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Lavender – Relaxation and Breathing A Potent Companion Through the Corona Crisis

Lavender – Relaxation and Breathing A Potent Companion Through the Corona Crisis

May 5, 2020 By Maria Hoch

This article was written by Dr. Elke Puchtler and I posted it on our aroma blog on her behalf, essential in the 2020 year of the fragrant medicinal plant, true lavender.

Lavender as a companion through the corona crisis.

Today I would like to share with you my heart’s plant, lavender, as a valuable companion through the corona crisis. At a time when many people are paralyzed by fears, the essential oil of lavender is an excellent companion. On the other hand, the essential oil of spic lavender can prove to be a true “guardian angel” for the lungs. Relaxation and breathing – two important therapeutic issues during the corona crisis.

Medicinal Plant 2020 in Germany: The Real Lavender

The true lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) was chosen as the Medicinal Plant of the Year 2020 in Germany by the interdisciplinary Studienkreis Entwicklungsgeschichte der Arzneipflanzenkunde. The anxiety-relieving, stress-reducing, and sleep-promoting effects of lavender essential oil have been demonstrated in scientific studies, as has the mechanism of action. [[Uehleke2012]] [[Schuwaldt 2013]] [[Kasper 2016 and 2017]] [[Donelli 2019]] A major role is played by the GABA receptor modulating effect of lavender oil (in vitro) and an inhibitory effect of lavender oil on voltage-gated calcium channels. [[Schuwaldt 2013]] [[Kasper 2016]] Lavender is today, along with St. John’s wort, one of the most important herbal medicines for the psyche. The internal intake of lavender oil in the form of capsules has proven itself.

Cultivation of mountain lavender Photo Dr. Elke Puchtler

Wild lavender Photo Dr. Elke Puchtler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The true lavender grows as a wild plant in the Mediterranean region at an altitude of 800 m to 1800 m above sea level. Between scree and stones the powerful mountain plant defies storm, wind and weather. Today, the essential oil of mountain lavender (lavender fine or lavender extra) is a valuable companion through the corona crisis. In individual blends, its anxiety-relieving, stress-reducing and sleep-promoting effects help us find courage and strength to steer the ship through the crisis.

So far, the fact that Austria has also chosen lavender as the medicinal plant of the year 2020 is unique. In addition to the true lavender, the Speik lavender (Lavandula latifolia) was honoured there.

Not all lavenders are the same

The essential oils of true lavender and spikenard lavender differ significantly in their efficacy-determining constituents. In the case of true lavender, linalool (belonging to the group of monoterpenols) and linalyl acetate (monoterpenoid ester) are in the foreground. From a biochemical point of view, the quality of the essential oil is essentially determined by its ester content (especially linalyl acetate), which can be as high as 70%. Speik lavender, on the other hand, contains linalyl acetate only in small amounts, but up to 50% 1,8 cineole (oxide) and up to 18,6% camphor.

The effect of speiclavender oil has been proven in clinical studies

Clinical studies [[Dejaco 2019]] [[Kähler 2019]] demonstrate the effect of spikenard lavender oil in the treatment of colds, especially viral bronchitis and rhinosinusitis. Speik lavender oil has expectorant, secretolytic, antibacterial, antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory effects. Due to spikenard oil there is an improvement in mucociliary clearance in acute and chronic diseases of the respiratory tract. Mainly responsible for this is the significantly high content of cineole.

Speik lavender essential oil has antiviral and mucolytic [[Charron 1997]] effects. Due to the camphor content, internal use is contraindicated in pregnant women, infants, and young children. A mild diabetogenic effect, especially in obese patients, may need to be considered. [[Wabner 2012]].

“Perfume Lionheart” from my book Lavender Treasures.

I did not choose the name at random. The composition could also be called a therapeutic perfume. Perfume Lionheart, contains essential oils with an anxiety-relieving and mood-lifting effect. It helps to discover the “heart of the lion” in us. It has a warm and pleasant scent. Like a classic perfume, we find in it a top note, a heart note and also a base note composed into an overall sound.

  • 3 drops of essential oil Fragrance Orange
  • 5 drops of rose essential oil, Rosa damascena (100%)
  • 5 drops of lavender essential oil, fine or extra (Lavandula angustifolia)
  • 3 drops of sandalwood essential oil (Santalum album)
  • 3 ml ethyl alcohol (96%, undenatured)
  • 20 ml lavender hydrolate
  • 10 ml rose hydrolate
  • 1 ml orange blossom hydrolate
  • 3 drops of laurel oil (Laurum nobilis)
  • 2 drops of thyme oil (Thymus vulgaris)

 

A beautiful glass bottle made of blue or purple glass with screw cap and spray head.

Shake the essential oil vigorously with the spirit of wine, mix with the hydrolates, close and shake again. Let the perfume mature for two weeks before use to allow the aromas to combine.

Put on the spray cap. Shake the Lionheart perfume before each use and spray on the pulse of the wrist. One spray on each wrist is enough. The pulse is a sensitive zone. The mixture has a powerful effect even in low doses.

 

Chest Balm with Speik-Lavender (for adults)

  • 35 g shea butter
  • 15 ml St. John’s wort oil macerate
  • 5 drops of Ravintsara (Cinnamonium camphora)
  • 3 drops of Speik lavender oil (Lavandula latifolia)
  • 3 drops of lemon tea tree oil (Leptospermum citratum)
  • 3 drops of laurel oil (Laurum nobilis)
  • 2 drops of thyme oil (Thymus vulgaris)
  • 3 drops of Niaouli (Melaleuca viridiflora)

Melt shea butter and St. John’s wort oil macerate in a heat-resistant glass container in a water bath, stirring carefully. Remove from the water bath, stir to cool. Stir in essential oils once mixture is warm to the touch. Pour the balm into small sterile ointment jars and store in the refrigerator. Apply a pea-sized piece to the chest and elbows 1-2 times a day.

Sources:

Dejaco. Tavipec in acute rhinosinusitis: a multi-center, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Rhinology. 2019.

Davide Donelli et al: Effects of lavender on anxiety: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Phytomedicine (2019).

Kasper, S: Pharmakon 2016; 4 (4): 365-372.

Kähler et al. A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled multi-center, multinational study evaluating the efficacy and safety of Tavipec® capsules in acute bronchitis, Pneumology 2016; 70 – P24.

Kasper, S: Silexan, looking more calmly into the fututre, Pharmakon 2016; 4 (4): 365-372.

Kasper et al. Efficacy of Silexan in subthreshold anxiety: meta-analysis of randomised, placebo-controlled trials Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2019 Mar;269(2):183-193. doi: 10.1007/s00406-017-0852-4. epub 2017 Nov 17.

Kasper S et al. Silexan in anxiety disorders: clinical data and pharmacological background. World J Biol Psychiatry 2017; 19 (6): 412-420.

Anita M. Schuwald et al: Lavender Oil-Potent Anxiolytic Properties via Modulating Voltage Dependent Calcium Channels. PLOS ONE (2013).

Bernhard Uehleke et al: Phase II trial on the effects of Silexan in patients with neurasthenia, post-traumatic stress disorder or somatization disorder. Phytomedicine (2012)

Wabner, Aromatherapy: Fundamentals, Principles of Action, Practice (German) Hardcover edition – November 14, 2011.

Dr. rer. nat. Elke Puchtler

Heilpraktikerin

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