This plant resides in the mint family, Lamiaceae, and is found all over the place really; The Mediterranean, China, Asia, Africa and India.
With almost 50 different species, the most common is called Lavandula angustifolia, commonly referred to as, Lavender.
The plant has a variety of colors; coming in white, light pink, deep-blue, and lavender.
The leaves of this plant are covered in fine hairs, or trichomes.
These tiny hairs contain the essential oils that are associated with this plant.
Since lavender is grown in gardens well beyond its natural range, it has been known to spread to the point of being considered a noxious weed.
It seems the primary reason for commercial growth is for the essential oil.
Although it has been shown to be used as an antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, fragrance, bath products, cooking, teas and honey.
Similar to other natural herbs, it is said that for the most part, there is not sufficient evidence for it to be considered as a treatment for depression.
In some cases, however, it should not be taken, and almost always, used with caution.
Be that as it may, these herbs have still been used to treat depression as well as anxiety for centuries and some, for a millennia.
No different here with Lavender.
Take a quote from an author in the Natural Medicine Journal:
“Lavender oil aromatherapy has been shown to be effective in the management of anxiety and depression and small and medium-sized controlled and uncontrolled clinical trials.”
In simply smelling it’s aroma, studies have shown activity within the brain referred to as Anxiolytic, which is, essentially; anxiety relief as seen on the inside.
In addition, an increased mood with this same application.
In fact, these effects by simply smelling it, may be the origin of traditional use of lavender in the first place.
Its usage spans back almost 3000 years.
The Egyptians used it for perfume during mummification.
The Romans used lavender for cooking, bathing and making and scenting the air.
The Greeks used it for insomnia and back pain.
Lavender oil taken orally has been shown to benefit in some studies; decreasing symptoms of anxiety and mild to moderate depression, as well as providing exceptional sleep for the patients.
And when compared to some medication (benzodiazepines), like Xanax, for anxiety, the results are comparable or superior in some cases.
Some herbs actually have an effect on some medications, altering and disabling them all in all.
So, as mentioned above, be cautious when looking to possibly use this as a tool in making life a little less, gloomy.
Consult a physician of course, but don’t let the lack of required evidence negate the evidence already out there.
But more importantly, do your own research.