BENEFITS OF LAVENDER
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In a double-blind trial, individuals with anxiety received 80 mg per day of a proprietary lavender oil preparation (silexan, 80 mg once a day) or a low dose of an anti-anxiety drug (lorazepam, 0.5 mg once a day) for 6 weeks. Significant improvement was seen in both groups, and the degree of improvement was similar in both treatment groups.1 In another double-blind trial, Silexan also improved anxiety in people who were suffering from a combination of anxiety and depression
The volatile oil of lavender contains many medicinal components, including perillyl alcohol, linalool, and geraniol. The oil's aroma is known to be calming and thus may be helpful in some cases of insomnia. One study of elderly people with sleeping troubles found that inhaling lavender oil was as effective as some commonly prescribed sleep medications. Similar results were seen in another trial that included young and middle aged people with insomnia. Teas made from lavender flowers or from the oil (1 to 4 drops) are approved for internal use by the German Commission E for people with insomnia. Internal use of essential oils can be dangerous and should be done only with the supervision of a trained herbalist or healthcare professional.
In one study, the addition of lavender oil to a bath was more effective than a placebo in relieving perineal pain after childbirth (the perineum is the area between the vulva and the anus.)1 The improvement was not statistically significant, however, so more research is needed to determine whether lavender oil is truly effective.
Indigestion, Heartburn, and Low Stomach Acidity
Carminatives (also called aromatic digestive tonics or aromatic bitters) may be used to relieve symptoms of indigestion, particularly when there is excessive wind. It is believed that carminative agents work, at least in part, by relieving spasms in the intestinal tract.1