The Magic of Lavender: What the Science Says

The Magic of Lavender: What the Science Says

Lavender smells wonderful and makes you feel amazing — but did you know that its inherent power is backed up by science? Turns out, researchers have highlighted lavender as capable of dramatically improving how we feel. This is an exciting development, as lavender once remained firmly in the realm of folk medicine.

The calming nature of lavender is especially promising in that the scent can be incorporated in such a wide variety of products. With skincare and beauty products, in particular, it complements self-care efforts by reducing stress and improving general wellbeing. What's more, this natural scent allows users to avoid the synthetic smells that are prevalent in so many of today's products.

While lavender has played a huge role in beauty, the latest scientific breakthroughs are bound to make even more people excited about this herb's natural powers. Read on to learn the multiple ways in which research backs up this amazing scent:

Linalool And Mice: The Anti-Anxiety Connection

One whiff of lavender can leave you feeling completely at ease, even if you were previously stressed. This relaxing ability is confirmed by a notable study published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. A research team from Kagoshima University used an elevated plus maze (EPM) and light/dark box to test levels of anxiety in various situations. Open and well-lit spaces tended to produce greater anxiety. Conversely, dark, cramped spaces made mice feel more relaxed.

Interestingly, when the compound linalool (which is found in lavender) was introduced into a specially designed odor chamber, mice were far more willing to hang out in open and well-lit spaces. The linalool dosage dramatically impacted the amount of time they spent in such areas.

The Value of Lavender Oil Extract

While linalool's impact on mice doesn't automatically confirm the calming power of lavender, it does provide intriguing insight into the way an important compound can change the perception of otherwise anxiety-inducing situations. This insight is backed up by an article published in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) in Psychiatry and Neurology.

According to experts cited in this article, multiple double-blinded and randomized controlled trials conducted in Germany revealed that lavender oil extract helped to reduce scores on the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale. What's more, lavender's calming effects do not appear to be accompanied by sedation or withdrawal symptoms. While further research is needed to confirm the extract's value for various types of anxiety disorders, it may see increasing acceptance in the medical community in years to come.

Multiple studies suggest that lavender — or compounds found in lavender — can have a calming effect on those who suffer moderate to severe anxiety. While we have yet to see lavender widely used outside of the alternative health sphere, that may be about to change. Until then, this beloved scent can play a valuable role in beauty and self-care routines, allowing users to minimize their stress as they follow a carefully tailored regimen. From toner to concealer, products containing lavender are worth trying.