THE SECRETS OF LAVENDER: CHEMICAL FOCUS

0 Posted by - July 5, 2016 - Oil Science

Due to lavender’s numerous medicinal benefits and ability to help treat various ailments, it is one of the most popular and versatile essential oils available. Lavender’s health and healing properties are the result of the more than 100 chemical constituents it consists of. The following takes a quick look at the two primary constituents of lavender essential oil, linalyl acetate and linalool acetate, as well as what ailments they can help with and why.


Linalyl Acetate

Research has found the pleasant fruity scent of linalyl acetate, as well as its ability to depress the central nervous system, regulate serotonin levels, and enhance the production of natural painkillers in the body, is particularly beneficial for anyone suffering from conditions that cause intense pain [1]. This includes migraine, tension, and sinus headaches. In addition, linalyl acetate is beneficial for women suffering from premenstrual cramping and labor pains, as well as anyone suffering from muscle spasms, fibromyalgia, and arthritis. 

Linalyl acetate has also been shown to have a sedating and calming effect. Although researchers are not entirely sure why this is, one hypothesis is that the linalyl acetate interacts with GABA transmitters in the brain that are responsible for regulating feelings of calmness [2]. This is why lavender is so valuable to anyone struggling with chronic anxiety and stress.


Linalool Acetate

While studying the effects of linalool acetate on the body, researchers found that linalool acetate activates biochemical pathways in blood vessels’ endothelial lining, which causes the underlying vascular smooth muscle to relax. In addition to various other roles, smooth muscle plays a crucial role in breaking down food and moving it along the digestive tract. This is why lavender essential oil is commonly used by individuals suffering from gastrointestinal problems, such as nausea, vomiting, and frequent indigestion. Lavender is also known for effectively treating stomach pain and colic. 

Linalool acetate has long been considered crucial for the production of vitamin E in the body, while also working to suppress oxidant-induced genotoxicity (chemical agents that damage a cell’s genetic information and results in mutations) [4]. The enhanced vitamin E production, along with inhibiting genotoxicity, play an important role in immune system functioning. This, when combined with lavender’s antiviral and antibacterial qualities, makes it easier for the body to fight against rare, yet deadly diseases, including diphtheria, typhoid, and tuberculosis.

After looking at just a few of the health benefits associated with the key constituents in lavender essential oil, it is easy to see why so many people use it on a regular basis.


[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4594031/

[2] https://blog.essentialoilexchange.com/use-lavender-oil-to-reduce-work-related-stress/

[4] http://ps.oxfordjournals.org/content/93/2/267.full

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