Did you know?
Lavender helps with Stress, Fatigue, and Post-Party Effects.
by Sarah Richards
Well, nothing cures a hangover, but…. we are discovering that lavender helps hangovers and other stress – just like old wives tales have told us for centuries.
Stress: you know it when you feel it, or do you? Sometimes, what we think are normal conditions might be stress.
- Having trouble remembering?
- Finding your concentration isn’t working?
- Making some bad decisions?
- Hearing your own self talk putting you down all the time?
- Worrying too much?
- Snapping at people around you?
- Having trouble sitting still?
- Feeling overwhelmed?
- Feeling like you’re alone, no one around to be with you and help you out?
- Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities?
And then your body might be talking to you by sending you aches and pains, digestion changes, nausea, dizziness, chest pain, rapid heartbeat. Lost that loving feeling, getting colds a lot, eating too much or too little? Got these messages?
Now, back to the hangover bit, are you using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax?
These are likely to overwhelm you. In addition, sleep troubles are often a symptom or a cause of anxiety and stress. Getting enough sleep is a key to well being. Studies have shown that lavender helps with getting to sleep and improving the quality of sleep, which goes a long way toward helping people overcome the stress of anxiety. (1)
Folklore has named lavender for stress relief and relaxing for centuries. Now, scientific studies are starting to describe how that might be true. They are testing using lavender flowers in infusions, lavender essential oil in aromatherapy, and even taking lavender essential oil internally (supervised by a physician). (1)
Anecdotally, we see the relaxation response everyday when people walk in the door of our shop. They take a deep breath in and say “Ahhhhhh” and then they breathe out exclaiming how much they love that smell.
You might think that studies on adults show that lavender works because the subjects had heard about it, or someone has instructed them in the relaxing aspects of lavender. But, babies don’t read and they don’t get instructions like adults. There was a study in which babies cried less and spent more time in deep sleep after a bath scented with lavender oil. (3)
Even horses respond to lavender. One study found that the horse’s heart rate went down considerably when exposed to a stress after a treatment of humid air and lavender oil. (2) So, my friends, those of you who have horses and have learned to trust your noble steeds, maybe you could listen to them while they tell you a little about lavender’s usefulness for stress relief.
For those who like to measure stress hormones, levels of cortisol went down with lavender use in rats. (4)
These are just a few of the situations and studies that are showing that lavender can be useful to you when your world feels out of control. In this season of parties, it’s reassuring to note that a lavender compress can help with that nasty morning-after headache. If the lavender doesn’t do the trick here are some more tips on what to do for your hangover.
- Lavender Oil for Anxiety and Depression; Review of the literature on the safety and efficacy of lavender, 2/7/2012, by Jeremy Appleton, ND. http://www.naturalmedicinejournal.com/article_content.asp?article=289
- Effect of Lavender Aromatherapy on Acute-Stressed Horses, Clarence E. Ferguson, Harry F. Kleinman, Justin Browning, Journal of Equine Veterinary Science – January 2013 (Vol. 33, Issue 1, Pages 67-69, DOI: 10.1016/j.jevs.2012.04.014) Found in: Horsetalk.co.nz on Jun 03, 2013 in Training & Husbandry. http://horsetalk.co.nz/2013/06/03/lavender-aroma-calms-horses-research/#axzz2oe8Z8biH
- Early Hum Dev. 2008 Jun;84(6):399-401. Epub 2007 Nov 28, Lavender bath oil reduces stress and crying and enhances sleep in very young infants. Field T, Field T, Cullen C, Largie S, Diego M, Schanberg S, Kuhn C. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18053656
- Psychiatry Res. 2007 Feb 28;150(1):89-96. Epub 2007 Feb 7. Smelling lavender and rosemary increases free radical scavenging activity and decreases cortisol level in saliva. by Atsumi T, Tonosaki K. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17291597
- 5 Tips to Soothe Holiday Hangovers, By Dr. Maoshing Ni, Dec 06, 2013 http://health.yahoo.net/experts/drmao/5-tips-soothe-holiday-hangovers