Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is well known for its relaxing properties, as a tea, a supplement, and in aromatherapy applications.
But there is increasing research about the herb’s application for reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression, especially in older individuals who can feel socially isolated, lonely, and stressed.
In this clinical study, two grams of lavender were provided as a tea used in the morning and at night for two weeks. At the end of the study period, anxiety and depression scores (as measured by common diagnostic surveys) were significantly lower in the lavender group. While current reviews of clinical studies maintain that more work needs to be done with the botanical to determine its full potential and dosage levels, the researchers here mention that its effectiveness and affordability make it an attractive choice for treating anxiety and depression symptoms.
Bazrafshan MR, Jokar M, Shokrpour N, Delam H. The effect of lavender herbal tea on the anxiety and depression of the elderly: A randomized clinical trial. Complement Ther Med. 2020 May;50:102393. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2020.102393. Epub 2020 Mar 30. PMID: 32444033.
Background: The prevalence of depression and anxiety is increasing among the elderly around the world. It is believed that lavender can stabilize the people's mood, so this study was designed to evaluate the effect of lavender on anxiety and depression of the elderly.
Methods: This study was a single blind clinical trial with a control group. The participants in the study consisted of 60 elderly subjects (30 in each group) who referred to the Health Center of Larestan city in the south of Iran in 2019. The intervention consisted of using 2 g of lavender teabag, which was prescribed to be used 2 times as decoction in the morning and night. The duration of the intervention was 2 weeks. The eligible participants were randomly assigned to the intervention and control groups using balanced block randomization with a block size of ten. The control group did not receive any placebo. Data collection tools in this study included demographic information questionnaire, Beck Depression and Spiel Berger Anxiety Inventory. Chi-square test and independent t-test were used to analyze the data. The significance level was considered 5 %.
Results: The two groups were similar in terms of age, gender, educational level and marital status and there was no significant difference. The mean score of depression in the intervention group before and after drinking lavender herbal tea was 17.80 ± 1.49 and 16.33 ± 1.49, respectively. The mean score of depression between intervention and control groups after drinking herbal tea were 16.33 ± 1.49 and 18.33 ± 1.84, respectively. This indicated the effect of herbal tea on reducing depression (P < 0.001). Also, mean difference of intervention and control groups after drinking herbal tea in terms of depression and anxiety (state and trait) were (-2.00, 95 % CI (-2.86, -1.13)), (-6.40, 95 % CI (-9.43, -3.36)) and (-4.13, 95 % CI (-7.66, -0.60)), respectively.
Conclusion: The results of the present study showed that consumption of lavender herbal tea can reduce depression and anxiety scores and since it is inexpensive and accessible, it is suggested to be used as a complementary treatment in reducing anxiety and depression.
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