Aromatherapy has a longstanding history in both traditional and western medicine. Although once kept to the fringes of western medicine and wholly embraced by alternative practitioners, essential oils have steadily been growing in popularity over the last decade, with prominent companies such as Young Living and Doterra dominating the scene. Are essential oils all they’re cracked up to be—and is lavender truly a useful oil for diabetics?
Lavender and Its Uses
Lavender is one of the most commonly used essential oils. The claims for its uses range widely, with some users suggesting lavender helps heal bruises faster, and others suggesting that lavender single-handedly eliminates stress and tension. The documented uses of it are similarly broad, and include a remedy for headaches, a means of reducing stress, and even a method for reducing pain.
“Lavender” actually describes a large host of plants. The commonly used form for both culinary and medicinal purposes is a single plant characterized by bright purple, flowering stalks. Lavender lends a sweet, floral taste to baked goods, salads, and savory dishes alike, though its benefits have not been documented as a culinary aid.
Lavender and Diabetes
Lavender is indirectly useful for diabetes patients, in that it can be useful in limiting and easing stress. Stress can cause a lot of damage to diabetes patients, so any treatment capable of reducing stress is useful. Aside from simply lowering stress levels, however, lavender is filled with antioxidants and has been linked to a decrease in blood sugar.
When lavender essential is inhaled or applied, it can regulate blood sugar, to a degree. This makes it a useful tool in the arsenal of a diabetic. Although lavender cannot and should not take the place of diabetes medication, exercise, or a healthy diet, it can be a supplemental therapy put in place to improve blood sugar levels and decrease stress, both of which are capable of significantly improving diabetes symptoms.