Health Benefits of

lavender

Originating from the Mediterranean regions, Lavender or Lavandula angustifolia is famous for its fragrance and therapeutic benefits. Lavender has antimicrobial, analgesic, antidepressive, antihypertensive, and antiallergic properties that enable this evergreen plant to be used for treating numerous health conditions. The healing benefits of lavender are found in lavender oil extracted from the flowers and seeds of the plant. [1] The health benefits of lavender are listed below.

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Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Lavender

Lavender has anti-inflammatory properties which reduce inflammatory symptoms such as edema or fluid accumulation. Lavender suppresses the activity of the myeloperoxidase enzyme and reduced the synthesis of nitrites in the inflamed tissue. Lavender also decreases the levels of nitric oxide, arachidonic acid metabolites, and other inflammatory mediators. Lavender also blocks the production and activity of cyclooxygenase (COX-2). This makes lavender an important modulator of acute inflammatory reactions. [2]

Lavender and Wound Healing

The topical application of lavender oil on wounds accelerates healing and wound contraction. Lavender reduces the granulation tissue and promotes reepithelization of the affected site. Lavender achieves these effects by increasing the production and release of fibroblast matrix metalloproteinases and growth factors. Lavender also modulates the synthesis and maturation of collagen fibers at the wound site and increases the rate at which collagen type I replaces collagen type 3. Tissue growth factor (TGF-β) is a mediator of wound healing that increases upon application of lavender oil. [3]

Antiasthmatic Effects of Lavender

The anti-inflammatory effects of lavender are beneficial for treating asthma symptoms. Lavender reduces the number of inflammatory cells in the tissues of the airways and the bronchoalveolar fluids. Lavender induces tissue remodeling in the bronchi by inhibiting mucus cell hyperplasia. Lavender exerts antiasthmatic effects by suppressing the release of eosinophils and the release of inflammatory mediators. [4

Antipsoriatic Effects of Lavender

Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disorder characterized by red elevated scaly patches on the skin. The two important chemicals in lavender known as linalool and linlyl acetate play an important part in mediating chronic skin inflammation. Lavender reduces the thickness, redness, and improves the scaly texture of the skin. [5]

Lavender for Neurologic Disorders

Linalool is a compound present in lavender which is known for antioxidant and neuroprotective properties. Linalool impairs transmission at the neuromuscular junction by blocking the release of acetylcholine and ion channels in the synaptic membranes. This is beneficial for treating neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. The antioxidant property of lavender protects against oxidative stress to brain tissue after stroke or ischemia. Lavenders also regulate the activity of dopamine and GABA neurotransmitters in the central nervous system. [6]

Dysmenorrhea and Lavender

Dysmenorrhea is a common complication of the menstrual cycle in postpubertal women. Lavender oil massage relaxes the muscles, improves elasticity, and enhances blood flow towards the tissues. The active ingredients of lavender, linalool, and linalyl acetate reach the blood plasma by absorbing through the skin and exerting muscle relaxant effects. [7]  

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Figure 2 This figure demonstrates the effects of lavender in reducing the pain intensity of dysmenorrhea. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4325408/ 

References

  1. LiverTox: Clinical and Research Information on Drug-Induced Liver Injury [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; 2012-. Lavender. [Updated 2019 Apr 15]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK548221/

  2. Cardia GFE, Silva-Filho SE, Silva EL, Uchida NS, Cavalcante HAO, Cassarotti LL, Salvadego VEC, Spironello RA, Bersani-Amado CA, Cuman RKN. Effect of Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) Essential Oil on Acute Inflammatory Response. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018 Mar 18;2018:1413940. doi: 10.1155/2018/1413940. PMID: 29743918; PMCID: PMC5878871.

  3. Mori HM, Kawanami H, Kawahata H, Aoki M. Wound healing potential of lavender oil by acceleration of granulation and wound contraction through induction of TGF-β in a rat model. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2016 May 26;16:144. doi: 10.1186/s12906-016-1128-7. PMID: 27229681; PMCID: PMC4880962.

  4. Ueno-Iio T, Shibakura M, Yokota K, Aoe M, Hyoda T, Shinohata R, Kanehiro A, Tanimoto M, Kataoka M. Lavender essential oil inhalation suppresses allergic airway inflammation and mucous cell hyperplasia in a murine model of asthma. Life Sci. 2014 Jul 17;108(2):109-15. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2014.05.018. Epub 2014 Jun 5. PMID: 24909715.

  5. Rai VK, Sinha P, Yadav KS, Shukla A, Saxena A, Bawankule DU, Tandon S, Khan F, Chanotiya CS, Yadav NP. Anti-psoriatic effect of Lavandula angustifolia essential oil and its major components linalool and linalyl acetate. J Ethnopharmacol. 2020 Oct 28;261:113127. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2020.113127. Epub 2020 Jul 3. PMID: 32623016.

  6. Koulivand PH, Khaleghi Ghadiri M, Gorji A. Lavender and the nervous system. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:681304. doi: 10.1155/2013/681304. Epub 2013 Mar 14. PMID: 23573142; PMCID: PMC3612440.

  7. Bakhtshirin F, Abedi S, YusefiZoj P, Razmjooee D. The effect of aromatherapy massage with lavender oil on severity of primary dysmenorrhea in Arsanjan students. Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. 2015 Jan-Feb;20(1):156-60. PMID: 25709705; PMCID: PMC4325408.