New data(1) reveals that pharmaceutical quality lavender oil could bring relief to sufferers of insomnia where the cause is anxiety.
Researchers found that lavender oil has a significant anxiolytic (anxiety relieving) effect and the study found it helped insomnia when taken orally as a daily capsule.
Disturbed sleep is a prevalent symptom in anxiety disorders and a key diagnosis criterion for sub-threshold and generalised anxiety disorders.
It is estimated that more than two thirds of patients with GAD (2) suffer from insomnia (3), with even higher rates amongst the elderly. Insomnia has a detrimental effect on patients’ daily living skills and quality of life. (4)
80% of patients with diagnosed anxiety disorders report insomnia alongside anxiety symptoms (5), thus highlighting the importance of targeting insomnia in the treatment of anxiety.
Existing pharmacological anxiety treatments such as benzodiazepines carry a sedating effect, however they have not to date been completely effective. Some patients may see a short-term improvement in sleep, however common side effects of benzodiazepine use include daytime drowsiness and rebound insomnia (6) – further intensifying sleep disturbances.
Benzodiazepines can also cause a physical dependence and withdrawal reaction when taken for longer than the recommended 4 weeks (7), and a common withdrawal symptom is insomnia (8), which makes it challenging for sufferers to break the anxiety-insomnia cycle.
A mediation analysis by researchers from the Universities of Zurich and Basel published this month in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, found that 98.4% of patients saw an improvement in anxiety related sleep disturbances when taking a daily capsule of pharmaceutical quality lavender oil vs placebo (9). The results indicate that pharmaceutical quality lavender oil exerts a secondary sleep improving effect almost exclusively through its anxiety relieving action rather than by sedation (10).
Pharmaceutical quality lavender oil capsules were shown to decrease excessive neurotransmitter activity, reducing overstimulation and hyperactivity of the nervous response – improving symptoms of mild anxiety.
More than 15 clinical trials show that a daily lavender oil capsule can be AS EFFECTIVE as commonly used anti-anxiety medication, including the benzodiazepine lorazepam prescribed in GAD(11,12) without the risk of sedation, dependency or withdrawal.
Professor of Psychiatry, Professor Hans-Peter Volz said;
‘’This is a positive development for anxiety. Research demonstrates that the lavender oil capsules reduce both physical and psychological symptoms of anxiety (including sleep disturbances), without issues such as sedation, addiction or withdrawal. Lavender oil capsules provide a promising alternative treatment option to prescription drugs for subthreshold anxiety sufferers.”
The anxiety-relieving effects of uniquely prepared, pharmaceutical quality lavender oil are available in Kalms Lavender One-A-Day Capsules.
Nicky Lidbetter, CEO of Anxiety UK says:
‘’Anxiety is one of the most prevalent mental health conditions in the UK – one in five people report feeling anxious a lot or all of the time; and more than 45 million working days have been lost due to anxiety (combined with depression and stress) in the past three years. We welcome a range of treatment and support options, including the Kalms Lavender One-a-Day capsule and other non-prescription options such as talking therapies.”
Kalms Lavender One-A-Day Capsules is a traditional herbal medicinal product used for the temporary relief of the symptoms of mild anxiety such as stress and nervousness, exclusively based on long standing use as a traditional herbal remedy. Always read the label.
RRP £7.16, available from supermarkets and chemists nationwide.
1. Seifritz, E, Schläfke, S, Holsboer-Trachsler, E, Beneficial effects of Silexan on sleep are mediated by its anxiolytic effect, Journal of Psychiatric Research, August 2019
2. American Psychiatric Association, 2013.
3. Belanger et al., 2004; Holsboer-Trachsler and Prieto, 2013; Taylor et al., 2005 .
4. Hamilton et al., 2007; LeBlanc et al., 2007; Wittchen et al., 2002
5. Ohayon and Roth, 2003
6. Harvard Medical School – Benzodiazepines and the alternatives March 2019 health.harvard.edu
7. NICE Hypnotics Guidelines 2018
8. Harvard Medical School – Benzodiazepines and the alternatives March 2019 health.harvard.edu
9. Seifritz, E, Schläfke, S, Holsboer-Trachsler, E, Beneficial effects of Silexan on sleep are mediated by its anxiolytic effect, Journal of Psychiatric Research, August 2019
10. Seifritz, E, Schläfke, S, Holsboer-Trachsler, E, Beneficial effects of Silexan on sleep are mediated by its anxiolytic effect, Journal of Psychiatric Research, August 2019
11. Kasper et al, Lavender oil preparation Silexan is effective in generalized anxiety disorder – a randomized, double-blind comparison to placebo and paroxetine. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology
12. H. Woelk a, S. Schläfke. A multi-center, double-blind, randomised study of the Lavender oil preparation Silexan in comparison to Lorazepam for generalized anxiety disorder. Phytomedicine 17 (2010) 94–99 doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2009.10.006