Lilacs and Lavenders are two of the most beautiful and beneficial flowers. They may appear similar, but they have unique characteristics which make them perfect for different purposes. In this article, we will compare lilac vs lavender and see how they can be used for our well-being.
Lilac vs. Lavender: What’s the Difference?
|Lilac and lavender belong to different plant families.||Lilac: Oleaceae (olive family)
Lavender: Lamiaceae (mint family)
|Their flowers also differ in size.||Lilac: large flowers
Lavender: small delicate flowers
|The bloom color is also different.||Lilac: shades of pink, purple, and white
Lavender: purple, blue, and white
|You can always distinguish between them by smelling the flowers,||Lilac: sweet, floral fragrance
Lavender: woody, herby scent
|While lilac and lavender have multiple benefits and uses, they are mostly used for different purposes based on their properties.||Lilac: mostly used in aromatherapy and personal care products.
Lavender: mainly used for ornamental purposes.
Lilac vs. Lavender: What’s Similar in Them?
- Both lilac and lavender have scented flowers and oily nature, useful for making personal care products like soaps, perfumes, etc.
- Lilac and lavender hold relaxing and calming properties, thus used in aromatherapy and herbal medicines and teas.
- Like lilac, lavender also contains anti-inflammatory properties useful for reducing inflammation.
Lilac: Health Benefits
- Lilac is rich in anti-inflammatory compounds like flavonoids, phenolic acids, anthocyanins, and triterpenoids.
- Inflammation in any body part can gradually become chronic diseases like cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes. However, the anti-inflammatory compounds in lilac inhibit the release of inflammatory cytokines and reduce the enzymatic activity responsible for promoting inflammation.
- The anti-inflammatory compounds in lilac also help in supporting immune system function.
- Flavonoids and phytochemicals are the compounds known to alleviate pain. Therefore, lilac has been used as a natural remedy to relieve pain.
- Flavonoids and phenols present in lilac are anti-inflammatory agents contributing to reducing inflammation.
- Flavonoids and phenols also possess an amazing quality of affecting the performance of pain receptors. They target the pain pathways and act by hindering the activity of pain receptors.
- The pain relief quality makes lilac preferable along with over-the-counter painkillers. That is why lilac is safe and natural with no side effects like drowsiness or disorientation.
- On top, there are plenty of ways to use lilac for pain alleviation. Use it as tea, tincture, or essential oil as you desire. Particularly, the lilac essential oil is exceptionally useful in aromatherapy.
- Antioxidant compounds such as flavonoids, phenolic acids, and anthocyanins are abundant in lilac flowers. These compounds neutralize the free radicals and prevent cell damage, thus protecting against oxidative stress.
- Another benefit of antioxidant compounds is they slow down the aging process by reducing oxidative stress.
- Moreover, oxidative stress is a major reason behind cardiovascular diseases. Reducing oxidative stress means reducing the risk of heart problems.
- Lilac is known to have anti-microbial properties. This is because of anti-microbial compounds, including saponins, tannins, alkaloids, and flavonoids.
- Lilac flowers inhibit bacterial growth, including Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. While Staphylococcus aureus is found in the upper respiratory tract and on the skin, it causes abscesses, impetigo, food poisoning, cellulitis, mastitis, scalded skin syndrome, and toxic shock syndrome. On the other hand, Escherichia coli is present in the lower intestine and causes severe stomach pain, bloody diarrhea, and kidney failure.
- Additionally, lilac can also fight against fungal infections. It shows anti-fungal properties against several fungi species, including Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger.
- Lilac is expected to hold anti-viral properties as well. In in vitro experiments, lilac expressed an anti-viral effect against numerous influenza virus strains.
- Furthermore, lilac has excellent wound healing properties, attributed to its anti-infectious and anti-inflammatory nature.
- Furthermore, lilacs have another prominent advantage of being anti-cancer, owing to the presence of flavonoids and polyphenols. These compounds safeguard the cells against unstable free radicals in the body, which cause cancer.
- Ultimately, this process inhibits the growth of cancer-causing cells in the body, reducing the risk of breast cancer, prostate cancer, and leukemia.
- Another significant contribution of lilac is its ability to induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in cancer cells, for example, leukemia cells.
- Cancer risk is also reduced as lilac has abundant anti-inflammatory substances. This is because chronic inflammation is directly linked with increased cancer risk.
- Lilac can enhance the effects of chemotherapy, which effectively aids the treatment of cancer patients.
Lavender: Health Benefits
- Lavender contains anti-inflammatory compounds like linalool, linalyl acetate, and rosmarinic acid. These compounds show significant anti-inflammatory responses in vitro and animal models.
- Numerous chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes, are caused by inflammation in the body. The anti-inflammatory compounds in lavender inhibit the activity of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). This is how lavender helps reduce inflammation.
- Lavender also contains antioxidant compounds. These compounds reduce oxidative stress, thus preventing chronic inflammation. In this way, the development of chronic diseases also breaks off.
- The anti-inflammatory compounds found in lavender effectively support immune system function. Moreover, lavender essential oil holds significant properties of immunological adjustment. This is due to the presence of compounds like linalool and linalyl acetate.
- Just like lilac, lavender also prevents the development of chronic diseases like cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes by reducing inflammation.
Stress and Anxiety
- The sweet fragrance of lavender has a calming and relaxing effect on the mind and body. Inhaling lavender oil for 15 minutes effectively reduces anxiety. Inhaling lavender essential oil for two weeks may reduce anxiety levels in patients with generalized anxiety disorder.
- Cortisol is a stress hormone released when the body is in fight-or-flight mode. Elevated cortisol levels result in stress, sleeplessness, burnout, hormonal imbalance in menstrual hormones, etc. However, taking lavender tea or inhaling essential oil for 10 minutes reduces cortisol levels effectively.
- Lack of sleep or disrupted sleep can cause stress and anxiety. Lavender tea before bedtime can help in a restful night. Alternatively, you can inhale lavender essential oil 30 minutes before bedtime to treat insomnia and have a good night’s sleep.
- Another side effect of stress and anxiety is increased heart rate and blood pressure. To control both, inhaling lavender essential oil for 5 minutes is helpful in healthy adults.
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- Lavender’s sweet scent naturally influences the body in the most relaxing and calming ways.
- Lavender tea treats gastrointestinal problems such as stomach burning, acidity, and abdomen pain and relaxes the body. Consequently, a healthy digestive system improves sleep patterns and promotes peaceful sleep.
- Moreover, lavender essential oil remarkably impacts patients with anxiety disorders. Its soothing earthy fragrance creates a grounding aura that helps release tension from the body.
- Lavender essential oil minimizes the time a person takes to fall asleep and maximizes the quality of deep sleep. Similarly, it reduces the symptoms of insomnia patients who find it hard to fall asleep and wake up frequently at night. Moreover, it effectively improves sleep quality and insomnia in women experiencing menopausal symptoms.
- Above all, lavender is a natural flower and contains compounds that are non-habit forming. Using lavender tea or essential oil as a sleep aid does not make it addictive or cause drowsiness.
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- The anti-inflammatory substances present in lavender help relieve different kinds of pain.
- Lavender essential oil relieves headaches and reduces the severity of migraines.
- Furthermore, it reduces muscle soreness and increases muscle flexibility in athletes.
- Additionally, lavender manages menstrual cramps by relieving the pain and bloating.
- Lavender in the form of tea or oil enhances the effect of conventional painkillers. However, using them as a replacement for painkillers is not recommended. You must consult your doctor for severe conditions and add lavender to amplify the analgesic effects of medicines.
- Lavender holds significant anti-viral properties. Therefore, the lavender essential oil is effective in inhibiting the replication of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2)
- Lavender is anti-fungal. Its oil is effective against numerous fungi species, including Aspergillus niger and Penicillium chrysogenum.
- Moreover, lavender contains insecticidal effects as well. This helps in controlling insect pests. However, the lavender essential oil is also effective in repelling adult mosquitoes.
- Owing to the acaricidal properties of lavender, it can kill mites and ticks. Lavender essential oil is effective against the tick species Rhipicephalus sanguineus and Amblyomma cajennense.
Lilac & Lavender: How to Use?
- Aromatherapy: Lilacs and Lavenders are excellent for aromatherapy. They can be used in diffusers, candles, and bath products to promote relaxation and reduce stress.
- Herbal teas: Lilac and Lavender herbal tea can improve digestion, reduce inflammation, and promote peace for better sleep. They can also relieve menstrual cramps and bloating.
- Topical application: Lilacs and Lavenders can be applied directly on the skin, such as oils, creams, and lotions. They can help to treat skin conditions, reduce inflammation, and relieve pain.
- Culinary uses: Lilacs and Lavenders can be used in cooking to flavor dishes. They are often used in desserts and beverages to add a floral aroma and flavor.
Lilac vs. Lavender: Choosing the Right Plant for Your Needs
While choosing between lilacs and lavenders for their health benefits, it’s important to consider your specific needs.
- Lavender may be a better choice if you want to release stress or anxiety and improve sleep. However, it would be best to prefer lilac over lavender to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Both lilac and lavender oils have anti-microbial properties and can be used as a natural disinfectant.
- You should choose lavender if you want a strong flowery scent; however, lilac is recommended for a soft fragrance.
Lilac and lavender plants have similarities and differences as well. Both hold a variety of health benefits; however, the mechanism of their working still needs research. You may use them for aromatherapy, as tea, in cuisines, in beauty products, as a natural pain reliever, or as an anti-microbial agent. Furthermore, using lilac or lavender for health benefits acts only as a support of other remedies. Therefore, it is important not to use them as a replacement for conventional medications. Moreover, it is recommended to consult a healthcare provider to determine the best plant for your specific health concern.
Let us know in the comment section which flower fulfills your need better.