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Lavender History and Health Science

Friday, October 12, 2018


As promised in this week’s Tasty Tuesday recipe for a vegan Lavender Latte, today’s Friday Pearl addresses both the health science and history that supports the use of lavender.


Stress has become an integral factor of everyday living. Every individual who lives encounters some manifestation of stress in life, and is considered to be a major factor in many health problems. Lavender has been used since ancient times to help manage stress and neurological disorders.


The Federal Pain Research Strategy has now recommended development of non-opioid analgesics as a top priority in its strategic plan to address the significant public health crisis and individual burden of chronic pain facing more than 100 million Americans. Lavender is one of the primary plants being studied. 


Egyptians used lavender in their mummification process and decorative urns. The Greeks learned about lavender flower perfumes from the Egyptians, and the Romans learned about lavender from the Greeks.


During the Renaissance, it was used to protect against infections during the plaque. It was also used in the First World War as a wound dressing, since it has antibacterial properties.


Most lavender is grown for the production of essential oil,l with many clinically suggested therapeutic properties and biological activities, such as anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial effects.


Lavender can also be used as a natural mosquito repellent. 


Medicinal, therapeutic and practical uses

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An infusion of lavender is claimed to soothe and heal insect bites, sunburn, and small cuts. It’s said to soothe headaches, migraines, and motion sickness when applied to the temples and is frequently used as an aid to sleep and relaxation. 


A few of the 2018 lavender science studies now in the National Library of Medicine

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Yeung KS, Hernandes M, et al. Herbal medicine for depression and anxiety: A systematic review with assessment of potential psycho-oncologic relevance. Phytotherapy Research, May 2018.


Jaruzel CB, Gregoski M, et al. Aromatherapy for preoperative anxiety: A pilot study. Journal of PeriAnesthesia Nursing, September 2018.


Malcolm BJ, Tallian K. Essential oil of lavender in anxiety disorders: Ready for prime time? Mental Health Clinician, March 2018.


Bellempalli SS, Ji Y. Betulinic acid, derived from the desert lavender, Hyptis emoryi, attenuates paclitaxel-HIV- and nerve injury-associated peripheral sensory neuropathy block on N- and T-type calcium channels. Pain August 2018. 


Cardia GFE, Silva-Fiho SE. Effect of lavender essential oil on acute inflammatory response. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, March 2018.


Predo D, Iconaru SL. Antimicrobial activity of new materials based on lavender and basil essential oils and hydroxyapatite. Nanomaterials, May 2018.


Souri F, Rakhshan K, et al. Natural lavender oil exerts cardioprotective effects against myocardial infarction by targeting inflammation and oxidative stress. Inflammopharmacology, August 2018.


Ellen Troyer, with Spencer Thornton, MD, David Amess and the Biosyntrx staff. 



PEARL

Culinary lavender is usually English lavender, which has a sweet fragrance with a taste of lemon or citrus notes. It’s used as a spice or condiment in pastas, stews, salad dressings, and desserts. The buds are used in teas, and buds processed by bees are the essential ingredient of monofloral honey.  


Biosyntrx presents this health science information as a public service. We have no financial or otherwise connection to the lavender industry.