Lavender, rights the wrongs of cells, much like the character MacGyver, rights the wrongs of the world.
Love it or hate it, Lavender essential oil has more uses and benefits than just about any other essential oil on the planet.
The botanical name of true Lavender is Lavandula angustifolia. Although other types of Lavender may also have beneficial uses, most of the research is on Lavandula angustifolia and it is the most highly regarded and therapeutic form of lavender.
Without any additional help, Lavender, alone, has been proven to calm and relax the nervous system, it eases depression, and improves cognitive performance. Lavender essential oil heals burns, eases allergy symptoms, kills bacteria, neutralizes the itch of insect bites, is a natural antiseptic and antifungal, and so much more.
Uses of Lavender Essential Oil Throughout History
Lavender essential oil holds a special place in the world of herbs and has long been regarded for its wonderful healing properties. Its history goes back some 2,500 years to the ancient Egyptians and Phoenicians who used it for healing, embalming, and perfume. The Romans were known to use lavender for its medicinal and cleansing properties, scenting baths, as an insect repellent, and even for smoking!
During the times of the Black Death in England, lavender was used for protection against the plague. People actually fastened stalks of lavender to their wrists and ankles to protect them against the disease, not understanding the exact reason for that protection. Now we know why it worked… lavender repels the fleas that carried the plague!
In times of war when medicines and antibiotics were not readily available, soldiers were often given lavender oil to ease the pain of injuries and to kill any bacteria in their wounds.
One of the most interesting aspects of lavender essential oil, however, is how it helps cancer patients.
4 of The Best Benefits of Lavender Essential Oil for Cancer Patients
1. As an anti-tumoral. One of the active phytochemicals (plant chemicals) within lavender is perillyl alcohol. In 2015, researchers found that perillyl alcohol administered via nasal inhalation was an effective treatment for glioblastoma patients. These patients had become unresponsive to standard cancer therapies and faced a “dismal prognosis.” The study indicated that long-term inhalation of perillyl alcohol was very well tolerated over several years of daily use. (Several years means the patients lived much longer than expected!)
Another phytochemical within lavender is linalool. Recent (2016) research on linalool indicated it has “significant” cytotoxic (cancer cell killing) and apoptotic (programmed cell death) activity against epithelial ovarian cancer cells. In addition, researchers found that combining linalool with paclitaxel significantly decreased tumor weight, compared with the use of paclitaxel alone.
2015 research on linalool against human melanoma cells revealed that linalool had an inhibitory effect on the growth of these cells.
A 2014 study demonstrated that Lavandula anguvstifolia essential oil exhibited significant cytotoxic effects against malignant cervical cancer cells. It had the same effect on both estrogen- and progesterone-receptor positive breast cancer cells.
In another study from 2013, researchers found that Lavandula angustifoliadecreased the viability of Hodgkin’s lymphoma cells. Lavender inhibited cell proliferation (rapid growth) and induced apoptosis (programmed cell death, lacking in cancer cells).
Tips for use: Using a therapeutic grade organic lavender oil, massage oil directly into affected areas. Used transdermally (through the skin), essential oils are absorbed into the bloodstream within about 20 minutes. Lavender essential oil can also be diffused into the room using a cool mist diffuser. NEVER heat essential oils as it ruins their therapeutic properties.
2. Relief of anxiety and stress. Lavender is excellent for its ability to calm the nervous system and ease stress and anxiety. It also helps improve the quality and depth of sleep. A 2009 study confirmed lavender’s ability to improve mood, and to reduce anxiety and depression.
Tips for use: Drip a few drops of lavender oil into your hands, rub hands together, and deeply inhale the scent for a minute or two to enjoy its calming effects. Lavender oil can also be diffused into the room using a cool mist diffuser. It can be applied to the soles of the feet prior to retiring to bed for the night. A drop or two of lavender oil can be applied directly on the pillow.
3. Improvement of immune system function. Studies show that the anti-bacterial effects of Lavandula angustifolia help to protect the immuno-compromised cancer patient from opportunistic bugs, even the dreaded Staphylococcus aureus, or golden staph. It influences the body’s macrophages and phagocytes, part of the immune system, and influences genetic activity to help fight the infection.
Tips for use: Massage lavender oil into the skin, making sure to use a therapeutic or medicinal grade of oil. The soles of the feet have the largest pores of the body, so this is a good place to apply essential oils, especially before going to bed at night. Lavender oil can also be diffused via a cool mist diffuser into the room where you work or study.
4. Pain relief. Lavender has long been used for pain relief. A small 2007 study using lavender examined the pain medication requirements of 54 patients undergoing laparoscopic gastric banding. Eighty-two percent receiving just a placebo required pain medication. Only 46% of those who received lavender by inhalation required pain medication. Also, significantly less pain medication was required by those receiving lavender as compared with a placebo.
Tips for use: Lavender can be inhaled directly from the hands or via a cool mist diffuser. Massage it into the skin of the affected area or soles of the feet.
It is not recommended to use essential oils as a sole treatment for cancer. But used in combination with other therapies (both conventional and alternative), essential oils can play a huge role in helping a person to heal.
- Whether you love or hate the scent, lavender essential oil has more uses and benefits than just about any other essential oil on the planet.
- Although other types of lavender may also have beneficial uses, most of the research is on Lavandula angustifolia and it is the most highly regarded and therapeutic form of lavender.
- Lavender essential oil holds a special place in the world of herbs and has long been regarded for its wonderful healing properties. It is used to heal burns, ease allergy symptoms, kill bacteria, neutralize the itch of insect bites, is a natural antiseptic and antifungal, and so much more.
- The 4 Best Benefits of Lavender Essential Oil for Cancer Patients include:
- As an anti-tumoral
- Relief of anxiety and stress
- Improvement of immune system function
- Pain relief
- There are several precautions that should be followed when using lavender essential oil:
- Make sure your lavender essential oil is derived from true lavender, Lavandula angustifolia, and not lavandin.
- The use of lavender may potentiate (increase) both the narcotic and sedative effects of other drugs because of its calming effect on the central nervous system.
- Be cautious about using lavender together with anticoagulant drugs because the combination may increase the risk of bleeding.