Lavender is usually sold in a variety of cosmetic and therapeutic properties – but its true characteristics have remained to…
Lavender is usually sold in a variety of cosmetic and therapeutic properties – but its true characteristics have remained to a large extent. Now a new paper reports that there is really some science for the magic of lavender.
Today lavender seems to be in everything, from bath bombs to cakes, from scented candles to creams and lotions. The main reason is quite obvious – it smells really nice – but lavender is also famous for its medicinal properties, which are used for various minor health problems. But while there are some studies on the alleged properties of the lavender, it’s really not that much.
Lavender oil is currently being investigated for possible effects to alleviate anxiety and sleep disorders, but high quality studies remain few and far apart. This new paper offers new evidence to support lavender useful herb status, but there is a catch: you must smell it, do not absorb it into your lungs or inject it.
“In folk medicine, it has long been believed that odorous substances derived from plant extracts can alleviate anxiety,” said co-author Dr Hideki Kashiwadani from Kagoshima University, Japan.
Lavender oil contains, among other things, linalool (26%) and karyophyll (8%). Linalool is especially a fragrant alcohol found in almost all lavender extracts. Kashiwadani and colleagues tested the effect of linalool on mice to see if it’s the smell that makes the trick or something else.
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When administering a linalool smell to a group of normal mice, the anxiolytic effect (decreasing anxiety) was apparent. However, when they did the same to a group of mice whose olfactory neurons had been destroyed, there was no effect. researchers concluded that smelling the linalol is the most important aspect. Researchers also note that there were no adverse side effects.
“We observed The behavior of mice exposed to linal wounds to determine its anxiolytic effects. As in previous studies, we found that linalool odor has an anxiolytic effect in normal mice. This did not notice their movement particularly. “
This contrasts with how to inject linalool, which is also considered a potential medical procedure. Not only does the study suggest that smelling the linalol is the key, but the injections have a negative effect on motion similar to alcohol.
Researchers suggest that the positive effects that sometimes associated with linalool injections may be guilty of the smell of the compound emitted in breathless breath.
Kashiwadani says that over time, linalool can be used to relax patients and relieve a strong anesthetic .
“These results, however, lead us to clinical use of linalool to relieve anxiety – in surgery, for example, where pretreatment with anxiolytics can relieve preoperative stress, thus helping to place patients under general anesthesia smoother. Vaporized linalool can also provide a safe alternative for patients who have difficulty with oral or suppository administration of anxiolytics such as infants or confused elders. “
The study has been published in Boundaries in Behavioral Surveillance .  Enjoy this article? Join 40.000+ subscribers to the ZME Science newsletter. Subscribe now!