Anxiety is the third most common mental health issue worldwide, and everyone suffers from a headache once in a while. Doctors can prescribe medications to help us fight back, and while it can be useful for some extreme cases, not everyone is going to benefit from medications. There are natural ways to combat anxiety and headaches. The most delicious way is easily this lavender lemonade.
Flavoring your lemonade with lavender is a great way to utilize the amazing medicinal properties of lavender. Lavender is a wonderful aromatic herb that calms the senses. You can choose to use the oil of lavender or the flower which ever you feel is more suitable for your health and well-being.
Pure lavender oil is an incredible essential oil to use for your own health and wellness. It’s among the gentlest of essential oils, but also one of the most powerful, making it a favorite of households for the healing properties and uses of lavender essential oil. Lavender oil has a chemically complex structure with over 150 active constituents, which explains its effectiveness at helping with a lot of health ailments. Lavender oil possesses amazing anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antidepressant, antiseptic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, analgesic, detoxifier, hypotensive, and sedative properties.
Florida researchers have found that lavender oil benefits include reducing anxiety and lowering pulse rates in nursing students taking stressful tests. And in hospital settings, lavender aromatherapy has been demonstrated to decrease pre-surgery distress and to be more relaxing than massage or merely resting.(1)
Lavender essential oil has medicinal properties as well. It has been shown to reduce depression, improve insomnia and ease labor pains. And anecdotal evidence suggests that lavender oil benefits those with headaches, hangovers, sinus congestion and pain relief.
“Much prior research on lavender has focused on the administration of lavender via an olfactory route. The anxiolytic activity of lavender olfaction has been demonstrated in several small and medium-sized clinical trials.46-53 The efficacy of aromatherapy of lavender is thought to be due to the psychological effects of the fragrance combined with physiological effects of volatile oils in the limbic system.54 These calming effects of lavender oil and single constituents may be the origin of the traditional use of lavender. Lavender oil olfaction has been shown to decrease anxiety, as measured by the Hamilton rating scale,51 and can increase mood scores.
The following are selected examples of clinical trials on lavender aromatherapy:
- Dunn and colleagues demonstrated anxiolytic activity of lavender oil aromatherapy in patients in intensive care units. Subjects received at least 1 session of aromatherapy with 1% lavender essential oil. Significant anxiolytic effects were noted in the 1st treatment, though 2nd and 3rd treatments did not appear to be as effective.47
- Alaoui-Ismaili and colleagues found that the aroma of lavender is considered by subjects to be very pleasant and is correlated with changes in the autonomic nervous system.56
- Tysoe and colleagues conducted a study of lavender oil in burner use on staff mood and stress in a hospital setting. A significant number of respondents (85%) believed that lavender aroma improved the work environment following the use of the lavender oil burners.57
- Diego and colleagues demonstrated that people receiving lavender oil (10%) olfaction for 3 minutes felt significantly more relaxed and had decreased anxiety scores, improved mood and increased scores of alpha power on EEG (an indicator of alertness), and increased speed of mathematical calculations.58
- Lewith and colleagues investigated the effects of lavender aromatherapy on depressed mood and anxiety in female patients being treated with chronic hemodialysis.59 The effects of aromatherapy were measured using the Hamilton rating scale for depression (HAMD) and the Hamilton rating scale for anxiety (HAMA). Lavender aroma significantly decreased the mean scores of HAMA, suggesting an effective, noninvasive means for the treatment of anxiety in hemodialysis patients.
- Lavender aromatherapy, with or without massage, may also reduce the perception of pain and the need for conventional analgesics in adults and children, though more rigorously controlled trials are needed.60″ (2)
DIY Lavender Lemonade
- 1 cup raw honey
- 5 cups pure water
- 1/4 cup dried lavender. dried, organic culinary lavender ( or 1 drop lavender essential oil)
- 6 lemons, peeled and juiced approx.
- Lavender sprigs for garnish
1. Pour 1/2 the water in a pan, bring to boil and remove from heat
2. Add honey and dried lavender let steep for approximately 20 minutes.
3. Strain mixture and pour into larger container.
4. Add lemon juice and the remaining water. Stir well
Other ways you can use Lavender for Anxiety and Headaches
- Mix 5 to 6 drops of Lavender essential oil to your bath water if you have dry skin.
- Diffuse 10 to 12 drops of Lavender into the air during your workday for natural stress relief.
- Add 2 drops of Lavender per ounce of your favorite lightly scented, unrefined organic oil (like almond oil or olive oil) for a body oil with all the benefits of lavender for improving your skin, relaxing your mind, warding off insects or helping you sleep.
Article originally published in LivingTraditionally.com republished with permission
Lots of science behind this one folks:
40. Aoshima H, Hamamoto K. Potentiation of GABAA receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes by perfume and phytoncid. Biosc Biotechnol Biochem 1999; 63:743-748.
41. Lis-Balchin M, Hart S. Studies on the mode of action of the essential oil of lavender. Phytother Res1999;13(6):540-542.
42. Elizabetsky E, al Mje. Effects of linalool on glutamatergic system in the rat cerebral cortex. Neurochem Res1995;20:461-465.
43. Re L, Barocci S, Sonnino S, et al. Linalool modifies the nicotinic receptor-ion channel kinetics at the mouse neuromuscular junction. Pharmacol Res. 2000;42:177-182.
44. Tisserand R, Balacs T. Essential oil safety. A Guide for Health Care Professionals. Harcourt 1999: Glasgow.
45. Buchbauer G, Jirovetz L, Jager W, Dietrich H, Plank C. Aromatherapy: evidence for sedative effects of the essential oil of lavender after inhalation. Z Naturforsch C. 1991; 46:1067-1072.
46. Buckle J. Aromatherapy. Nurs Times. 1993;89:32-35.
47. Dunn C, Sleep J, Collett D. Sensing an improvement: An experimental study to evaluate the use of aromatherapy massage and periods of rest in an intensive care unit. J Adv Nursing. 1995;21:34-40.
48. Hardy M, Kirk-Smith MD, Stretch DD. Replacement of drug treatment for insomnia by ambient odour. Lancet1995;346:701.
49. Hudson R. Nursing: the value of lavender for rest and activity in the elderly patient. Complement Ther Med.1996;4:52-57.
50. Wolfe N, Herzberg J. Can aromatherapy oils promote sleep in severely demented patients? Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 1996;11:926-927.
51. Itai T, Amayasu H, Kuribayashi M et al. Psychological effects of aromatherapy on chronic haemodialysis patients. Psychiatry & Clin Neurosci. 2000;54:393-397.
52. Louis M, Kowalski SD. Use of aromatherapy with hospice patients to decrease pain, anxiety, and depression and to promote an increased sense of well-being. Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2002;19:381-386.
53. Lehrner J, Marwinski G, Lehr S, Johren P, Deecke L. Ambient odors of orange and lavender reduce anxiety and improve mood in a dental office. Physiol Behav. 2005;86:92-95.
54. Xu F, Uebaba K, Ogawa H, et al. Pharmaco-physio-psychologic effect of Ayurvedic oil-dripping treatment using an essential oil from Lavendula angustifolia. J Altern Complement Med. 2008;14(8):947-956.
55. Walsh E, Wilson C. Complementary therapies in long-stay neurology in-patients settings. Nurs Stand. 1999;13:32-35.
56. Alaoui-Ismaïli O, Vernet-Maury E, Dittmar A, Delhomme G, Chanel J. Odor hedonics: connection with emotional response estimated by autonomic parameters. Chem Senses. 1997;22(3):237-248.
57. Tysoe P. The effect on staff of essential oil burners in extended care settings. Int J Nurs Pract. 2000;6:110-112.
58. Diego MA, Jones NA, Field T, et al. Aromatherapy positively affects mood, EEG patterns of alertness, and math computations. Int J Neurosci. 1998;96:217-224.
59. Lewith GT, Godfrey AD, Prescott P. A single-blind, randomized pilot study evaluating the aroma of Lavandula angustifolia, as a treatment for mild insomnia. J Altern Complement Med. 2005;11(4):631-637.
60. Buckle J. Use of aromatherapy as a complementary treatment for chronic pain. Altern Ther Health Med1999;5:42-51.
61. Bradley BF, Brown SL, Chu S, Lea RW. Effects of orally administered lavender essential oil on responses to anxiety-provoking film clips. Hum Psychopharmacol. 2009;24(4):319-330.
62. Kasper S, Gastpar M, Müller WE, et al. Silexan, an orally administered Lavandula oil preparation, is effective in the treatment of ‘subsyndromal’ anxiety disorder: a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial. Int Clin Psychopharmacol 2010;25:277-287.
63. Woelk H, Schlaefke S. A multi-center, double-blind, randomised study of the Lavender oil preparation Silexan in comparison to Lorazepam for generalized anxiety disorder. Phytomedicine. 2010;17:94-99.
64. Azkhondzadeh S, Kashani L, Fotouhi A, et al. Comparison of Lavandula angustifolia Mill. tincture and imipramine in the treatment of mild to moderate depression: a double-blind, randomized trial. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2003;27(1):123-127.
65. Stange R, Schaper S, Uehleke B, Dienel A, Schlaefke S. Phase II study on the effects of lavender oil (Silexan) in patients with neurasthenia, posttraumatic stress disorders or somatisation disorder. Focus on Alternative and