Lavender - What is it & How to use

What is it?

  • Lavender is native to the Mediterranean region, the Arabian Peninsula, and Russia. It is grown in Europe, the United States, and Australia.
  • Lavender has a long history of use to boost appetite and mood, as well as relieve gastrointestinal problems and anxiety. It was also used in ancient Egypt as part of the process for mummifying bodies.
  • Today, people use lavender as a dietary supplement for anxiety, depression, intestinal problems, and pain. People also apply it to the skin for hair loss, pain, and for improving emotional health. People may also inhale a lavender vapor to help sleep, to reduce pain, and for agitation related to dementia.
  • Tea can be made from lavender leaves. A vapor for inhalation can be made by mixing lavender oil (an essential oil) with boiling water. Lavender oil is used for massage and in baths. Lavender is also found in capsules and liquid extracts.
  • There is little scientific evidence of lavender’s effectiveness for most health uses.
  • Studies on lavender for anxiety have shown mixed results.
  • Results of a 1998 study suggested that massaging the scalp with a combination of lavender oil and oils from other herbs may help with hair loss from a condition called alopecia areata.

Safety Concerns

  • Topical use of diluted lavender oil is generally considered safe for most adults, but reports suggest it can cause skin irritation.
  • There’s not enough evidence to determine its safety when inhaled as aromatherapy.
  • Some evidence suggests that some topical applications containing lavender oil may affect sex hormone activity.
  • Lavender oil may be poisonous if taken by mouth.
  • Lavender extracts may cause stomach upset, joint pain, or headache.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.