There’s a reason why aromatherapy is a popular form of stress relief that has been used for many years. It works! It has been scientifically proven that certain scents elevate mood and calm nerves, making them effective in treating a variety of mental ailments.
When it comes to scents that reduce anxiety, lavender is one that typically comes to mind. There’s no doubt that when people whiff the fresh, light, floral aroma, their stress levels drop a notch. But how does this work on a scientific level? Read on to find out.
It’s All About the Linalool
Research shows that lavender’s calming effects may be caused by a constituent called linalool. Linalool is defined as a naturally occurring terpene alcohol chemical found in many flowers and spice plants.
Lavender typically contains 35% linalool. It also contains linalyl acetate and other naturally occurring chemicals.
Numerous studies have shown linalool to be effective in reducing anxiety. And, in order to get the benefits it provides, it should be inhaled through the nose.
According to experts, it is the stimulation of olfactory neurons in the nose that brings on relaxation. In animal studies, linalool was shown to have an anxiolytic effect in normal mice, but not in those whose olfactory neurons had been destroyed. It also did not work in mice treated with flumazenil that blocks benzodiazepine receptors.
Although mice that were fed or injected with linalool experienced some degree of relaxation, this may be due to the fact that the odor was present during the study. More research is needed to determine the targets, safety, and efficacy of linalool before human studies can begin.
How Does Linalool Work in the Nervous System?
So now we know that linalool is most effective in calming nerves when it is sniffed. By how does it work in the nervous system?
When lavender’s aroma is inhaled, it inhibits lipopolysaccharide induced inflammatory reactions to produce a calming effect. It increases dopamine in the brain to improve mood and it works as an analgesic, an antidepressant, a stress reliever, and an anticonvulsant. The anti-inflammatory properties may also be effective in treating Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Lavender has also been shown to be a pain reliever. It’s calming properties are conducive to better sleep and may reduce insomnia.
What is the Best Source of Lavender?
Lavender is typically sold in essential oil form. Essential oils are not regulated by the FDA. Therefore, it’s important to source them from a brand you can trust.
Garden of Life is a supplement manufacturer known for creating clean vitamins and supplements that are free of artificial ingredients. Their Lavender Essential Oil is 100% pure and organic. It is made to soothe, relax, balance, calm, normalize, and clarify.
If you are looking for something to soothe your nerves, lavender is the way to go. It is scientifically proven to have calming effects that will help you leave your anxiety behind. How will you be integrating it into your everyday life?