Lavender (Lavandula augustifolia) has been shown to have significant anxiolytic effects. One way that lavender can be used as an anxiolytic is through aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is the annihilation of the volatile essential oils of plants. Many essential oils contain phytochemicals that pass through the mucous membranes of the nose and into the bloodstream to have real physiological effects. The phytochemicals in lavender appear to be beneficial at causing central nervous system effects that cause relaxation and reduce stress levels. For example in one study researchers administered two drops of lavender to patients who had undergone open heart surgery. The results of the study showed that the lavender caused a significant reduction in the anxiety scores of the patients suggesting that they had experienced a significant reduction in anxiety. In addition there was a 70 % reduction in the cortisol levels of the patients who were administered two drops of lavender, suggesting a significant anti-stress effect.
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