Lavender May Reduce Signs of Anxiety in Women

Research shows that lavender oil is just as effective as Xanax, Valium, or Prozac for signs of anxiety in women.

signs of anxiety in women

Lavender is an herb that has been proven effective by leading researchers as a natural remedy for treating signs of anxiety.

© Serban Enache |

It’s normal to feel a little apprehensive from time to time. Let’s face it—life can be stressful. All of us worry about things like financial problems, work, family struggles, or health. But sometimes anxiety can become so severe that completing simple, everyday tasks is difficult. When this occurs, it may be a sign of generalized anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in America. Approximately 6.8 million adults suffer from generalized anxiety disorder and women are twice as likely to be affected as men. It often starts during adolescence and symptoms tend to magnify during stressful periods in life making it important to look for signs of anxiety in women.[1]

18 Signs of Anxiety in Women

signs of anxiety in women

Constant worrying and (below) sleeplessness are two of many signs of anxiety that touch women. [Photos:]

Among the common signs of anxiety in women (and also in men) are:

  1. Constant feelings of worry and tension
  2. Worrying about simple, everyday tasks
  3. Inability to relax
  4. Unrealistic view of problems
  5. Difficulty concentrating
  6. Restlessness and being “on edge” or easily startled
  7. Feeling tired all the time
  8. Irritability and mood swings
  9. Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  10. Frequent headaches
  11. Depression symptoms
  12. Muscle tension, aches, and body pains
  13. Trembling or twitching
  14. Difficulty swallowing
  15. Sweating
  16. Feeling lightheaded or short of breath
  17. Stomach pains and nausea
  18. Feeling the need to go to the bathroom frequently

Medications to Treat Signs of Anxiety in Women and Men

Common medications used to treat generalized anxiety disorder include benzodiazepines such as Xanax, Valium, and Ativan. The problem with these medications is that they are highly addictive. When a person becomes dependent on these chemicals, they can develop further psychological and physical distress as well as experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop taking the medicine.

Sometimes, antidepressants are prescribed to treat chronic anxiety and panic attacks. These medications include Paxil, Effexor, Prozac, Lexapro, and Zoloft. However, these medications can cause a slew of side effects and often are ineffective.[2]
signs of anxiety in women

Lavender is an herb that has been proven effective by leading researchers as a natural remedy for treating signs of anxiety. In a study published in the journal Phytomedicine, lavender oil was shown to be just as effective as the pharmaceutical drug lorazepam (Ativan). Furthermore, lavender oil showed no sedative effects (a common side effect of lorazepam) and it had no potential for drug abuse or dependence.[3] Other studies have confirmed the anti-anxiety properties of lavender as well as many other medicinal benefits:

  • Lavender helps with restlessness, nervousness, and insomnia.[4,5]
  • Lavender helps with depression symptoms.[6,7]
  • Lavender can be used for painful and inflammatory conditions including migraines and joint pain.[8]
  • Lavender can help people who suffer from agitation related to dementia.[9,10]


Depression and anxiety may be due to a neurochemical imbalance in the body such as serotonin deficiency or dopamine deficiency. For anxiety that manifests itself as acute panic attacks, our article “Natural Remedies for Panic Attacks Backed By Medical Science” offers a specific solution.

How to Take Lavender Oil

If you’re interested in using lavender oil to calm nervousness and other signs of anxiety in women and men, what’s the best way to take it?

Lavender oil can be taken by mouth in adults, but it can be difficult to find capsules even at health food stores. The lavender oil capsule preparation used in the study cited above[3] is called Lavela WS 1265. Before purchasing lavender oil, you should consult with a health care professional to determine the dosage that is best for your needs. Children should not consume essential oil capsules.

Lavender essential oil in liquid format, lavender leaves, and lavender flowers are more readily available than capsules and can be added to bath water.

  • Six drops of lavender oil extract or 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of dried lavender flowers may be added to bath water.
  • You can prepare lavender tea using 1 to 2 tablespoons of whole, dried flowers for each cup of boiling water. Steep for 10 to 15 minutes, and use a tea infuser or strain before drinking.


For further reading, see these University Health News posts:


Lavender used as aromatherapy or by mouth may increase the amount of drowsiness when taken in combination with pharmaceutical medications such as benzodiazepines (Xanax, Ativan, Valium), narcotics such as codeine, or certain antidepressants. If you’re taking prescription medications, consult with a health care practitioner.

Share Your Experience

What anxiety remedies have you found to be effective? Share what works for you to help calm you down and deal with anxiety. Tell us in the Comments section below, and you’ll be helping other readers as well.

Originally published in 2012, this post is regularly updated.

[1] Anxiety Disorders Association of America.
[2] PLoS Medicine Vol. 5, No. 2, e45.
[3] Phytomedicine. 2010 Feb;17(2):94-9. Epub 2009 Dec 3.
[4] J Altern Complement Med 2005;11:631-7.
[5] Evidenced-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012, Article ID 740813.
[6] Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 2003;27:123-7
[7] Flav and Frag. May 2013; 28(3): 168-173
[8] J Ethnopharmacol 2003;89:67-71.
[9] Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 2007;22:405-10.
[10] J Alt Comp Med 2004;431-7.

As a service to our readers, University Health News offers a vast archive of free digital content. Please note the date published or last update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

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Jami Cooley, RN, CNWC

Jami Cooley is a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant as well as a Registered Nurse, but her interest in integrative medicine grew out of her experience in conventional medicine. Cooley … Read More

View all posts by Jami Cooley, RN, CNWC

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  • SO glad you posted this! I’ve been seriously downside thing seeing a doctor to get an Rx of Valium! I will definitely try this before doing that! Does the pure capsules brand vitamins make this that you are aware of?

  • Research is important. I found the Young Living Essential Oil Seed to Seal Guarantee is the best way to go. No synthetics added, as many companies do. I’ve been using lavender for various things for two years, including diffusing at night to doze off with ease and sleep sound. This article is so correct. It is wonderful for calming our minds.

  • Hi! I’m a college student who has experienced anxiety for the past year, and after being prescribed lorazepam to reduce panic/anxiety symptoms, a friend told me about lavender capsules. They work well for me, and I haven’t had to use lorazepam in about 6 months since I started using lavender. I use the brand of capsules Calmaid, which I buy at Whole Foods and it is also available on Amazon. A lot of hard work, prayers, and intentional relaxation has gone into reducing my anxiety, but I DEFINITELY think that lavender supplements have been a very helpful thing for me!

  • Take lavela for anxiety or restless legs. Works exactly like Ativan but does not make you drowsy. It’s a miracle. Can be ordered from amazon

  • Hi, I have aniexty from time to time lately so I looked up Lavender tea I just started taking it now 3 times aday on day number three. I’ll keep you updated. So far so good oh! and I put nothing in it. Anybody else has taken Lavender tea I wanna here from you ok thanks! God bless everyone

  • just came off celexa after 25 years. Clean for almost 5 weeks. Starting to feel very anxious and agitated, and restless. Will lavender help\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\/

  • I have not tried lavender, but I am going to start tomorrow. I am going to take the pill formation. How long before I will notice the effects?

  • Works!!Good luck.Got essential oil from health food store!!! Dabed it under nose .behind ears. On temples. WORKS good luck.

  • Except me. Lavender is a trigger for my migraines. I’m not entirely sure why it does. I just know that it does so I try to avoid anything lavender scented no matter what it is.

  • I had been hospitalized for 3 years in a row all in the same month march, for shortness of breath. They thought it was asthma. The last time which was this year, they hospitalized me for a week. Which they ran lots of test and determined I have COPD. The symptoms I had were shortness of breath, tired, and coughing. Oxygen doesn’t seem to help, medication wasn’t helping too (Spiriva and Advair plus nose sprays).although my doctor was wanted me to use it, to reduce symptoms and slow down progression but I could not tolerate them for long due to severe side effects. I decided to adopt a more natural approach and started on COPD Herbal formula from Green House Herbal Clinic, the COPD natural formula immensely helped my condition, i had a total recovery from COPD with this natural herbal formula treatment. Green House Herbal Clinic official web site I feel alive again! The coughing, tiredness, shortness of breath and other symptoms has subsided.  I am very pleased with this treatment. sometimes i totally forget i ever had COPD,Don’t give up hope, My family are amazed at the change and rapid recovery from COPD. Needless to mention I haven’t smoked since the procedure and I enjoy walking the dog for my daily exercise

  • I can recommend Calm Aid by Nature’s Way. It’s a lavender supplement, and it workes wonders on my mental chatter. Really good for anxiety as well!

  • I was recommended lavender to treat bipolar and anxiety. I use calmaid twice a day and it absolutely makes a difference for me.

  • I’ve been taking GABA for anxiety for about 2 years. It has stopped the panic attacks, but I couldn’t stop the chest burning. I’ve been taking lavender 4 drops twice a day and 1 drop at night for 3 1/2 days and I’m off GABA and the chest burning is very very minimal and a lot of the time gone all together. I’m just reading more about the effectiveness of lavender to treat anxiety. This is seriously a miracle for me. I haven’t been able to stop GABA for over 2 years and now I think I’m free of it. I also smell lavender several times a day and it helps me feel calm. I hope this helps, it’s helped me a ton already.

  • Just the opposite for me. Lavender makes me anxious, instantly. Even walking through lavender in a garden. It happens instantly, and it took me years to identify.

  • I have always loved the smell of lavender. I use it in my atomizer every day. Just last week I basically had a breakdown, mentally and physically. Long story longer; diagnosed with Major Depression Disorder and General Anxiety Disorder. I didn’t know that lavender came in pill form. Will check with my primary doctor to see if it’s ok to try. In the meantime I’m on Prozac and have started using CBD Oil from Hemp, it helps. Using the 5mg, a dropper full, three times a day, with a little booster right before bed.

  • I love the fact that neuroscience is able to prove the correlation between essential oils and positive desired results (decrease in anxiety), particularly lavandula angustifollia (lavender). I feel the key is to find Therapeutic Grade essential oils. If anybody is interested acquiring some, contact me at Each batch is vigorously chemically tested to ensure the highest quality with each batch results readily available. I would love to connect anybody that is interested. With first hand experience with PTSD, I am so thankful for this alternative.

  • I’ve been suffering from anxiety for a while now and thought I’d try Nubotany Spectrum CBD Hemp Oil… I drink tea regularly and decided to put it in my zen tea. The peppermint flavor in it compliments really well and I’ve noticed a decline in my anxiety. It’s honestly such a nice soothing relief. I would recommend Nubotany CBD Hemp Oil to anyone who suffers from anxiety and wants a natural remedy.

  • I tried lavender oil capsules Kalms by Lanes, it’s a good product I found it helps me sleep and lowers anxiety. I can’t take many herbs but lavender oil capsules work for me, I’m so glad I found them!

  • I recently tried Kalms Lavender after having a few panic attacks and feeling very stressed! I’ve taken them for 2 weeks now and I feel really good! Anxiety has gone and I haven’t had a panic attack since! Would definitely recommend lavender oil capsules if you have any stress or anxiety!

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