Negative Side-Effects of Lavender Oil

Written by emily potter
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Negative Side-Effects of Lavender Oil
Lavender oil has many therapeutic uses. (Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Lavender oil, which is derived from a sweet-smelling herb, has been used as a fragrance for generations, but many use it for therapeutic reasons as well. Many people use the oil to relieve stress and anxiety, as well as to treat insomnia, joint pain and hair loss. Others use it on the skin for eczema, acne and other skin ailments. As with any treatment, there are some possible side effects.


A small study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007 suggested that lavender oil might not be safe for young boys because it could cause hormonal upset resulting in abnormal breast growth. Doctors recommend not giving children oral doses of lavender oil and only applying it topically in diluted doses.


Some people are allergic to lavender. In others, lavender cause nausea, vomiting, chills and headaches when they inhale the oil or absorb it through the skin. Those with allergies or sensitivities should stop using the oil and consult a doctor.


Lavender could slow down the central nervous system and can intensify the effects of anaesthesia. Do not to take lavender oil for at least two weeks prior to any surgery.

Drug Interactions

Sedatives such as barbiturates, CNS depressants and chloral hydrate can interact with lavender oil. Lavender oil can cause drowsiness by itself. The combination of sedatives and lavender oil can intensify the effects. Like other herbal remedies, lavender oil can interact with other herbs and traditional medications, so check with a health care provider before using lavender with other drugs or herbs.

Other Side Effects

Some people report increased appetite and constipation when they take lavender oil orally. Because little is known about the effects of lavender during pregnancy and breastfeeding, doctors recommend avoiding it during that time.

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