Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender Essential Oil has been used in our clinic for several years now primarily as a method of reducing anxiety in our cat patients. In March of 2018 I research study was published on a human study looking at Lavender as a significant contributor to metal health therapies in humans. The study was able to identify several components of Lavender oil they think contribute to the reduction of anxiety in their patients. While the study definitely found that patients were most benefited when Lavender oil was part of a complete mental health treatment regiment, it was exciting to see a research study that demonstrated what we have appreciated in our animal patients for years1.
Two other recent studies have demonstrated exciting areas where Lavender Oil can be utilized. A study published in August of this year looked at several essential oils and how effective they are at killing a bacteria that has proven to be resistant to most pharmacological antibiotics. They were able to show that Lavender was able to kill the bacterial Burkholderia cepacia even when the bacteria was not in its growth phase, which is typically the time that bacteria are more difficult to kill. They were able to demonstrate more that 55 different components in the Lavender oil that were contributing to the antibiotic effects which is similar to other integrative medicine techniques where we have discussed how important it is to have many molecules working to together as it make it much more difficult for the bacteria to develop resistance2.
One final research study on Lavender came out this year on March that also warrants discussion. This last study looked at the benefits of Lavender oil on acute inflammation. Acute inflammation occurs when a patient undergoes and injury. Inflammation is what causes swelling and pain. When that type of injury occurs, the body releases several molecules predictably. This study looked at what happened with those molecules when a patient undergoes acute inflammation. The study was able to show that none of the molecules they measured show the expected increase due to injury when the patient was treated with Lavender oil. From our perspective this is very exciting as it helps put traditional research behind some of the treatments that we want to use in our patients and that are typically not found in normal western medicine treatment plans. We look forward to more research backing up the use of Lavender oil and all essential oils in our patients3.
Malcolm BJ, Talian K: Essential oil of lavender in anxiety disorders: Ready for prime time?, Ment Health Clin 7(4):147-155, March 2018.
Vasireddy L, Bingle LEH, Davies MS: Antimicrobial activity of essential oils against multidrug-resistant clinical isolates of the Burkholderia cepacia complex. PLoS One 13 (8), August 2018
Cardia GFE, Silva-Filho SE, Silva EL, et al: Effect of Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil on acute inflammatory response. Evi Based Compliment Alternat Med, March 2018