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Lavender essential oil has also been shown to inhibit both sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system functioning, depending on which system is dysfunctional. Sympathetic hyperfunctioning is triggered more by physical stress, while parasympathetic overactivity is caused more by emotional stress – although both reactions can produce similar symptoms such as muscular cramp, indigestion, spasms or restlessness. By selectively inhibiting either the sympathetic or parasympathetic nervous excess, lavender can assist the body’s response to unproductive stress of any kind. Yet lavender will not interfere with the body’s response to a productive type of stress, which is a normal and even desirable part of life.
In a similar fashion, lavender can exert either a cooling or warming effect on the entire system, depending on the temperament and condition of the individual in question.
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For a person with a hot, acute condition such as a fever or an inflammation, a small amount of lavender will have a cooling effect. On the other hand, for someone suffering from a cold condition such as a chill, muscular cramp or nervous debility, a more generous application of lavender will generate warmth and activity, both local and systemic. Thus, by creating an equilibrium within the body, lavender can effect both physical and the psychological changes, thereby enhancing an individual’s overall health. 3
Lavender has fungicidal qualities and is a valuable prophylactic agent and immuno-stimulant, although these properties are not as pronounced as in the case of tea tree oil. Nevertheless, lavender is a useful preventative remedy, acting as a protection against all types of infectious conditions including colds, flu, etc. And may also be used as a treatment for genito-urinary or respiratory infections such as cystitis or bronchitis. In cases of fever, lavender has in addition a diaphoretic (sweat-promoting) and antipyretic (fever-reducing) effect.
Lavender oil also has many other secondary qualities including its anti-toxic, anti-venomous, vermifuge and parasiticidal properties. This makes it a good remedy for all kinds of insect bites and stings. It is also an effective insecticide and has been used to repel moths and other insects, such as mosquitoes, for centuries.