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Lavender is native to the Mediterranean region, the Arabian Peninsula and Russia, and is also grown in Europe, the United States and Australia. It has a long history of being used to boost appetite and mood, as well as to relieve gastrointestinal problems and anxiety. Lavender was also used in ancient Egypt during the mummification process.

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›  Health benefits

Today, lavender is used for a variety of reasons: Anxiety, depression, intestinal problems and pain are a few. It can be inhaled as a vapor to encourage sleep, reduce pain and for agitation related to dementia.

Many studies have investigated the effectiveness of lavender for several different conditions, but most were small and of poor quality. There is little scientific evidence of lavender’s effectiveness. Even studies on using lavender for anxiety have shown mixed results.

›  How much do I need?

The dosage varies depending on age and what it is being used for. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels, and consult your pharmacist, physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Lavender may be toxic if taken by mouth, and there are some reports that it can cause skin irritation. Extracts may cause stomach pain, joint pain or headaches.

›  Dietary supplements

Tea can be made from lavender leaves, and the oils can be inhaled, used for massage and in baths, and can be found in capsules and liquid extracts.

Source: National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

Please consult your health care provider before making changes to your vitamin/supplement regimen.

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