LAVENDER

OTHER NAME(S):

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 Espagnole, Lavande Fine, Lavande Française, Lavande Officinale, Lavande Vraie, Lavandula, Lavandula angustifolia, Lavandula dentate, Lavandula latifolia, Lavandula officinalis, Lavandula pubescens, Lavandula spica, Lavandula stoechas, Lavandula vera, Lavender Essential Oil, Ostokhoddous, Spanish Lavender, Spike Lavender, True Lavender.<br/><br/>

Overview

Overview Information

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

Lavender is commonly used for anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, depression, headache and pain.

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. It also seems to have antibacterial and antifungal effects.

Uses

Uses & Effectiveness?

Possibly Effective for

  • Hair loss (alopecia areata). There is some evidence that applying lavender oil in combination with oils from thyme, rosemary, and cedarwood might improve hair growth by as much as 44% after 7 months of treatment.
  • Anxiety. Some research shows that taking 80-160 mg of a lavender oil product (Silexan, Dr Willmar Schwabe GmbH & Co. KG) by mouth for 6-10 weeks improves anxiety and sleep and prevents anxiety recurrence in people with mild-to-severe anxiety. It is unclear if using lavender oil as aromatherapy improves anxiety, as results from research are conflicting.
  • Canker sores. Research shows that applying 2 drops of lavender oil to the affected area three times daily can reduce canker sore swelling and pain and shorten the time it takes for canker sores to heal.
  • Menstrual pain. Lavender oil aromatherapy massages reduce pain associated with menstruation in some young women better than regular massages. Also, inhaling lavender oil for the first 3 days of menstruation seems to reduce stomach pain and backache in women with menstrual pain.
  • Fall prevention. There is some evidence that attaching a pad with lavender oil (Aromaseal Lavender, Hakujuji Co.) onto the neckline of clothing reduces the risk of falling by 43% in nursing home residents.
  • Pain after surgery. Some research shows that inhaling lavender essence while receiving pain killers intravenously (by IV) can help reduce pain in women after a C-section. Other research shows that inhaling lavender for 3 minutes every 6 hours can lessen pain and reduce the need to use acetaminophen after a tonsillectomy in children 6-12 years old.

Possibly Ineffective for

  • Cancer-related pain. Research shows that using lavender oil for aromatherapy massage does not reduce pain compared to massages alone in people with cancer-related pain.

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Itchy and inflamed skin (eczema). Early research shows that using a combination of lavender oil and other herbal essential oils for aromatherapy massage does not improve skin irritation during the day or the ability to sleep at night in children with itchy and inflamed skin.
  • Colic. Results from one small study show that massaging a combination of lavender and almond oils onto the belly of infants for 5-15 minutes at the onset of colic reduces crying time by about 7 hours per week.
  • Dementia. Some research shows that using lavender oil in a diffuser at night reduces agitation in people with dementia. But inhaling the scent of lavender oil applied to the shirt collar or on the forearms doesn't seem to decrease dementia-related agitation. Also, using aromatherapy massages doesn't seem to improve mental function in people with dementia.
  • Depression. Taking a lavender oil product by mouth for 6 weeks seems to improve depression in people with depression. Tincture of lavender appears to be slightly less effective than the medication imipramine (Tofranil) for treating depression. But taking the two in combination might improve the antidepressant effects of imipramine. The effect of lavender oil aromatherapy for depression is conflicting. Some research shows that lavender aromatherapy reduces depression after childbirth in some women. But lavender oil aromatherapy doesn’t seem to reduce depression in people with advanced cancer.
  • Fatigue. Early research shows that inhaling lavender oil three times each week for 4 weeks does not reduce fatigue in people undergoing dialysis for kidney disease.
  • High blood pressure. Early research shows that using an essential oil mixture of lavender, lemon, and ylang ylang as aromatherapy might reduce systolic blood pressure (the top number) but not diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) in people with high blood pressure.
  • Difficulty sleeping (insomnia). Early research shows that using lavender oil in a vaporizer overnight, or on a gauze pad left beside the bed, might help some people with mild insomnia sleep better. But conflicting results exist.
  • Pain during labor. Early research shows that inhaling the scent of lavender essence three separate times during labor can reduce overall pain in labor.
  • Lice. Early research shows that applying a combination of lavender and tea tree oil to the skin helps kill lice eggs and reduce the number of live lice. It is unclear if the effects are caused by lavender alone or the combination of lavender and tea tree oil.
  • Menopausal symptoms. Some research shows that inhaling the scent of lavender essence twice weekly for 12 weeks can reduce flushing for women in menopause.
  • Migraine. Early research shows that rubbing 2 or 3 drops of lavender oil on the upper lip and inhaling the vapor might reduce migraine pain and nausea, and help stop the headache spreading.
  • Osteoarthritis. Some research shows that massaging the knee with lavender oil three times each week for 3 weeks can reduce osteoarthritis pain compared to massaging with unscented oil or no massage at all.
  • Ear infections. Early research shows that administering ear drops containing lavender and other herbal extracts improves ear pain in people with ear infections. However, this herbal combination does not appear to be more effective than using a skin-numbing agent along with the antibiotic amoxicillin.
  • Pain. Some research shows that lavender aromatherapy might help reduce pain from needle insertion. Also, inhaling the scent of lavender oil before a gynecological exam seems to reduce pain during the exam. But lavender aromatherapy doesn’t seem to reduce pain during wound dressing changes.
  • Complications after childbirth. Adding lavender oil to baths seems to reduce redness in the area between the vagina and anus shortly after childbirth. It might also reduce pain in this area, but results are conflicting. Inhaling the scent of lavender oil in the morning, 6 hours later, and at bedtime seems to improve pain, fatigue, distress, and mood in women on the first day after delivery.
  • Reducing anxiety before surgery. Some people use lavender for reducing anxiety before surgery or other medical or dental procedures. Some research shows that it might help reduce anxiety before dental procedures. But it is unclear if lavender helps for anxiety related to other procedures.
  • General psychological well-being. Some research shows 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. But other research shows that adding lavender oil to aromatherapy massage does not improve well-being or quality of life in cancer patients.
  • Restless leg syndrome (RLS). One study shows that massaging the legs with lavender oil for 10 minutes twice weekly can reduce the severity of restless legs syndrome in people with kidney failure who are undergoing dialysis.
  • Stress. Inhaling the scent of lavender oil before a gynecological exam seems to reduce distress after the exam. But inhaling the scent of lavender oil for 20 minutes on the second and third day after coronary artery bypass surgery doesn't seem to reduce stress.
  • Acne.
  • Cancer.
  • Headache.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Nausea.
  • Toothache.
  • Use as a mosquito repellent and insect repellent.
  • Vomiting.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate lavender for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Lavender is LIKELY SAFE for most adults in food amounts. It's POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth, applied to the skin, or inhaled in medicinal amounts.

When taken by mouth, lavender can cause constipation, headache, and increased appetite. When applied to the skin, lavender can sometimes cause irritation, although this is uncommon.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Children: Applying products to the skin that contain lavender oil is POSSIBLY UNSAFE 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: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking lavender if you are pregnant or 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.

Interactions

Interactions?

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

Dosing

Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

ADULTS

BY MOUTH:

  • Anxiety: 80-160 mg of a specific lavender oil ingredient (Silexan, Dr Willmar Schwabe GmbH & Co. KG) has been taken daily for 6-10 weeks.
INHALED AS AROMATHERAPY:
  • Anxiety: 8 drops of an oil blend containing 2% lavender and rose essential oil has been applied to a cotton pad and inhaled for 15 minutes twice weekly for 4 weeks. The lavender and rose oil formulation was prepared by diluting 2 drops of an essential oil blend containing 75% lavender oil and 25% rose oil diluted in 5 mL of jojoba oil.
  • Menstrual pain: Applying 3 drops of lavender oil to the hands and inhaling every 6 hours or placing 3 drops of oil onto a piece of cotton and inhaling for 30 minutes daily for the first 3 days of menstruation has been used. Also, 2 mL of lavender oil applied on the abdomen for 15 minutes as part of an aromatherapy massage has been used during a menstrual period.
  • Fall prevention: Attaching a 1 cm x 2 cm patch containing lavender oil to the clothing neckline once daily for one year has been used.
  • Pain after surgery: Two drops of 2% lavender essence has been applied to the inside of an oxygen face mask and inhaled for 3 minutes at 3, 8, and 16 hours after receiving pain-relievers for C-section pain.
APPLIED TO THE SKIN:
  • For bald spots (alopecia areata): A combination of essential oils including 3 drops of lavender, 3 drops of rosemary, 2 drops of thyme, and 2 drops of cedarwood, all mixed with 3 mL jojoba oil and 20 mL grapeseed oil has been used. Each night, the mixture is massaged into the scalp for 2 minutes with a warm towel placed around the head to increase absorption.
  • Canker sores: 2 drops of a solution containing 36 mg of lavender oil per drop has been applied three times daily.

View References

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