Lavender

Botanicals

18/Description

About

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 it works

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

Effectiveness

Possibly Effective
Hair loss in a condition called 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 lavender oil by mouth for 6-10 weeks improves anxiety and sleep and prevents anxiety recurrence in people with mild-to-severe anxiety. However, lavender does not seem to be more effective than the anti-anxiety medication lorazepam (Ativan). So far, early studies disagree about the effectiveness of using lavender oil as aromatherapy for treating anxiety.

Canker sores

Some research shows that applying two drops of lavender oil to the affected area three times daily can improve canker sore healing and reduce canker sore swelling and pain.

Fall prevention

There is some evidence that attaching a pad with lavender oil onto the neckline of clothing reduces falls in nursing home residents.

Pain after Cesarean section (C-section)

Some research suggests that inhaling lavender essence while receiving pain killers intravenously (by IV) can help reduce pain in women after a C-section.

Concerns

Likely safe

Lavender is LIKELY SAFE for most adults in food amounts

Possibly safe

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.

18/Warnings

Warnings

Children: Applying products to the skin that contain lavender oil isPOSSIBLY UNSAFEfor young boys who have not yet reachedpuberty. Lavender oil seems to havehormoneeffects that could disrupt the normal hormones in a boy's body. In some cases, this has resulted in boys developingabnormalbreastgrowth calledgynecomastia. The safety of these products when used by young girls is not known.Are there any interactions with medications?

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

Always consult with your doctor.
Moderate
Chloral Hydrate

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 (CNS depressants)

Lavender might decrease blood pressure in some people. Taking lavender along with medications used for lowering high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low. Do not take too much lavender if you are taking medications for high blood pressure.Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), Amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDIURIL), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.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.Lavender might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness and drowsiness are called sedatives. Taking melatonin along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness.Some of these sedative medications include lorazepam (Ativan), alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), midazolam (Versed), and others.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.

The information provided on this page is for reference purposes and is not meant to be used as a medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with a medical professional. The content on this page has been provided with thanks by RxList.com