Anxiety, stress and depression during pregnancy can have a negative effect on the health of both the mother and child. Previous research has shown that scenting a room with lavender essential oil can improve feelings of well being and reduce anxiety. . . . 

So, researchers conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled study to see if lavender could be a safe way to help ease anxiety, stress and depression in pregnant women.

The researchers asked 141 healthy pregnant women to rub either a placebo cream or a lavender cream onto their legs for ten to twenty minutes an hour and a half before going to bed. The lavender cream contained 1.25% lavender essential oil.

At the end of the eight week study, there was significant improvement in anxiety, stress and depression in the lavender group compared to the placebo group. By the end of only the fourth week, there was already significant improvement in stress and anxiety.

So, applying topical lavender gel may be a very safe and gentle way of improving relaxation and depression during pregnancy.

J Caring Sci 2015;4:63-73

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