Black Skin Care
A trial conducted with the support of the Bristol Royal Infirmary involved the topical application of two different types of lavender oil – Lavendula burnatii (also known as lavandin, Sample A) and L. Angustifolia (Sample B) – to postcardiotomy patients. 12 The emotional and behavioural stress levels of 28 patients were then evaluated before and afer treatment on two consecutive days. The results of this randomized, double-blind study showed that it was possible to move a patients anxiety level from very tense to very relaxed within 20 minutes by giving the patient a gentle massage using a 5 per cent blend of L.
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Burnatii. This method was shown to have a significant relaxant effect and provided a possible alternative to orthodox drug treatment. Key findings were as follows: 13
Aromatherapy, using topical application of essential oil, does have measurable therapeutic effects.
The therapeutic effects are not just due to massage, touch or placebo.
The choice of essential oils is important.
It is important to know which lavender is being used.
One lavender was twice as effective as the other lavender in reducing anxiety.
Both lavenders greatly aided respiration – essential for postoperative cardiotomies. 20 out of 24 patients' respirations became slower and deeper.
More sophisticated research into how aromatherapy works is needed.
Indiscriminate use of lavender in hospitals should be monitored or avoided.