Here's How to Use Lavender Oil to Treat Anxiety Instead of Taking Prescription Medication

Everyone feels a little anxious from time to time, the world is a stressful place and sometimes that stress can get on top of us, affecting our mood and relationships.

When a person becomes anxious to a point where it begins to affect their day-to-day life, they may be suffering from generalized anxiety disorder. 

This term encompasses many other more specific anxiety disorders, a sufferer of one of these disorders can often be so anxious that day-to-day tasks become impossible, and they focus their worries on things that may not seem important to the rest of the world.

Anxiety disorders account for most of the mental illness in America. Around 6.8 million adults suffer from generalized anxiety disorder and women are affected twice as much as men. Anxiety disorders often start during adolescence and get worse at stressful periods later in life.

Signs of Anxiety in Women

  • Constant feelings of worry and tension
  • Worrying about simple, everyday tasks 
  • Inability to relax 
  • Unrealistic view of problems 
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Restlessness and being “on edge” or easily startled 
  • Feeling tired all the time 
  • Irritability and mood swings 
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep 
  • Frequent headaches 
  • Depression symptoms 
  • Muscle tension, aches and body pains 
  • Trembling or twitching 
  • Difficulty swallowing 
  • Sweating 
  • Feeling light-headed or short of breath 
  • Stomach pains and nausea 
  • Feeling the need to go to the bathroom frequently 

Current Anxiety Medications

Current treatments for generalized anxiety disorders include benzodiazepines such as Xanax, Valium, and Ativan. These chemicals can give short term effects, but start to create problems when taken over a long term period. 

The medications can be addictive, and the patient can suffer debilitating side effects when they stop taking them. Anti-anxiety medicines can also have negative effects such as feeling depressed and detached from the world. 

Antidepressants are also prescribed to treat chronic anxiety and panic attacks. These medications include Paxil, Effexor, Prozac, Lexapro, and Zoloft, again these medicines come with their own list of possible negative side effects.

Lavender Oil as a Natural Alternative

People have been using lavender oil as a calming source for many years, however only recently has it been proven that it has these properties. A study published in the journal Phytomedicine, showed lavender oil was shown to be just as effective as the pharmaceutical drug lorazepam (Ativan).

As well as being just as powerful, lavender oil when used on its own has none of the side effects other anti-anxiety drugs have shown, such as drowsiness and dependency. 

Lavender has been shown to:

  • Lavender helps with restlessness, nervousness and insomnia 
  • Lavender helps with depression symptoms 
  • Lavender can be used for painful and inflammatory conditions including migraines and joint pain 
  • Lavender can help people who suffer from agitation related to dementia 
  • Lavender Oil for Calming Nervousness and General Anxiety

Lavender oil capsules are hard to find at most common drug stores, although the lavender oil capsule used in the cited study is called Lavela WS 1265 and can be purchased on a retail basis here and other sources online, be aware that it is not advised for children to consume essential oil capsules. 

Lavender essential oil can be purchased in liquid format, lavender leaves and lavender flowers are also easy to find and can be added to bath water or a few drops to a pillow before bed. Six drops of lavender oil extract or 1/4 to 1/2 cup of dried lavender flowers added to bath water will create a relaxing bath. You can prepare lavender tea using 1 to 2 tbsp. of whole, dried flowers for each cup of boiling water. Steep for 10 to 15 minutes, and use a tea infuser or strain before drinking.


Taking lavender by mouth can interfere with other medications and can increase drowsiness when taken with other anti-anxiety medicine such as benzodiazepines (Xanax, Ativan, Valium), narcotics such as codeine, or certain antidepressants. 

If you are taking prescription medications, please consult your doctor before changing or adding to your medication.

Photo credit: Flickr, Lizzy Lane Farm

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Here's How to Use Lavender Oil to Treat Anxiety Instead of Taking Prescription Medication Here's How to Use Lavender Oil to Treat Anxiety Instead of Taking Prescription Medication Reviewed by C C on 19:51:00 Rating: 5
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