Lavender’s mythical ability to prevent balding, control mild burns and acne, as well as treat gastrointestinal disorders have little support from the scientific community. But lavender's impact on mood and cognition is garnering growing support.
In an Australian research trial testing the outcomes of lavender aromatherapy there is mounting evidence that the essential oil does have physiological effects.
To measure the effects of aromatherapy, researchers compared responses with two essential oils thought to have opposite effects on alertness: soothing lavender and invigorating rosemary.
What's more, everyone in the study reported a mood boost in response to the pleasant scents: The lavender group felt less depressed and the rosemary group had lower levels of anxiety than before aromatherapy.
But both groups were on the same side when it came to disposition: the lavender and rosemary groups reported significantly better moods than the subjects who received no stimulation.
When it comes to lavender's soothing claims, science seems to be giving the nod to aromatherapy's validity. If that doesn't make you sleep better tonight, maybe a sprig of lavender under your pillow will do the trick.