Lavender: is it the be-all and end-all & what on earth is linalool?

The internet is all a buzz, Lavender is everywhere – and supposedly it’s going to knock you out and cure you of everything under the sun.

Every day folks come into my little Aroma Apothecary
questioning . . . Do you have any Lavender essential oil . . . or they declare lavender cures insomnia, reduces anxiety, cures depression, quells anger, improves heart function, balances hormones, cures headaches, settles restless legs, relieves sore muscles and improves libido.

Then they ask . . . is this true? . . .  or they declare . . . I would like to get off my medication!

And so I say – well it’s complicated!

  1. The common factor with all of the above symptoms is that we all suffer from them, why because:
    – we don’t get enough sleep,
    – we are over-exposed to a plethora of synthetic chemicals,
    – 
    we work too hard,
    – we abuse our bodies,
    – we don’t eat well,
    – we consume too much sugar
    – we have a lot of stress in our lives,
    – our lives are frantic,
    – politics and bureaucracy make us angry,
    – life is expensive,
    – we live with grief,
    – we live with mental health issues,
    – we are a living organism that is susceptible to disease, due to genetics and the environment, and
    – as much as we don’t want to hear – we get old and the vehicle breaks down.

  2. First and foremost, don’t stop taking your medication that was prescribed by your doctor if you have a serious medical condition.
  3. Secondly there are many natural wellness modalities that we must incorporate into our lives in order to maintain our wellbeing.
  4. Yes Lavender is known to elicit a calming effect on the central nervous system because it smells lovely and looks beautiful. The psychological calm that it produces when we smell lavender is the result of primarily one chemical constituent that occurs in lavender and it is called linalool.  However linalool also occurs in nearly 200 different aromatic plants.  When our olfactory bulb detects linalool it immediately produces an . . . ah effect (but smell is very subjective – so go a head and smell something that you adore – but it doesn’t have to be Lavender).  Take a deep breath, exhale slowly and notice how your shoulders relax the corners of your mouth turn up and eyes soften . . . research indicates that a pleasant fragrance can produce an immediate change in physiological parameters such as blood pressure, muscle tension, pupil dilation, skin temperature, pulse rate and brain activity.
  5. But what if you don’t particularly like Lavender . . . well hey . . . below we have provided a lovely visual of 7 other essential oils that contain the relaxing linalool substance.  Now you may not like them in their individual or neat form, but one of the beautiful things about having a collection of essential oils is that you can create unique combinations of aromatics to fragrance your body, fragrance your home, use in skin care products, and to help alleviate stress.  But I don’t generally recommend that you use all of your relaxing oils at one time or blend them all together. Drop in sometime for a whiff ! Our Professional Aromatherapist is always happy to explain – it’s just a little easier to educate our clients before they walk in the door. (what are essential oils – read more here)

Linalool9labeled

Note:  Aromatherapy, like any other natural therapy, is intended to complement not replace traditional medicine.  When in doubt about any medical condition, always seek medical advice.  See legal

TinyFlowerSandra Topper, Professional Aromatherapist & Aromachologist
www.bespokearomatics.com

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