Lavender for Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Lavender oil, distilled from lavender flowers, is “most often used in aromatherapy and massage. Despite its popularity…only recently [have] scientifically-based investigations [been undertaken] into its biological activity,” however. There have been “small-scale studies” suggesting benefit from lavender massage; but, maybe it’s the massage, not the lavender.

There was a study on patients in intensive care, comparing massage with odorless oil to lavender oil, and though patients massaged with lavender oil did say they “felt less anxious and more positive,” there were no objective differences found in terms of blood pressure, breathing, or heart rate. Frankly, maybe the lavender was just covering up the nasty hospital smells.

Subsequent studies using more sensitive tests did find physiological changes, though. We know, for example, the smell of lavender changes brain wave patterns. But, what effect does this have? Well, evidently it makes people feel better, perform math better (faster and more accurately), whereas the smell of rosemary, for example, seemed to enable folks only to do math faster—not necessarily with greater accuracy.

What if you actually eat lavender flowers, or, in this case, take capsules of lavender-infused oil, so you could double-blind the study to compare lavender head-to-head to a drug like Valium (lorazepam, known as Ativan), for generalized anxiety disorder.

Generalized and persistent anxiety is a frequent problem, and is treated with benzodiazepines—benzos or downers, like Valium. “Unfortunately, these substances” can not only make you feel like you have a hangover, but “have a high potential for drug abuse” and addiction.

So, they decided to give lavender a try. The drug Ativan certainly reduces anxiety, but, so does lavender. By the end, you couldn’t tell which was which. And, in fact, among those that responded to either, the lavender actually seemed to work better.

“Since lavender oil has no potential for drug abuse and causes no hangover effects [it] appears to be an effective and well-tolerated alternative to benzodiazepine [drugs] for [the] amelioration of generalised anxiety.”

Cautionary Note

There was a case series published in the New England Journal of Medicine. “Prepuberty Gynecomastia Linked to Lavender.” Reports of young boys exposed to lavender-containing lotions, soaps, hair gel, and shampoo starting to develop breasts, which disappeared after these products were discontinued—suggesting that lavender oil may possess hormone-disrupting activity.

And, indeed, when dripped on estrogen receptor-positive human breast cancer cells, lavender does show estrogenic effects, and a decline in male hormone activity, though it’s unknown if similar reactions occur inside the body when lavender flowers or lavender oil is ingested.

Doctor’s Note

The math thing is so cool! How else might one use natural means to improve cognitive performance? Check out Does a Drink Of Water Make Children Smarter? For more mind-body brain hacking tips, see Dietary Brain Wave Alteration.

More on dietary interventions for anxiety in:

In fact, the saffron may be aromatherapeutic too. See my follow-up to the PMS study, Wake Up & Smell the Saffron. And, speaking of brain effects, see Saffron vs. Prozac, Saffron for the Treatment of Alzheimer’s, and Saffron vs. Aricept.

For more flower power, see my blog post, Hibiscus tea: flower power. Also check out my videos, on hibiscus tea (Better than Green Tea?) and chamomile tea (Red Tea, Honeybush, & Chamomile and Chamomile Tea May Not Be Safe During Pregnancy). And hey, broccoli florets are just clusters of flower buds. See The Best DetoxBroccoli vs. Breast Cancer Stem Cells, and dozens of my other videos on broccoli.

How else might diet affect with the hormonal balance of young boys? Check out Dairy & Sexual Precocity.

More on lavender in my next video Lavender for Migraine Headaches.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

Dr. Michael Greger on Breast Cancer Authority Blog

Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous “meat defamation” trial. Currently Dr. Greger proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United

3 Medicinal Fall Flower Suggestions For Breast Cancer

This fall use Echinacea, Lavender and Sage for your medicinal infusions to relieve anxiety and tension. These three medicinal garden flower suggestions are tailored to breast cancer health concerns. Our hope is that the information below inspires you, as jumping board of sorts, in creating your own unique dream medicinal healing garden. Each plant was picked based on its ease of cultivation and medicinal usefulness and versatility.

Echinacea
Purple coneflower is one of the most popular garden ornamentals with its showy purple flowers that attract all manner of butterflies and bees. Not only is it gorgeous, it is easy to grow—Echinacea is a decidedly unfussy plant, withstanding drought, disease and insect infestations. Purple coneflower (another name for Echinacea) roots, seeds, and fresh flowers are all medicinal, and can be made into a tingly tasting, immune-stimulating tea or tincture.

Learn More:

Lavender
Lavender aromatherapy to help reduce stress, anxiety, insomnia and mild depression. It is often referred to as a mood balancing herb that possesses a sedative and calming effect. It can also have an uplifting, refreshing and rejuvenating effect on the psyche.

Learn More:

Sage
Growing the medicinal herb sage can be fun and emotionally therapeutic. Learn how to grow, harvest and dry sage as a breast cancer gardening therapy. Another therapeutic benefit of sage is smudging. Sage smudging is a powerful cleansing technique from the Native American tradition in which herbs are burned for emotional, psychic and spiritual purification.

Learn More:

Dawn Breast CancerAbout Dawn Bradford Lange:  Co-founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Dawn is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.

Breast Cancer: A-Z Mindful Practices: Self Care Tools For Treatment & Recovery

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How To Use Lavender & Peppermint Essential Oils

Breast Cancer Essential OilsBy: Cynthia Shankman, Young Living Oil Consultant

When using essential oils during chemotherapy or radiation, it is a best practice to use them as inhalation therapy.
In my first blog post I discussed where essential oils come from; the place essential oils hold in history dating back to early Egyptian times; and the different grades of essential oils.  To clear up any confusion, the term aromatherapy is the use of essential oils.

The essential oils I use exclusively are Young Living Oils.  I use this brand exclusively because they have been registered as safe for internal use as supplements by the USDA.  Now I am not a girl who believes everything the USDA says, (I am very much an alternative health girl), but because there is zero regulation on the production and distilling of essential oils, I take the USDA approval as a vote of confidence in the purity of these oils.

Labels on essential oils in grocery stores and health food stores will often say, ‘do not place on skin’ or ‘for aroma only’ or ‘do not ingest.’  This is not the case with Young Living Oils.  The quality of Young Living Oils have a proven 20 year history of being used topically and internally with great success.  I would never suggest using an oil of inferior quality as a therapeutic health alternative.

When using essential oils during chemotherapy or radiation, it is a best practice to use them as inhalation therapy only on those days.  Each individual has a unique situation, a unique body, a unique plan for wellness.  What you read here is a general recommendation.  Please check with your doctor when using alternative modalities.

Today we discuss 3 therapeutic grade Young Living essential oils and how to use them.

  • Lavender for calming and natural mood therapy
  • Peppermint for nausea and stomach upset
  • Aroma Life for lymphatic health, circulation, reduce stress, hemorrhoids, may reduce blood pressure.

Lavender Essential Oil For Breast Cancer
Lavender is a universal oil and the most widely used of all essential oils. It has a traditional history for calming and balancing the mind and body.  Just a short inhale of Lavender can turn emotions to calm and peaceful.

How will Lavender help me?
Support confidence and good thoughts. Improve brain clarity and dispel brain fog.
Ease anxiety, exhaustion, and nervousness.  Improve sleep and mood.  Stop allergic reactions.

How do I use Lavender?
Topical: Place 1 – 2 drops on wrists, back of neck, temples, massage on soles of feet, place over heart.
Diffuse:  Diffuse using a cold mist diffuser so that all healing components are kept in integrity.  Diffuse next to bed at night for a calm and peaceful sleep.  Before getting into bed, place a few drops into your palms, rub your hands together and apply over pillow for a peaceful sleep.  Place 2 drops in hand, rub together, place over nose and inhale consistently for 20 seconds.
Internal: Place 1 drop into tea as a flavoring to replace sugar.  (Do not use oils internally during medical treatments such as chemo or radiation.)

Peppermint is the second most widely used essential oil.  It has multiple uses and supports the body on every level, mental, emotional and physical.  Just a short inhale of Peppermint will invigorate and uplift the mood and mind.

How do I use Peppermint?
Topical:  Place 2 drops on forehead and back of neck to relieve a headache in minutes.  Place 2 drops on stomach to improve a stomach ache and improve digestion. Place 2 drops on an ache or pain to ease pain within minutes.
Diffuse:  To dispel nausea, dispel brain fog and invigorate mood, place 2 drops in hand, rub hands together, then cup over nose, inhale for 20 seconds.  Repeat as often as needed.  You cannot overdo essential oils. Do this every 5 minutes if needed. Diffuse using a cold mist diffuser so all healing components are kept in integrity.
Internal:  For quick stomach ache relief, place 2 drops Peppermint in ½ cup of water, and drink down.  Can place 1 drop Peppermint oil in tea to replace sugar.  (Do not use oils internally during medical treatments such as chemo or radiation.)

Aroma Life is a blend of essential oils exclusive to Young Living.  When essential oils are blended together, the components equal more than their individual qualities alone.  Aroma Life is a blend of Cypress, Marjoram, Helichrysum, Ylang Ylang.

How do I use Aroma Life?
Topically:  To improve the lymphatic and circulatory systems place 2 drops over lymphatic areas such as side of neck/chest, upper arms, behind knees, groin area. Place 2 drops over heart to improve circulation and reduce stress. Place 2 drops in palm with ¼ tsp coconut or olive oil, apply directly to hemorrhoid.  Apply 1 drop to under the left ring finger or left ring toe to ease anxiety and improve circulation.  Can add 1 drop of grapefruit or orange oil to improve circulation and lymphatic flow even further.
Diffuse:  Diffuse using a cold mist diffuser so that all healing components are kept in integrity.  Diffuse to improve lung circulation.  Diffuse next to bed at night for a calm and peaceful sleep.
Internal:  No internal use for Aroma Life

I hope you have enjoyed reading about these beautiful essential oils.  I view them as gifts from nature that help me at ever juncture of my life.  They are truly a gift to the senses and the body.  In my next post we will discuss two more beautiful and healing oils:  Frankincense and Joy Oil.

If you have questions or comments, please use the space below and I will respond to you.

If you would like to speak with me for a free 15 minutes consultation, please:
Leave a comment below
Contact me @cynthia.organicsparkle@gmail.com
Call or text me @ 631-241-1496

Blessings, Love, and Oils,
Cynthia

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