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

Every day folks come into my little Aroma Apothecary questioning.
Do you have any Lavender essential oil?  I have heard that lavender is good for just about everything from; insomnia, anxiety, depression, anger, heart palpitations, hormone balancing, headaches, restless legs, sore muscles.

Then they ask . . . is this true? … because I would love to get off my medication and use something more natural.

I proceed to say – well it’s complicated!

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.

First and foremost, don’t stop taking your medication that was prescribed by your doctor if you have a serious medical condition.

Secondly there are many natural wellness modalities that we can incorporate into our lives in order to maintain our wellbeing.

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, however smell is very subjective and some people simply do not like the smell of lavender.

In actuality, any aroma that you love, can have a calming affect when you pair it with relaxing breathing techniques, so you don’t have to always default to lavender.

Linalool9labeled

In fact, the mere act of taking a deep breath and exhaling slowly will cause your shoulders to relax, the corners of your mouth turn up and eyes soften.  Olfactory research indicates that any 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.

Each of these aromas are lovely on their own, but a couple of them are quite tenacious and are more suited to being blended with other essential oils that dampen down  their aromatic sharpness.

I personally do not recommend using all of the linalool rich oils together at the same time. Because if you put all of your good eggs in one basket then you have nothing to work with when you develop a tolerance to your concoction.  I am always happy to explain further how to blend your oils, so drop into the Apothecary for a whiff.

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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