Lavender oil has a number of health effects, particularly a relaxing and calmative action. The calming effect of lavender oil has been attributed to phytochemicals within the essential oil. Lavender oil is used in aromatherapy, and in this capacity, the aroma from the lavender oil is considered necessary in order to fully transfer the relaxing properties of the herb. However, when used in aromatherapy massage, the active constituents of lavender oil, including linalool, have been shown to be absorbed through the skin where they enter the blood. Studies have compared the effects of an aromatherapy massage using lavender oil with unscented carrier oil on the anxiety experienced by surgery patients. In one study both the lavender and carrier oils were effective at reducing anxiety in the subjects, which likely attests to the positive health effects of massage. However, the addition of the lavender oil to the massage caused a significant reduction in anxiety when compared to the unscented oil.
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