What can Lavender Oil do for you?

Credit: bridestowelavender.com.au
Credit: bridestowelavender.com.au

Historically we have known lavender as an effective tool to induce sleep, but what we do not know are the myriad of other benefits it provides when inhaled or applied topically. Not only does lavender oil assist in sleep, but it can also disinfect your skin and scalp, relieve stress and anxiety, reduce pain and plenty more.

Sleep: People have been using lavender as a remedy for insomnia and to induce sleep for centuries, however it is only more recently when scientists have determined the science behind the scent. Psychologists at Wesleyan University discovered that the inhalation of lavender causes slow-wave sleep, which slows the heartbeat and relaxes the muscles. If you are suffering from insomnia or inconsistent sleep patterns, it is best to use a couple of drops of a lavender essential oil in an aromatherapy diffuser, or place a few drops on a tissue or cloth and place it under your pillow.

Scalp: Lavender essential oils may assist in hair growth, curing dandruff and eliminating head lice and eggs. In some instances, hair loss is caused by stress or anxiety disorders and the therapeutic benefits of lavender can relieve these conditions. In addition, healthy hair growth can arise from using lavender to assist in promoting blood circulation in the body, including the scalp.

Regarding dandruff, lavender oil hydrates and moisturises the scalp and provides the necessary nourishment to combat the frustrating condition. Moreover, the scent of lavender repulses head lice and can kill lice through massaging lavender oil into your scalp, and then using a comb to eliminate the lice and eggs. Please note that when using lavender oil for your scalp, ensure that a carrier oil is being used with it to avoid skin irritation. Lavender essential oils are very strong and people may react differently.

Skin: Lavender oil is not well-known for remedying skin conditions, but it may be used as a treatment for acne. The properties of lavender includes inhibiting the bacteria which causes acne and regulating the hormones associated with the over-excretion of sebum. It can also prevent acne scarring and reduce the appearance of pimples. However, it is important to note that lavender oil may affect sensitive skin adversely, so take caution when implementing a couple of drops of lavender in your daily skincare and immediately discontinue use if there is a harmful reaction.

Nervous system: The calming scent of lavender can help reduce stress, anxiety and nervous tension through regulating the heartbeat and increasing mental activity.

Headaches: Inhaling lavender oil can also relieve pain, particularly headaches due to its therapeutic properties deriving from the plant, flower, bark and root extracts. Place a couple drops of the oil on your fingertips and gently massage the oil into your temples. Please note that undiluted lavender essential oil is safe to use in small amounts, however it is best to conduct a test patch on the skin before applying it topically as it may cause skin reactions for some individuals. Place a drop on the inside of your arm and leave it for 24 hours to determine whether there are any adverse reactions.

Combat PMS: Studies have found that inhaling a lavender essential oil can instantly uplift your mood when suffering from premenstrual syndrome. This is as a result of the therapeutic elements contained in the oil, which access the part of your brain where the emotions, trauma and memories are stored through your nasal receptors. Hence the scent modifies your hormonal responses and adjusts your moods and feelings, in turn assisting with preventing depression.

Purchase your own 100% Pure Lavender Essential Oil 15 ml for only $17.95 at Essentials In-A-Box!

Lavender Pure Essential Oil- $17.95 AUD
Lavender Pure Essential Oil- $17.95 AUD

References:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/270931-lavender-oil-for-head-lice/

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-lavender-essential-oil.html

http://www.prevention.com/mind-body/natural-remedies/how-lavender-can-help-you-sleep

http://www.lavenderoilforhair.com/

Olivia Richardson, PMS Busters. Body and Soul, 2015.

Adrenal Fatigue: Some interesting Facts

Adrenal fatigue, otherwise known as a 21st century syndrome, has become more prevalent in recent years due to its association with stressful and busy lifestyles. If you feel like you are experiencing a constant wave of exhaustion, incessant minor cold symptoms, are harbouring dark circles under your eyes, have an over-reliance on caffeine and feel as though you are only just getting through your days, you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue is a general term describing a collection of symptoms that result from the adrenal glands not working at their optimum and inhibiting the release of sufficient quantities of necessary hormones for our bodies. The adrenal glands are overworked as a consequence of our stressful modern lifestyles and fail to secrete the hormone cortisol which assists us in manage short-term stress. Sufferers can comprise of men and women of all ages and affect a person to varying standards.

Adrenal fatigue can be activated through an unhealthy lifestyle (i.e. lack of sleep and exercise and a poor diet), while experiencing a particularly stressful period in your life or after suffering from a prolonged infection such as the influenza or pneumonia. It impacts you emotionally and physically and triggers the following symptoms:

  • Tiredness
  • Minor cold symptoms
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Mild depression or anxiety
  • The desire for salty and sweet foods
  • Muscle weakness

Fortunately, there are recommended treatments in place for sufferers of adrenal fatigue. Naturally sufferers would be advised to take nutritional supplements, but it is also important to make certain changes to your lifestyle. Firstly, individuals must ensure that they are receiving enough protein, fat and carbohydrates (such as whole grains) in their diet for each meal. Fruit should be consumed in light portions because the combination of fructose and potassium will exacerbate the state of exhausted adrenals. Sufferers of adrenal fatigue require foods that will last them through-out the day and are encouraged to have early lunches and dinners and healthy snacks in-between.

Regarding sleep patterns, sufferers should go to sleep immediately when they feel the tiredness stage overcome them, even if it arrives at 8.30 PM. The reason for this is that they are more likely to have trouble falling asleep if they pass this tiredness stage which can potentially lead to insomnia. In addition, exercise should be a priority despite the tiredness you may experience initially and walking is the recommended mode, as it does not place stress on your body.

There is still some debate among the medical community regarding whether adrenal fatigue does in fact exist or if it is simply an exaggerated version of ‘feeling under the weather’ due to the non-specificity of the symptoms. However, relevant tests can be conducted in order to discover whether your adrenals are the driving force behind your fatigue and the severity of your case. It is important that individuals who have been experiencing symptoms such as the ones listed above should regard it seriously and consult a doctor, as adrenal fatigue can have a harmful effect on different aspects of your life and rectifying the issue may transform you into a healthy, new person.

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References:

Symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Retrieved September 11, 2015. http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/health/health+az/symptoms+of+adrenal+fatigue,23114

What is Adrenal Fatigue? Retrieved September 11, 2015. http://www.adrenalfatigue.org/what-is-adrenal-fatigue

Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms and Treatment. Retrieved September 11, 2015. http://www.edgewellness.com.au/adrenal-fatigue-symptoms-treatment.html

Sick and Tired by Anna Magee (August 2015). Published in Style Magazine.

How I Helped my Child through a Tough Week

By Athena

This week was very trying for my 15 year old daughter. Her schedule comprised of exams, co-curricular concerts, her birthday celebration and preparing for camp in amongst recovering from an illness. I could tell from Monday when the complaining started and a ‘sickly, tired look’ came over her and so I was on a mission to ensure that she would have enough energy to last her through her commitments.

Firstly I made sure that her diet was healthy and consistent in order to provide her with the nutrients she needed to make it through her days. I was weary of the fact that she had just endured through a cold and was still not 100%, so home-cooked meals and plenty of fluids was on the agenda.

Rest is mandatory when you need to perform at your optimum. My daughter set a specific bedtime for herself after she had finished her necessary study and allowed herself some time prior to relax her mind before preparing for bed. In her bedroom, I placed an aromatherapy diffuser on her bedside table that operated through-out the night using the relaxation essential oil which contains the soothing scents of lavender, bergamot and ylang ylang to assist with sleep. She fell asleep immediately.

On the night of her exams, I prepared foot baths that contained magnesium flakes in order to help her body relax and recover. She finds that having a magnesium foot bath decreases her stress levels and calms her nerves before big events, and is her way of de-stressing while in front of the television. These magnesium products replenish your body with magnesium, aiding in the relaxation of muscles and increasing energy levels. I have been enthusiastically pushing the benefits of magnesium on to my children because it has assisted me with managing stress for a while now, and the magnesium products are so simple to use on a daily basis that every household should have them. The magnesium sprays are particularly helpful, as you can put it in your bag and bring it with you to work or school which I have encouraged my daughter to do.

It is currently Friday and although the week was tough, my daughter successfully lasted through her busy schedule. She swears by the use of essential oils to help her sleep, and magnesium foot baths to reduce her stress levels. These natural therapies are comforting to her and easy to use. I would recommend to any parent whose child is going through a tough time to introduce these simple methods of stress prevention and maintaining energy levels.

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