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.
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.
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.