Lavender real

Authors: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer, Prof. Dr. med. Martina Bacharach-Buhles

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Last updated on: 05.07.2021

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Synonym(s)

Lavender oil; officinal lavandula; Violet angustifolia Miller

Definition
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Hardy half-shrub growing up to 60 cm high with strongly branched branches and upright twigs, narrow lanceolate leaves and purple flowers. The genus Lavender belongs to the labiates with many subgenera (see illustration). Lavender was the medicinal plant of the year 2020 in Germany and Austria.

Phytotherapeutically, flowers (lavender flowers - Lavandulae flos) are used. The essential oil contained therein is also used medicinally (lavender oil - Lavandulae aetheroleum).

Occurrence
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Naturally occurring mainly in the Mediterranean area. Cultivated from Central Europe to Scandinavia.

Field of application/use
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Lavendula angustifolia is the parent plant of Lavendulae flos, the blue calyx lavender flowers that have not yet bloomed. Several monographs exist for Lavendulae flos, including Commission E.

Monographs of the HMPC exist for Lavendulae aetheroleum, the lavender oil (see figure), which is officinal according to Ph.Eur.8 and ÖAB. As a traditional phytotherapeutic for mild stress symptoms, exhaustion and sleep aid. Another indication mentioned is the treatment of functional circulatory disorders.

Silexan®, a herbal active ingredient with anxiolytic effects, is obtained by steam distillation of Lavandula angustifolia flowers. Silexan represents a medicinal lavender oil of the highest pharmaceutical quality. A "medicinal lavender oil" is used as a systemic therapeutic agent against anxious moods as well as depressive moods. Commercially available is the preparation Lasea® which is administered as a soft capsule once a day and whose anxiolytic efficacy is comparable to 20mg paroxetine or 0.5mg lorazepam.

Contradictory data concerning the driving ability: Current studies (Möller 2021) say that lavender oil does not have a sedative effect and does not restrict the driving ability - the monograph of the HMPC, to which we doctors should adhere, states: "May restrict the driving ability and the operation of machines".

Lavender oil has an inhibitory effect on the growth of fungi and microorganisms, has a disinfectant effect like almost no other plant, and at the same time has an anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect.

Lavender sachets or pillows have been placed between pieces of laundry for centuries as a natural moth repellent.

Lavender oil is essentially used as a perfume component in soaps, shaving lotions, creams and numerous other cosmetics.Lavendela angustifolia water (INCI) is used as a fragrance in cosmetic formulations.

Dosage
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Registered by the EMA (HMPC) as a bath additive in a dosage of 10-50 g/10 l of water as a single and daily dose.

Adolescents, adults and seniors as a tea: 1-2 g in 150 ml of boiled water, as a tincture 2-4 ml, 3 times / day.

Not recommended for children under 12 years.

To date, no cases of overdose known.

Undesirable effects
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Lavender oil consists of numerous components, including geraniol, linalool, linalyl acetate, which may be possible triggers of contact allergies.

Sensitization potency: Weak. Sensitization frequency: Very rare.

Despite the widespread use of lavender oil, only isolated cases of allergic contact dermatitis have been reported in the literature (hairdressers, beauticians).

In cases of etiologically unexplained eczematous facial lesions, lavender oil dripped on the pillow for better sleep should be considered.

Note the estrogenic effect of lavender - - premature breast growth in children.

In infants and young children, inhaling lavender scent can cause laryngeal spasm and respiratory arrest.

Contraindication
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Do not use during pregnancy and lactation due to lack of data.

Infants and toddlers up to the age of 2 years - laryngospasm, respiratory arrest!

Known allergy to the plant

Trade names
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Cefarheumin® Ointment, Gerner Nervinum N, Kytta-Plasma®, Kytta-Ointment®, Silexan®

Literature
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  1. EMA //www.ema.europa.eu/en/documents/herbal-monograph/final-community-herbal-monograph-lavandula-angustifolia-p-mill-flos_en.pdf
  2. Hausen BM, Vieluf K (1997) Allergy plants, plant allergens. Ecomed Verlag Landsberg/Munich 175-177
  3. Hajhashemi V et al. (2003) Anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of the leaf extracts and essential oil of Lavandula angustifolia Mill. J Ethnopharmacol 89: 67-71.
  4. Kapser S et al (2017) Silexan in anxiety disorders: clinical data and pharmacological background. World J Biolo Psychiatry 19: 412-420
  5. Ramsey JT et al. (2019) Lavender Products Associated With Premature Thelarche and Prepubertal Gynecomastia: Case Reports and Endocrine-Disrupting Chemical Activities. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 104: 5393-5405.
  6. Möller H-J (2019) Anxiety, restlessness, sleep disorders in the elderly - possibilities of psychophytopharmacotherapy http://www.kongress.dggpp.de/abstracts/abs_69.htm
  7. Möller H-J (2021) Silexan does not affect driving performance after single and multiple dose applications: results from a double-blind, placebo and reference-controlled study in healthy volunteers. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 136: 543-551