Lavender is prized for its blue flowers violet and light fragrance, but this plant also serves medicinal purposes. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the essential oil in blooms has been shown to reverse alopecia, improve eczema, reduce pain after surgery and treat ailments such as aches and pains. head, depression and insomnia. However, lavender oil is potent and sometimes causes an allergic reaction when applied to the skin, inhaled or swallowed.
An allergic reaction to lavender oil can present a multitude of symptoms, according to the Medline Plus online medical encyclopedia from the National Institutes of Health. The most common symptoms include rash, burning sensations in the eyes or throat, headache, blurred vision, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, chills and shortness of breath. Seek immediate medical attention in the event of an exposure, contact the National Poison Control Center or the local emergency department.
Causes and prevention
Allergic reactions to lavender oil are derived from inhalation, application to the skin and ingestion, according to Derm Net. Lavender oil is commonly inhaled in aromatherapy or when candles and commercial air fresheners are used. Skin reactions occur when the oil is used to massage or when applying lotions, perfumes, soap products or other cosmetics containing lavender. Gastrointestinal reactions commonly occur when ingesting the oil as a flavoring agent in tea, sweets or other food products. Consult your doctor before using lavender oil, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Consult with your doctor about the possible interactions of drugs and medicine. Avoid the use of lavender oil in children, especially young boys who have not reached puberty. Research shows that lavender can disrupt the development of male hormones and cause gynecomastia, abnormal growth of the breast in males, according to a study in the "New England Journal of Medicine."
Lavender oil has not been associated with interactions with conventional medicine. However, lavender oil sometimes causes drowsiness and excessive sleepiness when used in conjunction with medications containing chloral hydrate or sedative medications containing barbiturates such as pentobarbital, amobarbital, butabarbital, mephobarbital, and phenobarbital. Lavender oil can potentially interact with sedative medications that contain central nervous system depressants such as narcotic pain killers such as morphine or oxycodone or anxiolytic medications such as Ambien, Clonazepam or Ativan.Always consult your doctor to make sure that lavender oil is safe for use with your medications.
Seek medical treatment if you experience an allergic reaction to lavender. Medical professionals will check your vital signs and possibly give you activated charcoal to cleanse and detoxify the body, intravenous fluids or anti-inflammatory medications such as diphenhydramine or prednisone. A nurse, emergency or poison control person may advise you to drink water or milk and vomit.