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Health Guide

Lavender

What is it?

Lavender is an herbal medicine used for mood disturbances such as anxiety, nervousness, or insomnia, and for stomach complaints such as nervous stomach. It can be used in a bath for its calming effect or for helping to heal minor skin rashes like acne or eczema.

Other names for Lavender include: Lavandula officinalis, Lavendelblueten, Fleurs de Lavande, aspic, English Lavender, Esplieg, Lavanda, Lavande Commun, Lavandin, Nardo, Spigo, and Spike Lavender.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are allergic to Lavender, linalool, or linalyl acetate
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease

Dosage:

Talk with your caregiver about how much Lavender you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Lavender. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.

Warnings:

  • Before taking Lavender, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Never take more than 2 drops of the oil by mouth as too much can be poisonous (6)

Side Effects:

Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.

  • Breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest
  • Chest pain
  • Skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin
  • Gynecomastia (7)
  • Dermatitis, contact dermatitis, and phototoxicity (8)

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • Constipation, nausea, skin rash, headache, nausea (upset stomach), and vomiting (throwing up) have been reported (3)
  • Tiredness and sleepiness (2)

References:

1. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al: The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. The American Botanical Council, Austin, TX; 1998.

2. Fetrow C & Avila J: Professional's Handbook of Complementary and Alternative Medicines. Springhouse Corporation, Springhouse, PA; 1999.

3. Vigushin DM, Poon GK, Boddy A et al: Phase 1 and pharmacokinetic study of d-limonene in patients with advanced cancer. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 1998; 42:111-117.

4. Hoffman D: The New Holistic Herbal. Element Books, Longmead, England; 1991.

5. Kowalchik C & Hylton WH (eds): Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs. Rodale Press, Emmaus, PA; 1987.

6. Fetrow CW & Avila JT: Professional's Handbook of Complementary and Alternative Medicines. Springhouse Corporation, Springhouse, PA; 1999.

7. Henley DV, Lipson N, Korach KS et al: Prepubertal gynecomastia linked to lavender and tea tree oils. N Engl J Med 2007; 356(5):479-485.

8. Goiriz R, Delgado-Jimenez Y, Sanchez-Perez J et al: Photoallergic contact dermatitis from lavendar oil in topical ketoprofen. Contact Dermatitis 2007; 57(6):381-382.


Last Updated: 8/4/2017
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