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It has been known to have anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory, antinociceptive, antioxidant, and antimicrobial effects. Herbal products like lavender essential oils may offer a solution to the problem of antibiotic resistance, invasive treatments, side effects, or even drug addiction.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is an evergreen plant native to the Mediterranean. Its flower and oil have a popular scent and are also used as medicine.

Lavender contains an oil that seems to have calming effects and might relax certain muscles. It also seems to have antibacterial and antifungal effects.

People commonly use lavender for anxiety, stress, insomniadepressiondementia, pain, and many other conditions.

 Effective for

  • Anxiety. Taking a specific lavender oil supplement (Silexan) by mouth seems to help relieve anxiety. Using lavender oil aromatherapy or aromatherapy massage also seems to help.
  • Depression. Taking lavender products by mouth, including teas and a specific oil supplement (Silexan), or inhaling lavender oil as aromatherapy, seem to reduce symptoms of depression.
  • Menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea). Lavender oil aromatherapy seems to help reduce menstrual pain.
Health benefits of lavender

Since ancient times, lavender has been used to reduce symptoms and provide support for multiple conditions. Modern science has confirmed many of its health benefits, while others are still under investigation.

Lavender may help with some of the following:

  • insomnia
  • anxiety
  • hair loss
  • headaches
  • chemotherapy side effects
  • acne
  • burns
  • eczema and dry skin
  • wound healing
  • mood issues


Once upon a time, lavender was recommended for people experiencing insomnia or other sleep disorders. People stuffed their pillows with lavender flowers to help them fall asleep and get a better night’s rest.

Today, research suggests that breathing in lavender’s aroma could improve sleep quality. A systematic review of 15 studies from 2014Trusted Source found that inhaling essential oils, including lavender, had positive effects in people with mild sleep disturbances.

Numerous smaller studies have found additional benefits of lavender for sleep issues.

Research from 2015 showed that people who used lavender aromatherapy felt more refreshed upon waking. Another 2010 studyTrusted Source conducted on people with anxiety disorders revealed that orally administered lavender oil helped them sleep longer at night.


Lavender may also provide support for people with anxiety.

In a large meta-analysis from 2019Trusted Source, people with anxiety disorders who took 160-milligram lavender oil capsules experienced significant decreases in anxiety.

Other studies have found similar results.

One from 2015Trusted Source involved 60 people in a coronary intensive care unit. The researchers found that those treated with lavender essential oil had lower levels of anxiety and better sleep.

Another study from 2010Trusted Source compared lavender capsules to the anti-anxiety medication lorazepam, concluding that lavender’s effects were comparable to the prescription drug.

Hair loss

Topical use of lavender oil might help to treat a disease called alopecia aerata, which causes a person’s hair to fall out in patches.

According to an older 1998 studyTrusted Source of 86 people with alopecia areata, 44 percent experienced improved hair growth after massaging an essential oil blend of thyme, rosemary, lavender, and cedarwood in a mixture of carrier oils into their scalp daily for seven months.

While this study is promising, it’s difficult to say whether the hair growth could be contributed to lavender specifically.

An animal study from 2021 also found that lavender oil successfully stimulated hair growth within a 28-day timeframe.

Headaches and migraine

The calming effects of lavender might be enough to soothe away a headache or migraine.

In one study from 2016, people with migraine who received 3 months of lavender therapy scored lower on a headache assessment scale than a control group.

In another 2012 studyTrusted Source, 47 participants with migraine inhaled lavender essential oil for 15 minutes. They experienced reduced headache severity and frequency.

Chemotherapy side effects

According to the National Cancer InstituteTrusted Source, aromatherapy can help people with cancer manage the side effects of their treatment. Lavender aromatherapy may help lower anxiety about cancer treatment procedures.


Lavender’s effects on depression aren’t as well documented as those on anxiety, but research is promising.

A small 2016 studyTrusted Source on postpartum women found that lavender aromatherapy prevented stress, anxiety, and depression after childbirth.

Another small 2015 study looked at people with kidney disease. The researchers found that those who inhaled a lavender scent for 1 hour during hemodialysis had lower scores of depression and stress than those who did not.

Older adults who drank lavender tea twice a day for 2 weeks in a small 2020 study experienced lower levels of anxiety and depression.


Compared to more aggressive treatments, lavender oil could be a gentle way to treat acne due to its ability to kill bacteria.

In a 2013 study, a combination of lavender oil and aloe extract effectively inhibited the growth of one bacterial strain that causes acne.


Lavender has long been used as a traditional remedy for burns, and some older researchTrusted Source has suggested there’s scientific data to confirm this use. According to a 2009 studyTrusted Source, its antimicrobial activity might also help prevent infections after a burn.

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