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Despite wellness and self-care trends taking over, it seems we've got a long way to go before we fully recover from years of unhealthy lifestyle habits. In fact, health experts from Maryville University predict a rise in chronic illnesses in the coming years, with more than half of the US population expected to suffer from a chronic disease by 2025. While it doesn't sound like the most pleasant future, this has led people to look for newer and more natural forms of healing. They often come in the form of herbs, roots, and flowers – lavender being one of them.
Lavender is a herb native to northern Africa and the mountainous regions of the Mediterranean, and is one of the most popular and versatile essential oils used in medical treatments, spas, and personal wellness.
You might even recognize lavender in your favorite perfumes or air fresheners, but this herb is so much more than that. In fact, if you've ever noticed that you feel more relaxed when you get a whiff, you'll be pleased to know that it isn't just a coincidence. On top of its soothing scent, lavender has a wealth of calming and healing benefits. Here are some of them.
The smell of lavender helps calm the mind and relax the muscles. A study from Kagoshima University uncovered lavender’s anxiety-reducing effects, which was eventually attributed to its natural linalool content – a compound found in many aromatic plants. For more herbs with the same anti-anxiety benefits like hops (a flower extract commonly used in brewing), you can check out one of our other posts on Biokoma.
Stimulates Blood Circulation
Even in low concentrations, lavender can stimulate blood circulation in the body. It contains camphor, the same substance found in most vaporubs, which has a stimulating effect when applied topically.
Encourages Hair Growth
Research published on PubMed shows how applying lavender oil encourages hair growth in as fast as four weeks. It is also common treatment for a disease called alopecia areata – a condition that causes hair loss.
Lavender offers calming and soothing properties that can help you sleep better when inhaled. It has properties that increase the “slow-wave sleep," which contributes to reducing heartbeat and relaxes the muscles.
Speeds Up the Healing of Wounds
Lavender has very potent antiseptic properties. A study by researchers from Morinomiya University and Wakayama Medical University found that lavender possesses the ability to speed up the healing process in dealing with minor wounds like burns, cuts, and scrapes. It also helps heal scars.
Heals Fungal Infections
Lavender oil is an effective combatant against fungal infections, destroying fungal cells by damaging its cell membrane. The oil is not only lethal to fungi, but also a wide range of bacteria, viruses, and other sources of infections.
To combat the costs of modern day healthcare, more and more people are starting to turn to essential oils to treat mild illnesses. Essential oils are substances extracted from plants, like lavender, commonly used for cosmetic or healing purposes. Still, these "alternative medicines" are only that – alternatives – and shouldn’t imitate the advice you receive from medical professionals. For any serious conditions, be sure to see your local physician.
Exclusively written for BIOKOMA.com
By: Thea Harith