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LAVENDER

Other Names:

Alhucema, Common Lavender, English Lavender, French Lavender, Garden Lavender, Huile Essentielle de Lavande, Lavanda, Lavande, Lavande à Feuilles Étroites, Lavande Anglaise, Lavande Commune, Lavande des Alpes, Lavande du Jardin, Lavande Espagnol...
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LAVENDER Overview
LAVENDER Uses
LAVENDER Side Effects
LAVENDER Interactions
LAVENDER Dosing
LAVENDER Overview Information

Lavender is an herb. The flower and the oil of lavender are used to make medicine.

Lavender is used for restlessness, insomnia, nervousness, and depression. It is also used for a variety of digestive complaints including meteorism (abdominal swelling from gas in the intestinal or peritoneal cavity), loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, intestinal gas (flatulence), and upset stomach.

Some people use lavender for painful conditions including migraine headaches, toothaches, sprains, nerve pain, sores, and joint pain. It is also used for acne and cancer, and to promote menstruation.

Lavender is applied to the skin for hair loss (alopecia areata) and pain, and to repel mosquitoes and other insects.

Some people add lavender to bathwater to treat circulation disorders and improve mental well being.

By inhalation, lavender is used as aromatherapy for insomnia, pain, and agitation related to dementia.

In foods and beverages, lavender is used as a flavor component.

In manufacturing, lavender is used in pharmaceutical products and as a fragrance ingredient in soaps, cosmetics, perfumes, potpourri, and decorations.

Lavender (scientific name Lavandula angustifolia) is commonly contaminated with related species, including Lavandula hybrida, which is a cross between Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula latifolia, from which lavandin oil is obtained.

How does it work?

Lavender contains an oil that seems to have sedating effects and might relax certain muscles.

LAVENDER Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

Possibly Effective for:

  • Hair loss in a condition called alopecia areata when applied to the scalp in combination with oils from thyme, rosemary, and cedarwood. There is some evidence that this combination might improve hair growth by as much as 44% after 7 months of treatment.

Insufficient Evidence for:

  • Depression. In mild to moderate depression, tincture of lavender appears to be slightly less effective than the medicationimipramine (Tofranil).
  • Sleeplessness (insomnia). Developing research suggests using lavender oil in a vaporizer overnight or on a gauze pad left beside the bed, might help some people with mild insomnia.
  • Agitation in dementia. Study results have not agreed. In one study, nightly use of lavender oil in a bedside diffuser for 3 weeks reduced agitation in patients with various types of dementia. However, in another study, continuous use of lavender oil on a pad attached to a patient's shirt had no effect in a small group of patients with advanced dementia.
  • General psychological well being. Some research suggests that adding 3 mL of a 20% lavender oil and 80% grapeseed oil mixture to daily baths produces small improvements in mood, compared with baths containing grapeseed oil alone.
  • Migraine. Some research suggests that rubbing 2 or 3 drops of lavender oil on the upper lip, so that the vapor is inhaled, might reduce migraine pain and nausea, and help stop the headache spreading.
  • Colic.
  • Headache.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Toothache.
  • Acne.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Cancer.
  • Use as a mosquito repellent and insect repellent.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate lavender for these uses.


LAVENDER Side Effects & Safety

Lavender is LIKELY SAFE for most adults in food amounts and POSSIBLY SAFE in medicinal amounts. When taken by mouth, lavender can cause constipation, headache, and increased appetite.

Applying lavender to the skin can sometimes cause irritation.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Children: Applying products to the skin that contain lavender oil might not be safe for young boys who have not yet reached puberty. Lavender oil seems to have hormone effects that could disrupt the normal hormones in a boy's body. In some cases, this has resulted in boys developing abnormal breast growth called gynecomastia. The safety of these products when used by young girls is not known.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of lavender during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Surgery: Lavender might slow down the central nervous system. If used in combination with anesthesia and other medications given during and after surgery, it might slow down the central nervous system too much. Stop using lavender at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

LAVENDER Interactions What is this?

Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination

  • Chloral Hydrate interacts with LAVENDER

    Chloral hydrate causes sleepiness and drowsiness. Lavender seems to increase the effects of chloral hydrate. Taking lavender along with chloral hydrate might cause too much sleepiness.

  • Sedative medications (Barbiturates) interacts with LAVENDER

    Lavender might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Taking lavender along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness.

    Some sedative medications include amobarbital (Amytal), butabarbital (Butisol), mephobarbital (Mebaral), pentobarbital (Nembutal), phenobarbital (Luminal), secobarbital (Seconal), and others.

  • Sedative medications (CNS depressants) interacts with LAVENDER

    Lavender might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Taking lavender along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness.

    Some sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien), and others.


LAVENDER Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

APPLIED TO THE SKIN:

  • For bald spots (alopecia areata): one study used a combination of essential oils including 3 drops (108 mg) of lavender, 3 drops (114 mg) of rosemary, 2 drops (88 mg) of thyme, and 2 drops (94 mg) of cedarwood, all mixed with 3 mL jojoba oil and 20 mL grapeseed oil. Each night, the mixture is massaged into the scalp for 2 minutes with a warm towel placed around the head to increase absorption.

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Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

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