Your temples are sweating, your heart is racing; there is a nervous, shaky feeling ensconcing your body. You've been here before—in the throes of a panic attack! Panic and anxiety often come out of left field or are precipitated by stress; they are both uncomfortable beyond measure. There are 40 million Americans over the age of 18 who struggle with anxiety. If you are one of them, you're sure to desire immediate comfort. Sadly, that comfort often includes being medicated and sluggish. Could natural help for panic and anxiety exist? New research suggests it might.
Lavender Essential Oil: Pretty Smell, Holistic Punch
According to one recent study, lavender essential oil (LEO), sometimes known by its genus and species Lavandula angustifolia, has gained traction in the medical world for its effect on anxiety disorders . Lavender, farmed plentifully in the Midwest and France, is known first and foremost for its floral, herbal scent. It is often inhaled or diffused for respiratory infections, high blood pressure, and PMS, as well as utilized topically for many skin conditions according to the Essential Science Desk Reference. With its low to no side-effect profile, a second recent study, documented by the National Institutes of Health, suggests its use may be a prudent approach to taming the discomfort of anxiety and depression and shows much promise for its soothing effect on the nervous system .
Why Lavender Essential Oil May Help With Panic and Anxiety
The nervous system, comprised of a fiber network sensitive to both external and internal stimuli, is where the stress response begins. Lavender's effects on the internal “fight or flight” response are potentially many, according to the National Institutes of Health. In one study documented there, lavender, when inhaled, worked through the olfactory system (cells in the nose connecting to the brain) to calm the body and enhance the “inhibitory tone” of the nervous system . In another animal study, lavender's inhalation significantly inhibited anxiety and depression. In studies conducted with postpartum women under duress, lavender worked over four weeks to ease tension; a documented positive outcome through decreased cortisol (a stress hormone) was reached, all without a side-effect profile .
How to use Lavender Essential Oil for Panic and Anxiety
There are three main ways lavender essential oil is used to gain the potential positive benefits of the oil: inhalation, diffusion, and by direct placement on the body at reflexology points associated with panic and anxiety. To inhale, place several drops directly in the palms, rub them together, and deeply inhale. To diffuse: put several droplets of lavender in a commercial diffuser and allow the scent to penetrate the room. For reflexology, rub several drops in the palms and massage over soles of the feet to meet and stimulate nerve endings and illicit a healing response. Lavender may also be used with a carrier oil, like jojoba, for those with sensitive skin.
Lavender Essential Oil for Panic and Anxiety, In Conclusion:
Although medical research is new and still inconclusive for much treatment using lavender essential oil, its myriad uses for calming, beautifying, and enjoying for its pleasant aroma in a layperson sense are prevalent. If you struggle with panic and anxiety, however, you will be excited about the new medical developments of lavender. However, as with all alternative treatments to chronic conditions, please discuss the addition of any further information with your health care provider before implementing. If you struggle with panic and anxiety and are looking for a natural solution, keep your sights on lavender essential oil. Talk to your health care provider, utilize caution and safety, but know that medication is not always your only option—the future is bright for lavender essential oil and its positive effect on stress!
Young Living Essential Oil Lavender - Item Code #3575
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Disclaimer Notice: This information is intended for educational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for medical care or to prescribe treatment for any specific health condition. This information has not been evaluated by the Federal Food & Drug Administration.