Despite all the advancements in technology designed to make our life easier, researchers are finding that we are more stressed than ever before (1). Approximately 40 million adults in the US battle anxiety daily (2). With increased rates of competition in the workplace we are faced with higher amounts of anxiety, but less time to manage our stress. We face conflicts within our family, finances, health and relationships and often it can all become overwhelming (3).
Women At Higher Risk…
Women, in particular, have the highest rate of stress and anxiety, with researchers finding women to be twice as likely to experience depression than men, and three times more likely to suffer from anxiety or attempt suicide (4).
Some common signs of anxiety in women are (5):
- Feeling of panic, fear and uneasiness
- Problems sleeping
- Cold or sweaty hands or feet
- Shortness of breath
- Heart Palpitations
- Not being able to be still and calm
- Dry mouth
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- Muscle Tension
General Meds Used to Treat Anxiety
When the anxiety becomes more than we can bare, and mundane tasks become difficult, often we turn to the help of pharmaceutical drugs like Xanax, Valium, or Prozac.
Unfortunately, while these medications may be helpful they are also highly addictive, with nearly 36% of drug overdoses coming from benzodiazepines (6).
This addiction can lead to even further stress and problems.
The Effective Non-Drug Alternative
There are many highly effective natural and non-addictive methods to treat anxiety, one of which is the use of Lavender Oil.
Lavender has a long-standing reputation for its relaxing aroma and treatment for anxiety.
Researchers are now discovering that the use of this powerful herb can actually be just as effective as Lorazepam, a leading pharmaceutical drug used to treat anxiety (7).
In addition to the treatment of anxiety, researchers have also found lavender to hold the following medicinal benefits (8,9):
- Fights Dandruff
- Stops Bloating
- Calms Itchy Skin
- Insomnia Relief
- Fight Acne
- Increases Urine Flow
- Pain Relief
- Blood Circulation
How to Use Lavender Oil to Relax
The benefits of Lavender oil can be taken orally or through the use of aromatherapy.
To use as aromatherapy, simply put 4-6 drops of essential oil into very hot or icy cold water and immerse an absorbent fabric in the water. Then, place the damp fabric against your chest, forehead or affected area (10).
You can also add ¼ cup – ½ cup of fresh or dried lavender flowers along with a few spoonfuls of Epson salt to a warm bath (11).
Lavender oil pills can be an effective option for taking the oil orally, however, the pills themselves may be hard to find. Instead, try a lavender-based tea by combining 1 to 2 tsp of fresh or dried lavender to boiling hot water to steep, strain before drinking (12).
The use of aromatherapy either orally or through aromatherapy can cause drowsiness when taken with benzodiazepines (such as Xanax, Ativan, Valium) or certain antidepressants. Make sure to consult with your naturopath or health care practitioner before trying any of these.