The use of lavenderhas been recorded for more than 2,500 years. Egyptians, Phoenicians and the people of Arabia used lavender as a perfume — and also for mummification, by wrapping the dead in lavender-dipped shrouds. In ancient Greece, lavender was called “nardus,” “nard,” or “spikenard” (named for the Syrian city of Naarda) and was used as a cure for everything from insomnia and aching backs to insanity. Lavender oil is extracted primarily from the flowers of the plant through steam distillation. Lavender is known to be one of the best essential oils for sleep and one of the best essential oils for depression.
Depression may be described as feeling sad, blue, unhappy, miserable, or down in the dumps. Most of us feel this way at one time or another for short periods. However, people with a depressive disorder find they have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities. Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. Depression may make you feel as if life isn’t worth living.
There are several types of Depression:
Major depression, major depressive disorder or clinical depression – combination of symptoms that interfere with sleep, work, eating, study and enjoying activities
Dysthymic disorder – mild symptoms for long periods of time
Psychotic depression – severe depressive illness includes hallucinations and withdrawing from reality
Postpartum depression – major depressive episode which develops within weeks of giving birth
SAD (seasonal affective disorder) – a depressive illness that happens during the winter months
Bipolar disorder – experiences moments of extreme highs and extreme lows
Each year depression affects 5-8 percent of adults in the United States. This means that about 25 million Americans will have an episode of major depression this year alone. All age groups and all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups can experience depression.
Insomniais a persistent disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep or both, despite the opportunity for adequate sleep. With insomnia, you usually awaken feeling unrefreshed, which takes a toll on your ability to function during the day. Insomnia can sap not only your energy level and mood but also your health, work performance and quality of life.
The purpose of a recent study was to explore the effects of lavender aromatherapy on depressionand insomnia. Forty-two women college students who complained of insomnia were studied during a four-week protocol. Results of the study indicated that lavender did have a beneficial effect on depression and insomnia.
It’s a definite – lavender essential oil is good for uplifting your mood so be gone depression and isn’t it wonderful to get some sleep!