Lavender Research Study

The study title: Evaluating the efficacy of lavender aromatherapy on peripheral venous cannulation pain and anxiety: A prospective, randomized study

This is a completed study looking at the effectiveness of lavender on pain, anxiety, and patient satisfaction with peripheral venous cannulation (IV start) in patients who are having surgery.

An IV is a necessary part of having surgery. Starting an IV can be painful  and people often can  develop fears of needles and hospitals.  The study method was straightforward –  use an 18 gauge needle in the right hand (with their head turned to the  left) after smelling 2 drops of a 1% Lavender solution on a cotton pad versus plain water for five minutes. The subject was monitored using  EKG tracing, pulse oximetry, and BP recording.  The patients were able to inhale their cotton pad during the IV start. The study recruited 150 subjects and enrolled 106 patients and measured pain, anxiety and satisfaction scores. The pain was evaluated using the visual analog scale,  at 2 minutes after IV start. The anxiety was also measured using the visual analog scale at baseline and at 2 minutes after IV start and a Likert scale was used (1 -5) for satisfaction after the procedure.

The results – the pain and anxiety scores in the lavender group were lower than the control group and patient satisfaction was higher in the lavender group.

These results suggest that lavender essential oil had a beneficial effect on patients while starting an IV before surgery.

I always remember Maya Angelo writing – people remember how you make them feel – it seems like such a simple thing – to put two drops of  diluted lavender on a cotton pad – and wait 5 minutes – it bewilders me why in practice these things aren’t done routinely.

Lavender is well known for it’s ability to have analgesic, sedative, and anxiety reducing benefits. Linalol and Linalyl acetate are both constituents in Lavender that have been researched for this ability in both inhalation and topical application. Lavender is a non-toxic, non- irritating essential oil with little safety concerns.

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