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Medical Specific of Lavender, Impact and Effect of Herb Report

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Updated: May 4th, 2022

Introduction

Lavender is commonly found in the Mediterranean areas. The first mentions about this herb are found in the Bible. It says that Adam and Eve took it with them when being exiled from the Haven. It was known in the ancient Egypt to embalm the mummies. In addition, in such countries as Rome, Persia and Greece, Lavender was originally taken as a bath additive and to wash clothes. Lavender is popular in many fields, including medicine. For instance, historically it was used as an antiseptic and handling for mental health conditions, as a protection from the plague in the Medieval Europe and as an antiseptic during the First World War. In the present-day world, lavender is utilized to treat various illnesses and conditions related to the nervous system, skin problems and in cosmetics. In reference to scientific evidence, little has been researched with regards to the effectiveness of lavender health uses, thus, all potential risks and benefits of this herb cannot be known for sure. Apart from all useful properties of this herb, one should be aware of the side effects and precautionary measures when using it, because, as any medication, it has its positive and negative effects. In addition, interaction with other prescribed medications should be taken into consideration. These are the issues that will be discussed in this paper.

Potential action

As it has already been mentioned, Lavender is used in medicine and cosmetics. It is known for its relaxing and sedative effects. Thus, it can be useful to prevent and even treat such conditions as anxiety, insomnia, depression and restlessness, tension headaches and also migraines. Inhaling the aroma of this herb is good when suffering loss of appetite, diabetes, cold. It can be mixed with other oils and applied to areas of the body to prevent chronic and nerve pain. It is also very popular as a cosmetic additive to shampoos, shower gels and creams to prevent such conditions as hair loss, irritated skin, eczema, acne, psoriasis, and dermatitis of various types. Globally, Lavender is utilized in aromatherapy. The scent from the essential oil extracted from the Lavender herb is inhaled by the patient. It is useful for people who have asthma, coughs and pneumonia. Furthermore, the lavender flowers can be dried to make tea extracts.

Lavender Potential side effects

Despite its usefulness in treating some of the abovementioned health effects, it has its side effects. Though the main use of Lavender oil in aromatherapy has been conceived to be safe, there are such side effects as skin irritation. Furthermore, reports exist that young boys’ breast growth has been triggered through the use of the herbs oil. Additionally, if the oil is swollen, it can be poisonous. Apart from the above side effects, drinking the extracts or lavender tea can result in alteration of an individual’s appetite, constipation and headache. Different allergic reactions may occur. When used together with other medications that cause drowsiness or alcohol, the level of drowsiness increases. Consequently, one should be very cautious when driving or operating any type of machinery. Therefore, patients should inform their health care professionals of any alternative and complementary practices they might be using. The end result will be a safe and coordinated care.

Lavender evidence-based practice utilization

The term “evidence based practice” is acknowledged by physicians and clinicians because of its significance in clinical-decision making. There are evidence based practical utilization of Lavender. For instance, Chien et al. (2011) wrote an article on the Lavender aromatherapy effects on the automatic nervous system among the midlife women suffering insomnia.

The prevalence of sleeping difficulties is more pronounced amongst middle-aged women because of their menopausal transition experience. Among the premenopausal women, 39-47% have sleeping problems as compared to 35-60% post-menopausal women. The main reason these women are experiencing low quality of sleep is because of anxiety. Therefore, these women often come up with self-management strategies or CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine). If the two does not improve their conditions, they seek help from western medicine. For individuals making use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), aromatherapy has widely been applied in sleep and mood modifications. Through the inhalation, an individual’s state of mind becomes stabilized. The end result is adequate sleep. Lavender oil short-term inhalation has in many occasions used to trigger sleep. The use of lavender by men and women has generated positive results. Additionally, the experiments established that lavender increases sleep and decreases sleep that involves rapid eye movement (REM). Furthermore, it decreases the amount of time women take to wake up after falling asleep. However, these effects are opposite among men. Nevertheless, no adequate evidence exists regarding its significance in the treatment of insomnia.

The human anxiety has been found to be treated by lavender. This is in reference to dental patients who have previously been exposed to a stressful procedure. Linalool being lavender principal component has sedative effects on an individual moods and the activity of the automatic nerve. This component makes an individual to feel relaxed. Thereby, decreasing significantly the heart rate and subsequently increasing high frequency (HF) component. Lavender capsules are essential in relieving mild anxiety. As a result, an individual experiences increment in heart rate variability (HRV).

Pros and cons

The positive effects of Lavender on one’s mood cannot be underestimated. All the benefits of the aromatherapy and Lavender extracts added to cosmetics are widely known since ancient times. One of the most prominent benefits of using such a treatment is that Lavender does not contain any chemicals and it is a natural product.

Summary of pros and cons

  • Control of agitated behavior: This behavior can be contained by use of lavender aromatherapy. However, more research needs to be done to support this conclusion
  • Hair loss: Individuals who apply lavender oil onto their hair records greater improvement as compared to the control group.
  • Anxiety: Traditionally, the oil extracted from lavender is utilized for relaxation despite the its negative outcomes
  • Treatment of cancer: Different type of cancer can be treated by use of Perillyl alcohol (POH). This alcohol is extracted from the herb. The types of cancer that have effectively responded to lavender treatment are such as intestine, pancreas and breast cancer.

Cons

The use of lavender results to the irritation of the skin. For instance, some people have complained of the bleaching effect of lavender products. Some other side effects are such as appetite loss, sleepiness, headache, nausea and vomiting while inhaling or swallowing of lavender extracts. Some experience extreme bleeding after using lavender products. This is only true to individuals suffering from bleeding disorders. Lastly, cancer patients have suffered low blood cell counts after ingesting high contents of perillyl alcohol (Vitacost, 2012).

Conclusion

Numerous medicine aspects have greatly influenced the beliefs and traditions that run from generation to generation, such as the use of Lavender Herb in the Mediterranean region, especially when it comes to the use of natural medicines. Majority of natural medications are widely utilized as a result of beliefs that are either traditions or folklore (NCAM, 2009). Lavender has got various uses such as treatment of cancer, anxiety, dementia, depression, sleep disorders among others. Thus it should be highly recommended.

References

Chien, L,S., Cheng, S.L., & Liu, C.F.(2011). The effect of Lavender Aromatherapy on Autonomic Nervous System in Midwife women with insomnia. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 26(2), 133-146. Web.

NCAM. (2009). Natural Medicines Comprehensive. Web.

Vitacost. (2012). Lavender. Web.

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