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Introduction

Lavender originates from the Mediterranean area but is nowcultivated all around the world. The most common variety used in the herbalmedicine is the English lavender. Lavender oil and aromatherapy are known fortheir sedative, relaxant, carminative and antiseptic properties and they can beused to relieve insomnia and anxiety.

Health benefits

Lavender essential oils are very beneficial in relaxing thevascular smooth muscle. Lavender contains a substance called linalyl acetateand it is the key ingredient for the progressive and sustained relaxation ofmuscles. It works by activating the pathway for nitric oxide and cyclicguanosine monophosphate. Lavender fragrance is very efficient in relievingdepression and insomnia. A component called linalool is contained in thelavender oil and it is proven to be very beneficial for persons who suffer fromhigh blood pressure. Lavender oil has a characteristic scent which providesolfactory stimulation, lowers the activity of the renal sympathetic nerve,lowers the blood pressure and elevates the activity of the gastric vagal nerve.Lavender is also efficient in enhancing the appetite. It can also be verybeneficial in suppressing the activity of sympathetic nerves decreasing theconcentration of plasma glycerol lowering body temperature and increasing thefood intake and body weight.

Lavender may also come in handy in relieving pain, improvingwork efficiency, increasing the levels of attention and providing a betterrest. People who suffer from agitation and anxiety may benefit a lot by usinglavender oil. Aroma and the ambient odor of lavender are very helpful inreducing anxiety and improving the mood while a person waits for a dentaltreatment.

Lavender can be used in a hand massage in order to provide a positiveeffect on the emotions, agitation and occasional aggressive behavior inpatients who suffer from dementia. Lavender aromatherapy helps in relievingtense arousal, energetic arousal, anger, hedonic tone and frustration and italso provides a person with a positive mood. Lavender can also be helpful in reducingmental stress and increasing the rate of arousal. It can also be beneficial inreducing the risk of cancer and the activity of certain types of mutantcolonies. Lavender oil is also known for its potent antibacterial activity.

Side effects

Lavender oil is cytotoxic to human skin cells to a certaindegree which means that it can be related to damage of the membranes of theskin cells. Lavender can also sometimes be harmful because it tends to increasedrowsiness and certain other effects usually associated with drugs used thelowering of bad cholesterol levels in the blood. Lavender oil should not beapplied topically on the skin in excessive amounts.

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