lavender and bitter orange improve anxiety in menopause

As if hot flashes aren’t bad enough, many menopausal women suffer feelings of anxiety too. Time to take care of that!

Menopause brings many physical and emotional symptoms. The anxiety that can accompany menopause not only affects your quality of life because of the anxiety, it also makes the physical menopause symptoms worse.

Lavender is better than drugs for anxiety. In people with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, lavender oil is as powerful as the benzodiazepine lorazepam while being safer, non-sedating and non-addictive.

So, what would happen if you gave menopausal women with anxiety lavender? And what would happen if you gave them bitter orange, a herb that has some of the same sedative compounds as lavender? Their anxiety improves. How much?

The 156 women in the triple-blind study were given either a placebo or 500mg of powdered lavender or 500mg of powdered bitter orange after breakfast and again in the evening for eight weeks. Scores for both current feelings of anxiety and for anxiety as a personal characteristic were significantly lower in both the lavender and the bitter orange group than in the placebo group.

When asked to rate their treatment, 83.7% of the lavender group and 83.4% of the bitter orange group said the treatment was “good” or “very good.” Only 43.8% of the placebo group were that satisfied.  73.5% of the lavender group and 79.2% of the bitter orange group said they were satisfied with their treatment. Only 31.3% of the placebo group were satisfied.

The herbal treatments were safe with adverse events actually being reported more frequently in the placebo group.

Lavender is proving to be an intriguing herb for women at times of anxiety. An earlier study found that applying lavender cream significantly improves anxiety in pregnant women.

Complement Ther Clin Pract 2018;31:132-138

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For much more on both anxiety and menopause, see our book The Family Naturopathic Encyclopedia.

For comprehensive help with anxiety or menopause, make an appointment to see Linda Woolven now.

The Natural Path
 is intended for educational purposes only and is in no way intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. For health problems, consult a qualified health practitioner for a comprehensive program.

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