Lavender - Research
Current research for external uses of lavender has shown some evidence for its ability to promote sleep.8 In addition, lavender aromatherapy reduced the level of perceived anxiety and physical symptoms of anxiety in nursing students.9 In hospice patients, it has elicited an increased sense of well-being.10 In other studies, lavender has been shown to reduce anger-frustration moods and negative responses about the future.11
Lavender has been used traditionally for coughs and colds, and has been studied for analgesic, antiseptic, and antibiotic properties.3,5 When lavender oil is massaged into the body, it can help relieve pain. In aromatherapy, lavender is used for many varied skin conditions.6
The internal use of lavender is currently approved by the German Commission E for restlessness and nervous stomach.1 The German Standard License for lavender tea lists it for restlessness, sleeplessness, lack of appetite, and nervous stomach. Lavender preparations have been employed traditionally to treat symptoms of minor sleeplessness.1
1 Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, Gruenwald J, Hall T, Riggins CW, Rister RS, eds. Klein S, Rister RS, trans. The Complete German Commission E Monographs Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Austin, TX: American Botanical Council; Boston: Integrative Medicine Communication; 1998.
4 Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckmann J, eds. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Austin, TX: American Botanical Council; Newton, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications; 2000.
3 Schnaubelt, K. Medical Aromatherapy: Healing with Essential Oils. Frog, LTD: Berkeley, CA; 1999.
5 Onstad D. Whole Foods Companion. Chelsea Green Publishing Co.: White River Junction, VT; 1996.
6 Lawless, J. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy and Herbalism. Dorset, UK: Element Books, Ltd; 1995.
7 Leung AY, Foster S, eds. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics. 2nd ed. New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc; 1996
8 Basch E, Foppa I, Kingsbury E et al. Lavender: Natural Standard Monograph. Available at www.naturalstandard.com. Accessed March 20, 2004.
9 Park M, Lee S. The effect of aroma inhalation method on stress responses of nursing students. Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi. April 2004;34(2):344-51.
10 Louis M, Kowalski S. Use of aromatherapy with hospice patients to decrease pain, anxiety, and depression and to promote an increased sense of well-being. Am J Hosp Palliat Care. November-December 2002;19(6):381-6.