There are many plants in the lavender family, but the type most commonly used medicinally is English lavender.
Traditionally, the essential oil of lavender was applied externally to treat joint pain, muscle aches, and a variety of skin conditions, including insect stings, acne, eczema, and burns. Lavender essential oil was also inhaled to relieve headaches, anxiety, and stress. Tincture of lavender was taken by mouth for joint pain, depression, migraines, indigestion, and anxiety.
Lavender was additionally used as a hair rinse and as a fragrance in “dream pillows” and potpourris.
What Is Lavender Oil Used for Today?
Lavender continues to be recommended for all its traditional uses. Only a few of these uses, however, have any supporting scientific evidence whatsoever, and for none of these is the evidence strong.
Lavender is also used in combination with other essential oils. For information on these uses, see the Aromatherapy article.
When used internally, lavender tincture is taken at a dose of 2-4 ml three times a day. Lavender essential oil is only used externally or by inhalation; it should not be used internally.
No form of lavender has undergone comprehensive safety testing.
Oral use of tincture of lavender has not been associated with any severe adverse effects, but comprehensive safety testing has not been performed.
The maximum safe doses of any form of lavender remains unknown for pregnant or nursing women, young children, or people with severe liver or kidney.
- Reviewer: EBSCO CAM Review Board
- Review Date: 09/2014 -
- Update Date: 09/18/2014 -