Lavender Essential Oil in the Treatment of Migraine Headache: A Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial

European Neurology, 04/20/2012

The present study suggests that inhalation of lavender essential oil may be an effective and safe treatment modality in acute management of migraine headaches.

Methods

  • Forty-seven patients with definite diagnosis of migraine headache were divided into cases and controls.
  • Cases inhaled lavender essential oil for 15 min, whereas the control group used liquid paraffin for the same time period.
  • Patients were asked to record their headache severity and associated symptoms in 30-min intervals for a total of 2 h.
  • The authors matched the two groups for key confounding factors.

Results

  • The mean reduction of headache severity in cases was 3.6 ± 2.8 based on Visual Analogue Scale score.
  • The reduction was 1.6 ± 1.6 in controls.
  • This difference between the controls and cases was statistically significant with p < 0.0001.
  • From 129 headache attacks in cases, 92 responded entirely or partially to lavender.
  • In the control group, 32 out of 68 recorded headache attacks responded to placebo.
  • The percentage of responders was significantly higher in the lavender group than the placebo group (p = 0.001).

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