Natural Health Products
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Lavender is native to the Mediterranean region, Africa, Russia, and the Arabian Peninsula. It was used in ancient Egypt as part of the process for mummifying bodies. Lavender’s use as a bath additive originated in Persia, Greece, and Rome. The herb’s name comes from the Latin lavare, which means "to wash."
How is this product usually used?
Lavender is most commonly used in aromatherapy, in which the scent of the essential oilessential oilan agent extracted from plant parts and used in perfumes, cosmetics, incenses, and medication from the flowers is inhaled.
The essential oil can also be diluted with another oil and applied to the skin.
Dried lavender flowers can be used to make teas or liquid extractextractto get, separate, or isolate a desired active ingredients that can be taken by mouth.
What is this product used for?
Historically, lavender was used as an antisepticantiseptican agent that prevents or reduces infection from wounds and for mental health purposes. Lavender was also used to boost appetite and relieve gastrointestinal problems.
Today, the herb is used for conditions such as anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, and depression.
Lavender is also used for headache, upset stomach, pain, and hair loss.
Your health care provider may have recommended this product for other conditions. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.
What else should I be aware of?
There is little scientific evidence of lavender’s effectiveness for most health uses.
Small studies on lavender for anxiety show mixed results.
Some preliminary results indicate that lavender oil, combined with oils from other herbs, may help with hair loss from a condition called alopecia areata.
Topical (applied to the skin) use of diluted lavender oil or use of lavender as aromatherapy is generally considered safe for most adults. However, applying lavender oil to the skin can cause irritation. There have been reports that topical use can cause breast growth in young boys.
Lavender oil may be poisonous if taken by mouth.
When lavender teas and extractextractto get, separate, or isolate a desired active ingredients are taken by mouth, they may cause headache, changes in appetite, and constipation.
Using lavender with sedativesedativean agent that induces sleep, relaxes, and reduces tension medications (e.g., phenobarbital, diazepam) may increase drowsiness. When used together with drugs that treat high blood pressure (e.g., losartan, diltiazem, amlodipine), lavender may cause lowered blood pressure. When used with CNS (central nervous system) depressants such as antihistamines, benzodiazepines, and tricyclic antidepressants, lavender may enhance their effects (both desired and undesired).
Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
Tell your health care provider about any natural health products you may be taking.
- National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). Herbs at a Glance. Lavender. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/lavender/ Accessed September 12, 2014.
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