High on lavender
Overcoming challenges are human beings ‘deepest pursuit. I feel one of my greatest achievements in life would be when I am finally able to get that deep uninterrupted sleep. You see I am a light sleeper; I wake up to the slightest noise and sometimes even to a strong fragrance. Strange, but true!
When Jessica, for whom I write these blogs for, kindly asked me if I could write a piece on lavender and the very many benefits of it, the first thing I could think of was sleep because, we have all probably heard that lavender is known to improve sleep quality. But, before I dwell into the myriad of reasons you should consider incorporating lavender into your daily lives, I have some general life insights to share, ahh…. a classic Anusha, my friends would say. 😊
Reasons you can't sleep
Many a times, generally, the reasons we are unable to sleep in the nights is because we have either slept all day and did absolutely nothing to tire our bodies or we have exhausted our brains beyond its capacity which eventually renders our sleep cycle. Losing sleep over thoughts which makes no sense the following morning or which take up a lot of your headspace is a warning sign! Please give yourself a nudge and remind yourself to stay active and remember, there is only so much in our control and try to let go of your compulsive need to search for a transcendent level of knowledge during wee hours of the night, pun intended, and I am guilty of doing that myself.
Let’s talk a bit of history and science now. 😊
Essence from the past
Lavender's use in medicine can be traced back to the first century AD when Dioscorides, a Greek botanist and physician, lauded its effectiveness in relieving indigestion and headaches in De Materia Medica, a five-volume collection describing the medicinal plants used in practice at the time. The Ancient Romans used lavender as an antiseptic after bathing, and it was believed to be an aphrodisiac in the Middle Ages. The lavender essential oil has long been utilized as an anxiolytic- a minor tranquilizer in Eastern medicine. *
Few quick science facts
Lavender, (genus Lavandula), genus of about 30 species of plants in the mint family (Lamiaceae), native to countries bordering the Mediterranean. Inhalation of lavender oil has shown reduction of peri-operative anxiety (anxiety caused before undergoing a surgery) and it has been suggested that it can be potentially considered in future as a sedative and as an aid for wound healing for patients undergoing surgical procedures under local anesthesia. *
It has also been proven to have increased quality of sleep and reduced level of anxiety in patients with coronary artery disease. *
A scientific study which studied depression and insomnia in few college going women found that lavender fragrance had a beneficial and positive effect. * resulting in better sleep and improved mental health.
While on this topic, I am reminded of a quote, “Forgiveness is the smell that lavender gives out when you tread on it” – Mark Twain, the author was obviously a big fan!
Have you pampered yourself with an aromatherapy massage yet? Check out @youngmoments, pamper yourself with a relaxing and fabulous massage session.
Samuelson R, Lobl M, Higgins S, Clarey D, Wysong A. The Effects of Lavender Essential Oil on Wound Healing: A Review of the Current Evidence. J Altern Complement Med. 2020;26(8):680-690. doi:10.1089/acm.2019.0286
* Karan NB. Influence of lavender oil inhalation on vital signs and anxiety: A randomized clinical trial. Physiol Behav. 2019;211:112676. doi:10.1016/j.physbeh.2019.112676
* Karadag E, Samancioglu S, Ozden D, Bakir E. Effects of aromatherapy on sleep quality and anxiety of patients. Nurs Crit Care. 2017;22(2):105-112. doi:10.1111/nicc.12198
* Lee IS, Lee GJ. Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi. 2006;36(1):136-143. doi:10.4040/jkan.2006.36.1.136