Lavender (Lavendula officinalis)

Traditional Indications

Lavender is antihalitosis, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aromatherapy, aromatic, carminative, cholagogue, diuretic, nervine, sedative, stimulant, stomachic, tonic and natural RTK inhibitor. Lavender is an important relaxing herb, having a soothing and relaxing affect upon the nervous system. The flowering spikes can be dried and used internally in a tincture, though the extracted essential oil is more commonly used. An essential oil obtained from the flowers is antihalitosis, powerfully antiseptic, antispasmodic, aromatic, carminative, cholagogue, diuretic, nervine, sedative, stimulant, stomachic and tonic. It is not often used internally, though it is a useful carminative and nervine. It is mainly used externally where it is an excellent restorative and tonic - when rubbed into the temples, for example, it can cure a nervous headache, and it is a delightful addition to the bath water. Its powerful antiseptic properties are able to kill many of the common bacteria. It is useful in the treatment of burns, sunburn, scalds, bites, vaginal discharge, anal fissure etc, where it also soothes the affected part of the body and can prevent the formation of permanent scar tissue. (1)

In Traditional Chinese Medicine Lavender is called Xun Yi Cao. Xun Yi Cao enters the Heart, Pericardium, Lungs and Kidney channels to clears Heat and expel Toxicity. Xun Yi Cao expels Wind to relieve itching and treat cold and flu caused by Wind Heat. Xun Yi Cao reduces Inflammation to treat eye infections, ulcers, gangrene and circulates Qi to treat asthma, bronchitis, depression, flatulence, low back pain. (2)

Pharmacognosy

Active constituents include linalool, linalyl acetate, lavandulyl, t-p3-ocimene, a-terpineol, nerol, neryl acetate and beta-caryophyllene. (3)

Lavender displays antibacterial activity. (4)

Lavender’s central nervous system actions are contributed to well-established targets, such as Monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A), serotonin transporter (SERT), GABAA and NMDA receptors. (5)

Lavender oil caused significant decreases of blood pressure, heart rate, and skin temperature, which indicated a decrease of autonomic arousal. (6)

Tyrosine kinase receptors (RTKs) play a crucial role in the regulation of the cell division cycle. Lavender is a natural RTK inhibitor. Linalool, the primary natural constituent of Lavender essential oil has recently been the subject of a study for anti-cancer activity. Linalool is shown to have potent anti-tumour effects. (7-9)

Lavender extract inhibits lymphocytes proliferation of Hodgkin's lymphoma patients and can be regarded as a potential anti-cancer agent in future studies. (10)

In vitro and in vivo efficacy studies of lavender angustifolia essential oil and its active constituents have shown that lavender angustifolia has an inhibitory effect on the proliferation of human prostate cancer. (11)

1. PFAF. Lavandula angustifolia 2019.
2. Healing WRIo. Lavender (Xun Yi Cao) 2019.
3. Robu S, Aprotosoaie AC, Spac A, Cioanca O, Hancianu M, Stanescu U. [Studies regarding chemical composition of lavender volatile oils]. Revista medico-chirurgicala a Societatii de Medici si Naturalisti din Iasi. 2011;115(2):584-9.
4. Hossain S, Heo H, De Silva BCJ, Wimalasena SHMP, Pathirana HNKS, Heo G-J. Antibacterial activity of essential oil from lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) against pet turtle-borne pathogenic bacteria. Laboratory animal research. 2017;33(3):195-201.
5. López V, Nielsen B, Solas M, Ramírez MJ, Jäger AK. Exploring Pharmacological Mechanisms of Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) Essential Oil on Central Nervous System Targets. Frontiers in pharmacology. 2017;8:280-.
6. Sayorwan W, Siripornpanich V, Piriyapunyaporn T, Hongratanaworakit T, Kotchabhakdi N, Ruangrungsi N. The effects of lavender oil inhalation on emotional states, autonomic nervous system, and brain electrical activity. Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand = Chotmaihet thangphaet. 2012;95(4):598-606.
7. Iwasaki K, Zheng Y-W, Murata S, Ito H, Nakayama K, Kurokawa T, et al. Anticancer effect of linalool via cancer-specific hydroxyl radical generation in human colon cancer. World journal of gastroenterology. 2016;22(44):9765-74.
8. Chang M-Y, Shen Y-L. Linalool Exhibits Cytotoxic Effects by Activating Antitumor Immunity. 2014;19(5):6694.
9. Chang M-Y, Shieh D-E, Chen C-C, Yeh C-S, Dong H-P. Linalool Induces Cell Cycle Arrest and Apoptosis in Leukemia Cells and Cervical Cancer Cells through CDKIs. International journal of molecular sciences. 2015;16(12):28169-79.
10. Dalilan S, Rezaei-Tavirani M, Nabiuni M, Heidari-Keshel S, Zamanian Azodi M, Zali H. Aqueous Extract of Lavender Angustifolia Inhibits Lymphocytes Proliferation of Hodgkin's Lymphoma Patients. Iranian journal of cancer prevention. 2013;6(4):201-8.
11. Zhao Y, Chen R, Wang Y, Qing C, Wang W, Yang Y. In Vitro and In Vivo Efficacy Studies of Lavender angustifolia Essential Oil and Its Active Constituents on the Proliferation of Human Prostate Cancer. Integrative cancer therapies. 2017;16(2):215-26.