lavender is used for restlessness, insomnia, nervousness, depression, meteorism
(abdominal swelling from gas in the intestinal or peritoneal cavity), and loss
of appetite. Lavender is also used orally for flatulence, upset stomach, giddiness,
migraine headaches, toothaches, sprains, neuralgia, rheumatism, acne, sores, nausea,
vomiting, to promote menstruation, and to treat cancer.
lavender is used for alopecia areata, pain, and in baths for circulation disorders,
and improving psychological well-being. It is also used topically as a mosquito
repellent and insect repellent.
inhalation, lavender is used as aromatherapy for insomnia, pain, and agitation related
and beverages, lavender is used as a flavour component.
manufacturing, lavender is utilized in pharmaceutical products and as a fragrance
ingredient in soaps and cosmetics. Lavender is also used as an insect repellent.
concerns regarding safety when used orally in amounts commonly found in foods.
Lavender has Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status for food use in the US.(31). No concerns regarding safety
when used orally and appropriately, (32) when used topically and appropriately. Lavender
oil has been used safely for up to 7 months in adults.(33) when the essential oil is
inhaled as a part of aromatherapy. (34,35,36,37)
Possibly Unsafe when applied topically. Anecdotal reports suggest that applying
topical products containing lavender oil to prepubertal boys can result in gynecomastia
in some cases.(38)
with a higher concentration of lavender oil and more frequent applications
might be more likely to result in gynecomastia.
and Lactation: Insufficient reliable information available; avoid using.
areata. There is some evidence that applying lavender oil in combination with
the essential oils from thyme, rosemary,and cedarwood might improve hair growth
by as much as 44% after 7 months of treatment.(33)
RELIABLE EVIDENCE to RATE
Evidence regarding the efficacy of lavender aromatherapy for agitation is
conflicting. In one preliminary clinical study, nightly use of lavender oil in
a bedside diffuser for 3 weeks reduced agitation scores in patients with
various types of dementia.(36)
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. (35)
In mild to moderate depression, tincture of lavender appears to be slightly
less effective than imipramine (Tofranil). Lavender might have some additive
antidepressant effect with imipramine.
Preliminary clinical research suggests using lavender oil in a vaporizer overnight
might help some people with mild insomnia.(37)
well-being. Preliminary clinical research suggests that adding 3 mL of a 20%
lavender oil and 80% grapeseed oil mixture to daily baths produces modest
improvements in mood, compared with baths containing grapeseed oil alone. (39) More evidence is needed to rate
lavender for these uses.
Mechanism of Action:
applicable parts of lavender are the flowers, leaves, and oil. Lavender contains
several potential active constituents including cineole from the essential oil
and borneol and camphor from the leaves. (40)
also contains linalool, linalyl acetate, and carophyllene epoxide.(36)
preparations and the isolated constituents have several pharmacological effects
in vitro and in animals. However, the effects in humans are less well known. Lavender
seems to induce relaxation and sedation. Lavender decreases EEG potentials and
decreases alertness in humans.(41)
some evidence that lavender has spasmolytic effects on smooth muscle (42)
have analgesic effects.(34)
also some evidence from animal models that lavender might have anticonvulsant
effects and possibly potentiate chloral hydrate and pentobarbital effects.(41)
models, lavender leaf extract and essential oils seem to have analgesic and
anti-inflammatory properties. (40)
oil has modest estrogenic effects and antiandrogenic effects in vitro.(38)
might also have stimulant effects on hair growth; (33) however, the mechanism of this
effect is not known.
of lavender may cause headache.(32)
Interactions with Herbs & Supplements:
Interactions with Drugs:
enhance the effects of sedative herbs. Advise patients th at lower than usual dose
may be necessary. Refer to a Medical Adviser.
Interactions with Foods:
Interactions with Lab Tests:
Interactions with Diseases or Conditions:
Clare’s Blends: Dose 455mgs per day. 1.5mls 1:3 Tincture.
depression, tincture of lavender (1:5 in 50% alcohol) 60 drops per day has been
used for 4 weeks.(32)
For alopecia areata, one study used a combination of essential oils including
lavender 3 drops (108mg), rosemary 3 drops (114 mg), thyme 2 drops (88mg), and
cedarwood 2 drops (94 mg), all mixed with 3 mL jojoba oil and 20 mL grapeseed
oil. Each night, the mixture is massaged in
scalp for 2 minutes with a warm towel placed around the head to increase
agitation associated with dementia, lavender aromatherapy has been used by
applying lavender oil to a pad attached to clothingor placed in a bedside diffuser.
insomnia, lavender aromatherapy has been used by placing lavender oil in a vaporizer.
general psychological well-bei9ng, adding 3 mL of a mixture of lavender oil 20%
and grapeseed oil
bath water has been used.(39)
Specific References: LAVENDER
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Office of Premarket Approval,
EAFUS: A food additive database. Available at: vm.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/eafus.html.
Akhondzadeh S, Kashani L, Fotouhi A, et al. Comparison of Lavandula
angustifolia Mill. tincture and imipramine in the treatment of mild tomoderate
depression: a double-blind, randomized trial. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol
IC, Jamieson M, Ormerod AD. Randomized trial
of aromatherapy. Successful treatment for
alopecia areata. Arch Dermatol 1998;134:1349-52.
34. Buckle J. Use of aromatherapy as a complementary treatment for chronic
pain. Altern Ther Health Med 1999;5:42-51.
35. Lynn A, Hovanec L, Brandt J. A Controlled Trial of Aromatherapy for
Agitation in Nursing Home Patients with Dementia. J Alt Comp Med 2004;431-7.
36. Lin PW, Chan W, Ng BF, Lam LC. Efficacy of aromatherapy (Lavandula
angustifolia) as an intervention for agitated behaviours in Chinese older
persons with dementia: a cross-over randomized trial. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry
37. Lewith GT, Godfrey AD, Prescott P. A single-blinded, randomized pilot study
evaluating the aroma of Lavandula augustifolia as a treatment for mild
insomnia. J Altern Complement Med 2005;11:631-7. 38. Henley DV, Lipson N,
Korach KS, Bloch CA. Prepubertal gynecomastia linked to lavender and tea tree
oils. N Eng J Med 2007;356:479-85.
39. Morris N. The effects of lavender (Lavendula angustifolium) baths on
psychological well-being: two exploratory randomised control trials. Complement
Ther Med 2002;10:223-8.
40. Hajhashemi V, Ghannadi A, Sharif B. Anti-inflammatory and analgesic
properties of the leaf extracts and essential oil of Lavandula angustifolia Mill.
J Ethnopharmacol 2003;89:67-71.
41. Schulz V, Hansel R, Tyler VE. Rational Phytotherapy: A Physician's Guide to
Herbal Medicine. Terry C. Telger, transl. 3rd ed. Berlin, GER: Springer, 1998
42. The Review of Natural Products by Facts and Comparisons. St. Louis, MO:
Wolters Kluwer Co., 1999.