They all contain the chemical compound beta-carophyllene, the active ingredient that gives them their healing qualities. The compound doesn't only heal wounds faster, it also reduces the chances of scar tissue.
The oils are natural anti-inflammatories and they help new cells grow. Researchers from Indiana University think the oils speed the healing process by shortening the inflammatory phase of the wound.
They tested the oils on laboratory mice—and although they discovered the oils speeded healing, they're not sure how they work. They don't seem to rely on the sense of smell or on the body's receptors usually associated with pain reduction. Instead, it seems to be a combination of several processes, and other variables could be at play too, such as the quality of the oils and their purity.
"Even if you use lavender, where it was harvested, when it was harvested, and how it was stored all can make a difference to their chemical composition," said researcher Sachiko Koyama.
Lavender also contains linalool, a compound that helps ease anxiety.
The Get Well Show
If you are keen to learn more on some of the conditions mentioned in this topic, the Get Well Show is your chance to hear from some of the leading minds in alternative medicine.
Marisa Peer will be looking at RTT and its success with depression and other mental and physical illnesses on Sunday, February 23rd.