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Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • Camphene, camphor, caryophyllene, carophyllene epoxide, cineole, common lavender, dipentene, English lavender, garden lavender, Lavandula angustifolia Miller, Lavandula burnamii, Lavandula dentate, Lavandula dhofarensis, Lavandula latifolia, Lavandula officinalis, Lavandula stoechas, lavandulol, limonene, linalool, linalyl acetate, ocimene, perillyl alcohol, pink lavender, POH, Silexan, Solum Oil, Solum Ol (German), terpinene, true lavender, white lavender.
  • Combination product examples: Naturopathic Herbal Extract Ear Drops (NHED) (contains Lavandula angustifolia, Allium sativum, Verbascum thapsus, Calendula flores, Hypericum perfoliatum, and vitamin E in olive oil).

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • Lavender is native to the Mediterranean region, the Arabian Peninsula, Russia, and Africa. It has been used cosmetically and medicinally throughout history. In modern times, lavender is cultivated around the world, and the fragrant oils of its flowers are used in aromatherapy, baked goods, candles, cosmetics, detergents, jellies, massage oils, perfumes, powders, shampoos, soaps, and teas. English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is the most common species of lavender used, although other species are in use, including L. burnamii, L. dentate, L. dhofarensis, L. latifolia, and L. stoechas.
  • Many people find lavender aromatherapy to be relaxing, and it has been reported to have anxiolytic effects in several small, methodologically flawed trials. Overall, the weight of the evidence suggests a small positive effect, although additional data from well-designed studies are required before the evidence can be considered strong. Lavender aromatherapy is also used as a hypnotic, although there is currently insufficient evidence in support of this use.
  • Small phase I human trials of the lavender constituent perillyl alcohol (POH) for cancer (up to 1,200mg/m2 four times daily) have suggested safety and tolerability, although efficacy has not been demonstrated.

Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.