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Dr. DIY: Can Lavender Oil Help Manage Stress Levels?

Lavender oil has been used in a variety of applications and is often noted to have antidepressant, sedative, antifungal and antibacterial properties. If you or someone you care about has difficulty managing stress, has symptoms of anxiety or depression or cannot get a good night’s sleep, it’s possible that lavender oil may help. Let’s explore ways lavender oil may be used to support general health and mental well-being during the holiday season.

Smell Your Way to Wellness

The smell of lavender may help people feel more relaxed and less depressed. People experiencing general anxiety may benefit from inhaling a lavender scent. Lavender may also be helpful for those having difficulty getting a full night of uninterrupted rest. A range of products including as roll-on applicators and aromatherapy oil diffusers allow you to apply and use lavender oil in the way that’s most helpful for you.

An evening bath may help reduce stress levels and ease sore muscles. You can try bathing in a mixture of Epsom salts and essential oils and allow the warm water and penetrating oils to induce a state of relaxation. Lavender may also be combined with other select essential oils (blends are often available from manufacturers). Couple the use of lavender aromatherapy with other healthy habits to help create consistent patterns of quality sleep. After all, individuals who do not get enough sleep on a regular basis may experience more stress, anxiety and be prone to worsening symptoms of depression.

Aromatherapy and Your Health

Scents can have a powerful influence on mental well-being. Aromatherapy uses essential oils from plants and research shows use of aromatherapy can benefit a person’s

  • Quality of life;
  • Mood; and
  • Stress and anxiety levels.

Essential oils, when used as part of the practice of aromatherapy, can be inhaled or may be indirectly applied to the skin. Common practices of incorporating essential oils include the application of lotions or oils mixed with one or more additional essential oils. In addition to the use of lavender, other aromatherapy scents which may help a person relax include vanilla, ylang ylang, sandalwood, neroli, clary sage, rose, bergamot, chamomile and jasmine. Essential oils should be used as specified by the manufacturer and added to a base oil when applied topically.

An Easy Way to Improve Sleep and Feel Better

Lavender essential oil is one of many oils that may be used for therapeutic purposes. Smell receptors send messages to the limbic system, the part of the brain related to management of emotions. Lavender is only one of the scents which may reduce stress levels, improve mood and quality of sleep.

Here’s to a stress “less” and joyful holiday season!