Inhalation of lavender oil may reduce premenstrual symptoms.
Lavender contains a number of compounds that are responsible for its healing properties. The distinctive aroma of the herb is owing to aldehydes and ketones, organic compounds that also contribute to the plant’s anti-inflammatory and mild sedative effects.
Lavender also contains an alcohol called linalool, which is present in the essential oil of lavender in a concentration of up to 50%. Several studies on the effects of linalool in aromatherapy in obstetrics and gynecology have shown that lavender appears to promote relaxation, improve mood, decrease anxiety and reduce labor pain, post-cesarean pain and postpartum depression.
In this study, 17 college women completed a survey of their symptoms during the premenstrual phase of their cycles, after which they were exposed to either water vapor (steam) or lavender oil vapor for 10 minutes via a diffuser. Steam alone didn’t produce any positive results in terms of symptom relief. Inhalation of lavender vapor, however, brought significant relief for more than 30 minutes.
- Combine lavender essential oil with a carrier oil for use as a massage oil.
- Place a few drops on a tissue and inhale or diffuse to scent an entire room.