Traditionally used for treating burns, insect bites, parasitic infections and spasms, lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is native to Africa, Europe, and Asia. Several animal studies suggest that lavender has sedative (sleep-inducing), analgesic (pain-relieving), and anticonvulsive (antiepileptic or antiseizure) and neuroprotective (nerve-protective) properties.[1]

Lavender For Anxiety
Anxiety is an unpleasant state of inner turmoil that can manifest as a panic attack, phobia or depression.

Three clinical trials show that lavender can be effective in dealing with anxiety disorders.

  • The studies found that the anti-anxiety effect of lavender was superior to the placebo in 221 patients suffering from an anxiety disorder. The group was given a dose of  80 mg/day lavender oil preparation once daily.
  • Anxiety related symptoms such as disturbed sleep and restlessness were reduced and patients developed a general sense of well-being.[2,3,4]
  • In another study,  orally administered lavender capsules containing 100 or 200 μL of organic lavender oil were tested on responses to anxiety-provoking film clips. After evaluating the mood and variation in heart rate, researchers concluded that lavender exhibited anxiolytic properties.[5]

How To Take It

  • Add four teaspoons of fresh lavender buds to a cup of boiling water. Cover the cup with a lid or saucer and allow it to steep for 15 minutes. Have it twice a day for better relief.

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1. Gilani AH, Aziz N, Khan MA, Shaheen F, Jabeen Q, Siddiqui BS, Herzig JW. Ethnopharmacological evaluation of the anticonvulsant, sedative and antispasmodic activities of Lavandula stoechas L. J Ethnopharmacol. 2000 Jul;71(1-2):161-7. PubMed PMID: 10904159.

2. Kasper S, Gastpar M, Müller WE, Volz HP, Möller HJ, Dienel A, Schläfke S. Efficacy and safety of silexan, a new, orally administered lavender oil preparation, in subthreshold anxiety disorder – evidence from clinical trials. Wien Med Wochenschr. 2010 Dec;160(21-22):547-56. doi: 10.1007/s10354-010-0845-7. Review. PubMed PMID: 21170695.

3. Kasper S, Gastpar M, Müller WE, Volz HP, Möller HJ, Dienel A, Schläfke S. Silexan, an orally administered Lavandula oil preparation, is effective in the treatment of ‘subsyndromal’ anxiety disorder: a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial. Int Clin Psychopharmacol. 2010 Sep;25(5):277-87. doi: 10.1097/YIC.0b013e32833b3242. PubMed PMID: 20512042.

4. Woelk H, Schläfke S. A multi-center, double-blind, randomised study of the Lavender oil preparation Silexan in comparison to Lorazepam for generalized anxiety disorder. Phytomedicine. 2010 Feb;17(2):94-9. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2009.10.006. Epub 2009 Dec 3. PubMed PMID: 19962288.

5. Bradley BF, Brown SL, Chu S, Lea RW. Effects of orally administered lavender essential oil on responses to anxiety-provoking film clips. Hum Psychopharmacol. 2009 Jun;24(4):319-30. doi: 10.1002/hup.1016. PubMed PMID: 19382124.

Armed with a PhD in Alternative Medicine, a graduate degree in Biotechnology, an MSc, and an MBA in Clinical Research and Clinical Pharmacology, Dr Jonathan is a certified practitioner of Alternative Medicine and is actively involved in patient education initiatives. He is also the author of the bestselling book, Outsmart Diabetes. Dr Jonathan loves to share his passion for herbs and other alternative medicinal practices with others through his writing.