lavender tea improves depression and anxiety in seniors

There are few things in nature more beautiful and calming than a purple field of lavender flowers. When you make a tea out of those flowers, they may beautifully calm your anxiety and brighten your depression.

Several studies have shown that lavender calms anxiety and depression. This gentle flower is so powerful that it works as well as the harsh drugs. Lavender oil is as good as or better than benzodiazepines (Phytomed 2010;17(2):94-9)  and SSRIs (Int J Neuropsychopharmacol 2014;17(6):859-869) for anxiety, and lavender tincture is a match for imipramine for depression (Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 2003).

This new study looked at lavender tea, but it added a wrinkle. The people in the study were told to inhale the lavender aroma before drinking it: aromatherapy and a soothing cup of tea all at once.

The study was single-blind and included 60 people who were sixty or older and who were experiencing mild to moderate depression. Half of them went untreated and half of them drank a cup of tea in the morning and a cup of tea in the evening for two weeks. Each cup of tea was made from a 2g tea bag steeped for 10-15 minutes.

The control group did not improve, but the lavender group did. They had significant improvement in both depression and anxiety, and those improvements were significant when compared to the non-tea drinkers.

The lavender tea was as safe as it was effective: there were no adverse events. This study offers hope of a safe, effective, pleasant and inexpensive way of helping elderly people with depression and anxiety.

Complement Ther Med. May 2020;50:102393

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