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Lavandula angustifolia


Lavandula angustifolia

[span class=alert]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.[/span]

Family Name


Genus Name


Vernacular Name

Lavander, english lavender, lavendar, lavande officinale ou vraie.

Original Habitat

Lavandula angustifolia is commonly known as English lavender and is an aromatic shrub that is native to parts of southern Europe and the Mediterranean. 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. English lavender grows well in dry, well-drained soil in full sun. It cannot tolerate full shade.[1]

Plant Part Used

Flowering tops


Lavender is extensively used in foods, beverages, candies and alcoholic drinks. It is also used equally extensively in body care products, perfumes, deodorisers and flower waters. It is used in aromatherapy as a single oil and in formulations.


The thin essential oil of L. angustifolia is steam-distilled from the flowers and tops which must be harvested when in full bloom. It may also be solvent extracted. The oil is almost colourless with a sweet, floral scent and top note.

Chemical Constituents

Terpenes (5%) and sesquiterpenes (5%)
Terpene alcohols: Linalol (35-45%), terpinen-4-ol (3-4%), alpha terpineol (0.5%), borneol (1-1.5%)
Terpenic esters: Linalyl acetate 42-52%)
Lavandulyl acetate (2-4%)
Terpenic oxides 1.8 cineole (1-2.5%) terpenic ketones (3-4%)
Terpenic aldehyde, lactones and coumarins (feeble %) [2][3][4]

Medicinal Uses

Antispasmodic, muscular relaxant ++++
Calmant, sedative, hypotensive +++
Anti-inflammatory, antalgic ++
Anti-infectious ++
Cicatrizing ++

AntifungalThe essential oil of L. angustifolia has been examined against Candida albicans in laboratory studies. While not as effective for this purpose as T. vulgaris, [5] L. angustifolia does demonstrate effectiveness against Candida albicans dimorphism and may therefore reduce fungal progression.[6] It has also been positively evaluated against Rhizopus stolonifer, Botrytis cinerea and Aspergillus niger in vitro demonstrating complete growth inhibition of all three fungi.[4][7]

Antibacterial- While there is limited scientific information available on the anti-bacterial effects of L. angustifolia, it has demonstrated promise in preliminary studies against Methicillin-Sensitive and -Resistant Staphylococcus aureus.[8]

AnxiolyticSedative and anxiolytic properties have been demonstrated in small animal studies.[9][10][11]

Traditional Use

Cramps +++
Nervousness, sleeping disorders, anxiety, insomnia +++
Burns, itching, scabs, wounds, varicose ulcers ++
Allergic, infected and scar dermatosis ++ [12]

The number of human studies on the various uses and applications has increased in recent years with a focus on demonstrating the validity of traditional use.

Stress reductionA small pilot study of intensive care nurses resulted in a perceived lower level of stress consistently in three 12-hour work shifts.[13] Two human studies, one a cross-over randomized trial of agitated dementia patients, and another a placebo controlled trial, demonstrated a calming effects of Lavender essential oil used as adjunct therapy with no side effects.[14][15] While the effects on stress and mood are positive, one study found that exposure to the scent of Lavender essential oil reduced cognitive skills as compared to a control group.[16]

The reduction in coritisol levels as a result of inhaling L. angustifolium has been verified in a small human study of 22 subjects, measuring cortisol in saliva. Researchers assume this action to be the result of free radical scavenging activity.[17]

A separate placebo control study found that use of essential oils of Lavender, Bergamot and Ylang Ylang produced a statistically significant difference in pulse, blood pressure, stress response and cortisol levels in subjects tested.[18] Lavender alone or in combination with other essential oils has been studied in hospice patients who reported an improved sense of well-being [19] and in dental patients who reported decreased anxiety and improved mood while waiting for dental treatment.[20] Lavender essential oil has also demonstrated a moderate level of efficacy in treatment of mild insomnia over time.[21]

AnalgesicA human randomized placebo control study of 54 morbidly obese patients undergoing laparoscopic gastric band surgery examined the patient’s pain perception and use of opoid medications post-anesthesia. Significantly more of the patients in the control group required analgesic intervention (82%) than the group treated with the Lavender inhalation, (46%).[22] In a separate study, post-operative patients using Lavender essential oil aromatherapy as adjunct therapy to pain medication expressed a higher satisfaction rate regarding the effectiveness of their analgesic therapy.[23]

Insect repellent/insecticidalLavender essential oil has been studied as an insect repellant against ticks demonstrating 100% repellency when diluted to 30%.[24] In a separate laboratory study, Lavender essential oil compared favorably to DEET against Hyalomma marginatum rufipes.[25]

Antiparasitic- L. angustifolia was also found to demonstrate effectiveness against human protozoaic pathogens and at a low dosage can completely eliminate T. vaginalis, G. duodenalis and H. inflata in vitro.[26] It has also demonstrated miticidal properties.[27]

Contraindications and Precautions

L. angustifolia is generally safe when used as directed although it is considered to be a mild irritant.[28]

Not to be use by pregnant or nursing women unless under the direction of a health care professional.



[span class=alert]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.[/span]

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  1) Botanical Info


  1. Simon JE, Chadwick AF and Craker LE. Herbs: An Indexed Bibliography. 1971-1980. The Scientific Literature on Selected Herbs, and Aromatic and Medicinal Plants of the Temperate Zone. Hamden CT: Archon Books; 1984.
  2. Da Porto C, Decorti D. Analysis of the volatile compounds of flowers and essential oils from Lavandula angustifolia cultivated in Northeastern Italy by headspace solid-phase microextraction coupled to gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Planta Med. Feb2008;74(2):182-187.
  3. Landmann C, Fink B, Festner M, Dregus M, Engel KH, Schwab W. Cloning and functional characterization of three terpene synthases from lavender (Lavandula angustifolia). Arch Biochem Biophys. 15Sep2007;465(2):417-429.
  4. Behnam S, Farzaneh M, Ahmadzadeh M, Tehrani AS. Composition and antifungal activity of essential oils of Mentha piperita and Lavendula angustifolia on post-harvest phytopathogens. Commun Agric Appl Biol Sci. 2006;71(3 Pt B):1321-1326.
  5. Giordani R, Regli P, Kaloustian J, Mikaïl C, Abou L, Portugal H. Antifungal effect of various essential oils against Candida albicans. Potentiation of antifungal action of amphotericin B by essential oil from Thymus vulgaris. Phytother Res. Dec2004;18(12):990-995.
  6. D'Auria FD, Tecca M, Strippoli V, Salvatore G, Battinelli L, Mazzanti G. Antifungal activity of Lavandula angustifolia essential oil against Candida albicans yeast and mycelial form. Med Mycol. Aug2005;43(5):391-396.
  7. Shin S. Anti-Aspergillus activities of plant essential oils and their combination effects with ketoconazole or amphotericin B. Arch Pharm Res. May2003;26(5):389-393.
  8. Roller S, Ernest N, Buckle J. The Antimicrobial Activity of High-Necrodane and Other Lavender Oils on Methicillin-Sensitive and -Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA and MRSA). J Altern Complement Med. 27 Feb2009.
  9. Guillemain J, Rousseau A, Delaveau P. Neurodepressive effects of the essential oil of Lavandula angustifolia Mill. Ann Pharm Fr. 1989;47(6):337-343.
  10. Bradley BF, Starkey NJ, Brown SL, Lea RW. Anxiolytic effects of Lavandula angustifolia odour on the Mongolian gerbil elevated plus maze. J Ethnopharmacol. 22 May2007;111(3):517-525.
  11. Huang L, Abuhamdah S, Howes MJ, Dixon CL, Elliot MS, Ballard C, Holmes C, Burns A, Perry EK, Francis PT, Lees G, Chazot PL. Pharmacological profile of essential oils derived from Lavandula angustifolia and Melissa officinalis with anti-agitation properties: focus on ligand-gated channels. J Pharm Pharmacol. Nov2008;60(11):1515-1522.
  12. Denner SS. Lavandula angustifolia Miller: English lavender. Holist Nurs Pract. Jan-Feb2009;23(1):57-64.
  13. Pemberton E, Turpin PG. The effect of essential oils on work-related stress in intensive care unit nurses. Holist Nurs Pract. Mar-Apr2008;22(2):97-102.
  14. Lin PW, Chan WC, Ng BF, Lam LC. Efficacy of aromatherapy (Lavandula angustifolia) as an intervention for agitated behaviours in Chinese older persons with dementia: a cross-over randomized trial. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. May2007;22(5):405-410.
  15. Holmes C, Hopkins V, Hensford C, MacLaughlin V, Wilkinson D, Rosenvinge H. Lavender oil as a treatment for agitated behaviour in severe dementia: a placebo controlled study. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. Apr2002;17(4):305-308.
  16. Moss M, Cook J, Wesnes K, Duckett P. Aromas of rosemary and lavender essential oils differentially affect cognition and mood in healthy adults. Int J Neurosci. Jan2003;113(1):15-38.
  17. Atsumi T, Tonosaki K. Smelling lavender and rosemary increases free radical scavenging activity and decreases cortisol level in saliva. Psychiatry Res. 28 Feb2007;150(1):89-96.
  18. Hwang JH. The effects of the inhalation method using essential oils on blood pressure and stress responses of clients with essential hypertension. Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi. Dec2006;36(7):1123-1134.
  19. Louis M, Kowalski SD. Use of aromatherapy with hospice patients to decrease pain, anxiety, and depression and to promote an increased sense of well-being. Am J Hosp Palliat Care. Nov-Dec2002;19(6):381-386.
  20. Lehrner J, Marwinski G, Lehr S, Johren P, Deecke L. Ambient odors of orange and lavender reduce anxiety and improve mood in a dental office. Physiol Behav. 15 Sep2005;86(1-2):92-95.
  21. Lewith GT, Godfrey AD, Prescott P. A single-blinded, randomized pilot study evaluating the aroma of Lavandula augustifolia as a treatment for mild insomnia. J Altern Complement Med. Aug2005;11(4):631-637.
  22. Kim JT, Ren CJ, Fielding GA, Pitti A, Kasumi T, Wajda M, Lebovits A, Bekker A. Treatment with lavender aromatherapy in the post-anesthesia care unit reduces opioid requirements of morbidly obese patients undergoing laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding. Obes Surg. Jul2007;17(7):920-925.
  23. Kim JT, Wajda M, Cuff G, Serota D, Schlame M, Axelrod DM, Guth AA, Bekker AY. Evaluation of aromatherapy in treating postoperative pain: pilot study. Pain Pract. Dec2006;6(4):273-277.
  24. Jaenson TG, Garboui S, Palsson K. Repellency of oils of lemon eucalyptus, geranium, and lavender and the mosquito repellent MyggA natural to Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae) in the laboratory and field. J Med Entomol. Jul2006;43(4):731-736.
  25. Mkolo MN, Magano SR. Repellent effects of the essential oil of Lavendula angustifolia against adults of Hyalomma marginatum rufipes. J S Afr Vet Assoc. Sep2007;78(3):149-152.
  26. Moon T, Wilkinson JM, Cavanagh HM. Antiparasitic activity of two Lavandula essential oils against Giardia duodenalis, Trichomonas vaginalis and Hexamita inflata. Parasitol Res. Nov2006;99(6):722-728.
  27. Perrucci S, Cioni PL, Flamini G, Morelli I, Macchioni G. Acaricidal agents of natural origin against Psoroptes cuniculi. Parassitologia. Dec1994;36(3):269-271.
  28. Tisserand R, Balacs T. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingston; 1995.

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