Lavandula latifolia

Lavandula latifolia  

In regards to the Traditional Use and Therapeutic Action sections of Essential Oils, the oils are rated as is standard practice in the French school of aromatherapy and others. The ratings ranked from one (+) to four (++++) with four indicating the highest value, indicate the oil’s therapeutic value from a practicing clinician’s point of view. The French rating system mentioned are obtained from this book reference entitle ‘Les Cahiers Pratiques D'Aromatherapie Selon L'Ecole Francaise’ (Authors: Francine Baudry, Pascal Debauche & Dominique Baudoux). However, further clarification might be required and will be updated once additional information of the rating system is obtained.

Family Name

Lamiaceae

Genus Name

Lavandula 

Vernacular Name

Spike lavender

Original Habitat

This plant grows in Europe, mostly in the Mediterranean and the South of France. The plant reaches a height of less than one metre and takes several years to become fully established after which it can last for up to three decades.

Plant Part Used

Flowers and Flowering Tops

Formulation

Spike lavender is used in foods and beverages, body care products, perfumes and topical insect repellants. In aromatherapy it is used as single oil and in formulations.

Description

The thin essential oil is steam-distilled from the flowers and tops which must be harvested when in full bloom. It is lightly tinted or colourless with a sweet, fragrant aroma with woody undertones and a top note.

Chemical Constituents

Terpenic oxides: 1.8 cineole (30%)
Monoterpenols (30%), linalool, borneol terpenic ketones: camphor (15%)
Monoterpenes (10%) camphor  [1][2]

Medicinal Uses

Anticatarrhal, expectorant +++
Bactericidal and virucidal +++
Antifungal+++
Cicatrizing +++
General tonic +

Antimicrobial- In a study which examined the antimicrobial actions of several essential oils, L. latifolia showed some antimicrobial activity. These essential oils were tested against Salmonella Enteritidis, Salmonella Typhimurium, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Yersinia enterocolitica, Shigella flexneri, Listeria monocytogenes serovar 4b, and Staphylococcus aureus.[3]

Antibacterial- Many different species of Lavandula, including L. latfolia were examined for potential antibacterial properties. All species showed some inhibitory effects against methicillin-sensitive and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.[4]

Antioxidant- Several extracts from the Lamiaceae family were examined for both antioxidant and anti-rhizopus activity. L. latifolia showed in vitro antioxidant activity.[5]

Relaxant- A study involving 30 men looked at lavender oil used in a water-based inhalation process and its relaxant effects. Cortisol levels were measured in the treatment group and the control group. Those receiving the lavender aromatherapy had lower cortisol levels after 30 minutes while the control group did not exhibit any change.[6]

Antianxiety- Researchers found that the active constituent linalool in L. latifolia is responsible for the antianxiety effects displayed by this essential oil.[2]

Traditional Use

Microbic and viral infections (otitis, sinusitis, bronchitis, enterocolitis) +++
Serious burns, insect bites, mycosis (Athlete's foot) +++
Pustular acne ++
Rheumatism and rheumatoid polyarthritis ++

Coronary Circulation- Using lavender essential oil, researchers examined the effect of aromatherapy on coronary flow velocity reserve (CFVR) in men. The same was measured in a control group who did not receive treatment. The results showed that after the 30 minutes of the inhaled water/essential oil mixture, the CFVR significantly increased. This study showed that lavender essential oil may have beneficial effects on coronary blood flow.[7]

Insomnia- A small study examined lavender essential oil on depression and insomnia in college-aged women. The results showed that the oil had positive effects on both depression and insomnia, however, further research is warranted.[8]

Contraindications and Precautions

Generally safe when used as directed, but may cause irritation to the skin.[9]

 

 

Keep out of reach of children as oils are highly concentrated.Essential oils are irritating to the eyes.  Avoid contact with eye area.Always dilute essential oils with carrier oil, lotion, cream or gel even when using in diffuser or bath.Essential oils are sometimes prescribed to be used internally, but should only be used internally under professional supervision.

References

  1. Muñoz-Bertomeu J. Up-regulation of 1-deoxy-D-xylulose-5-phosphate synthase enhances production of essential oils in transgenic spike lavender. Plant Physiol. Nov2006;142(3):890-900.
  2. Umezu T. Anticonflict effects of lavender oil and identification of its active constituents. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. Dec2006;85(4):713-721.
  3. Rota C. In vitro antimicrobial activity of essential oils from aromatic plants against selected foodborne pathogens. J Food Prot. Jun2004;67(6):1252-1256.
  4. Roller S. The antimicrobial activity of high-necrodane and other lavender oils on methicillin-sensitive and -resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA and MRSA). J Altern Complement Med. Mar2009;15(3):275-279.
  5. López V. In vitro antioxidant and antirhizopus activities of Lamiaceae herbal extracts. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. Dec2007;62(4):151-155.
  6. Shiina Y. Relaxation effects of lavender aromatherapy improve coronary flow velocity reserve in healthy men evaluated by transthoracic Doppler echocardiography. Int J Cardiol. 26Sep2008;129(2):193-197.
  7. Shiina Y. Relaxation effects of lavender aromatherapy improve coronary flow velocity reserve in healthy men evaluated by transthoracic Doppler echocardiography. Int J Cardiol. 26 Sep2008;129(2):193-197.
  8. Lee IS. Effects of lavender aromatherapy on insomnia and depression in women college students. Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi. Feb2006;36(1):136-143.
  9. Tisserand R, Balacs T. Essential Oil Safety:  A Guide for Health Care Professionals. Edinburgh: Churchill Livinston; 1995.