What does lavender do to the brain?

Lavender is one of the most popular essential oils and is renowned for its calming and relaxing effects. Studies have shown that it can help with sleep, reduce stress and anxiety, and even improve memory. But what does lavender do to the brain, and how can it benefit the body?

When lavender is inhaled or applied to the skin, its active compounds—linalool, linalyl acetate, and lavandulol—are absorbed into the bloodstream and travel to the brain. These compounds interact with the brain in a few different ways.

First, they bind to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors and activate them, resulting in a decrease in nerve cell activity. This helps reduce feelings of anxiety, stress, and panic. It also causes the brain to release serotonin and dopamine, which can promote relaxation, reduce tension, and improve mood.

Second, lavender can help reduce cortisol levels, which is the hormone released in response to stress. Lower cortisol levels can help reduce the physical symptoms of stress, such as headaches and muscle tension.

Finally, lavender can help improve sleep quality. It's been shown to reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, as well as increase total sleep time. This is likely due to the calming effects of lavender, as well as its ability to reduce cortisol levels.

Overall, lavender has a variety of benefits for the brain. It can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood, reduce cortisol levels, and improve sleep quality. All of these benefits can help boost overall mental and physical wellbeing. For these reasons, lavender is an excellent choice for relaxation and calming.

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