of the shower, the room is engulfed in a scent so soft and pleasant, which puts me in a great mood to lay down and fall right asleep. Also, since it’s a bigger candle, it lasts for a really long time! I’ve managed to find it on Amazon as well:

I highly recommend finding ways to work lavender into your daily schedule. You can start off by using the products linked above! I mean, why not? The scientific proof is there!

Have you used these before? Do you have your own lavender products that you use? If so, comment below!

-Khai

References

The Efficacy of Lavender Aromatherapy in Reducing Preoperative
Anxiety in Ambulatory Surgery Patients Undergoing Procedures
in General Otolaryngology by Michael Wotman, BA, Joshua Levinger, MD, Lillian Leung, PAC, Aron Kallush, BA, Elizabeth Mauer, MS, & Ashutosh Kacker, MD

Effects of aromatherapy on the anxiety, vital signs, and sleep quality of percutaneous coronary intervention patients in intensive care units by Cho My, Min ES, Hur MH, & Lee MS.

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