There are few things in nature more beautiful and calming than a purple field of lavender flowers. There is a long tradition of using lavender for restlessness, insomnia, nervousness, depression and anxiety.

Several studies have now shown that lavender and lavender essential oil can contribute to feelings of well being and decreased anxiety. For a discussion of these studies, see the chapter on lavender in our book Healthy Herbs: Your Everyday Guide to Medicinal Herbs & Their Use.

And now, a new study has added more evidence for the use of lavender essential oil to ease anxiety. . . .

This double-blind study included 170 people who suffered from restlessness and had symptoms of anxiety, tension, and insomnia. While some were just given a placebo, others were given 80mg capsules of lavender essential oil. The researchers wanted to see what effect the lavender oil would have on anxiety.

At the end of the 10 week study, people taking the lavender oil improved their anxiety more than those taking the placebo, according to the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale. The lavender group’s anxiety scores improved from 25.5 to 13.7 while the placebo group improved from 26.5 to 16.9: a significant difference. 48.8% of the lavender group responded versus 33.3% of the placebo group. 31.4% of people on lavender achieved remission from anxiety versus 22.6% on the placebo (they were considered to be in remission if their anxiety score was less than 10).

Side effects in the 2 groups were comparable, and the lavender—unlike antianxiety drugs—did not cause drowsiness.

This study supports the use of lavender by people suffering from anxiety.

European Neuropsychopharmacology 2015;doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2015.07.024

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For much more on preventing and treating anxiety naturally, see our book The Family Naturopathic Encyclopedia.

For comprehensive help with anxiety, 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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