|Studies show that yes, lavender can soothe chronic pain. And it is a natural product, which has other health benefits besides soothing pain. Read more to find out about lavender.|
If you are looking for a natural pain remedy, then you should check out lavender.
Lavender has been promoted as a sleep aid, and with that it helps to calm anxiety. While these are wonderful properties and very helpful, I wanted to research how it might help my chronic pain.
What is Lavender?
Did you know that it is a member of the mint family of plants? (Did you also know that you can identify a mint plant because the stalk is square and not round?) It is a flowering plant with a distinctive floral scent.
Although it is a flowering plant, it is not considered a flower, but instead a herb. So not only can it be used as an essential oil for pain and other applications, but it can be used in cooking. It is safe to eat, although it may cause allergic reactions in some people, and also in small children.
The bud, stem and leaf can all be used for cooking, although the most intense flavor comes after drying the bud, so use the dried product sparingly. The dried buds can be brewed to make tea.
And don’t forget that it is a very beautiful purple color, and the flowers of the plant can be made into a beautiful bouquet to be displayed in a vase. After the flower dries, it can be used for cooking.
How is Lavender Essential Oil Made?
The most popular form of commercial lavender is the essential oil.
The oil is distilled from the plant in equipment similar to a distillery used for alcohol. After the flower, leaf and stem are harvested, the product is tightly packed into a huge pillar like canister. Then it is steamed to extract this oil.
The resulting product is mostly water. Once the liquid cools, the oil separates from the water, like your salad dressing. Then the oil is separated from the water. The result is essential oil. The water can be used for various products as well.
Here is a video about the extraction process.
What Are the Uses of Lavender?
The most popular uses of lavender are in aromatherapy products. These may be in the form of an essential oil used in a diffuser. Or in a bubble bath or a candle.
The aromatherapy claims are that lavender can help you relax, calm your anxiety, and assist with sleep.
I have further discovered that 10 drops of lavender essential oil in a cup of water can be used to fight spiders.
But the purpose of this article is to discuss how it may help manage pain.
Is There Science To Back The Claims?
We should ask this question about any natural product we use to manage our pain. I have been discouraged by the amount of products I have tried that really didn’t help me.
So, I found a report published by the National Institute of Health that does back up the pain management claim. You can read the report here. It is a lengthy article, so you can specifically check out section 4.5 which discusses pain.
So yes, there is some science that agrees lavender can help manage pain.
I have researched other oils that have medicinal properties. You can read it here, Pain Relief With Essential Oils.
How To Use Lavender To Manage Chronic Pain
How then, should lavender be administered? From the above article, it states that the essential oil was merely rubbed onto the feet of the patient. But how much? And in what strength? Doesn’t say.
I wasn’t able to find a definitive answer for these questions. However, here are some guidelines.
- Put a small drop on your skin. Wait 24 hours to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction. If there is no reaction, the oil is probably safe to use.
- You can dilute the lavender oil in a carrier oil like jojoba or olive oil. Of course this will reduce its strength but it might also reduce any chance of an allergic reaction.
- However, most articles didn’t say you had to dilute it. After all, since you can ingest lavender, it shouldn’t be a problem for most people.
- So the magic number seems to be three drops. Apply this to the affected pain area.
- I would start with once a day, but you can probably increase to a few times a day if you find relief.
- Inhaling the oil can also help lessen your pain, and you can do that through a diffuser or by simply putting a few drops on a cotton ball.
- I recommend inhaling it overnight; it helps with sleep and relaxation so you are getting several benefits.
There was some warning to pregnant and nursing mothers, and about the use of it on small boys. Contact your physician if you are unsure.
Where You Can Purchase
There are several companies that specialize in Essential Oils. Or you can find them in specialty shops like Bed, Bath and Beyond. Some companies are MLMs, like DoTerra. I am not recommending one over the other. Do your research.
I have an affiliate membership with Thrive Market, whereby I receive a fee if you purchase through my link here.
I am not a healthcare professional. I only make recommendations based on my research, which I take very seriously. I take my own advice and use the products I recommend. If you have concerns about trying lavender for your pain management, talk to your doctor.
Have you used lavender for your chronic pain? If so, please tell us about it. Or if you have a question or concern, please leave them in the comments. I will do my best to answer them.