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Lavender oil beneficial for anxiety, depression.

TO many people, all that is to lavender is its sweet smell in soaps, shampoos and air fresheners. But lavender (Lavandula angustifolia or Lavandula officinalis) has also been used as a remedy for a range of ailments from insomnia and anxiety to depression and fatigue.

In a new study, researchers found that venlafaxine, a basic treatment for depression, ensures a better reduction in symptoms of depression when combined with lavender oil.

Studies in 120 patients referred to the psychiatry clinic of the Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran, suggests that giving lavender oil with this antidepressant can reduce the length of time it takes this drug to alleviate symptoms of depression.

The 2017 research, published in the Journal of Clinical Diagnosis Research, compared the effect of Lavandula officinalis and Venlafaxine in treating these patients with either mild or moderate depression over a six-month period.

In the study, the researchers randomly assigned the participant to three groups: venlafaxine (Control Group), venlafaxine + L. officinalis (L. officinalis Group), and venlafaxine + placebo (Placebo Group).

Depression test was administered to the three groups at different time intervals before the treatment, four weeks after the treatment and at the completion of the treatment.

The psychiatrist examined them for side effects, depression symptoms, and the risk of suicide and recorded the relevant data.

In the study, the researchers found that depression indices of the three studied groups, control, L. officinalis and placebo declined over time. However, adding lavender oil or a placebo is equally effective in decreasing mean depression score.

However, the authors highlighted that future studies should examine the efficacy of a single drug or multiple drugs in a pilot study. This, they said will be required to confirm effective proportions of lavender oil for depression.

Depression is when feelings of loss, anger, sadness, or frustration make it hard to do the things an individual enjoy in everyday life. Everyone feels sad sometimes, but people with major depression feel significantly depressed for a long period of time. They have trouble enjoying things they used to love.

World Health Organisation (WHO) projecting that approximately 350 million people of all ages suffer from this chronic illness that needs long-term treatment. The treatment for depression is based mainly on the use of antidepressants and pharmacotherapy.

But headache, sleeplessness, nausea, dry mouth, diarrhoea, weakness, constipation and decreased libido are some of the side effects of some antidepressants.

The use of medicinal plants to treat mental disorders and chronic diseases has recently become widespread. Lavandula officinalis is one of the medicinal plants used to treat depression as well as to relieve anxiety and stress.

In a 2007 study published in 'The International Journal of Cardiology,' researchers' recognised lavender's therapeutic value in mental relaxation. It revealed that lavender significantly lowered serum cortisol levels in healthy men, given an insight into lavender's anxiety-reducing effects. Cortisol is a hormone associated with stress.

Research has confirmed that lavender produces slight calming, soothing, and sedative effects when its scent is inhaled.

In folklore, pillows were filled with lavender flowers to help restless people fall sleep. Scientific evidence suggests that lavender oil may slow the activity of the nervous system, improve sleep quality, support relaxation, and boost mood in people suffering from sleep disorders.

In one study, people with alopecia areata (an autoimmune disease that causes hair to fall out, often in patches) that massaged their scalps with lavender and other essential oils daily for seven months experienced significant growth in their hair compared to those who massaged their scalps without the essential oils.

In another study, people who received massage with lavender felt less anxious and more positive than those who received massage alone.

Lavender oil, some researchers suggested may improve pain control after surgery. Of the 50 people that went through breast biopsy surgery, those in the oxygen supplemented with lavender oil group reported better pain control than those given only oxygen.

A team of researchers at the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Iran said that Lavender oil can also reduce the amount of painkilling medicine required after a tonsillectomy.

The study was carried out to determine whether aromatherapy with Lavender oil might reduce symptoms of pain in children after the removal of the tonsils.

Lavender flowers have also been approved in Germany as a tea for insomnia, restlessness, and nervous stomach irritations. Some studies suggest that consuming lavender as a tea can help digestive issues such as vomiting, nausea, intestinal gas, upset stomach, and abdominal swelling.

A study published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine that compared the effects of several treatments for wound healing found that wounds closed faster in the TENS and lavender oil groups than the control groups.

The researchers had compared the effects of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), salt solution, povidone-iodine, and lavender oil in laboratory rats.
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Publication:Nigerian Tribune (Oyo State, Nigeria)
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:Jan 18, 2018
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