Salicylates in Lavender?
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Norene
Posted on: January 20, 2004

What can you tell me about salicylates in lavender? I understand the level is high. Does any one know how many mg. (aprox.) per volume of the oil? I gave my mother-in-law, who has a heart problem, a lavender gel for Christmas. Apparently, this acts as aspirin and is well absorbed through the skin. Since no one seems to consider lavender a risk and very little is written about this.

Susan Eagles did not know anything about salicylates in lavender so she passed your question on to me. I too cannot find any information about salicylates in lavender. Dr. Duke’s Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases at the Agricultural Research Service of the USDA do not list salicylates in its list of known chemicals in lavender.

I wonder if someone has said to you that lavender oil has a headache-relieving property and then justified that by saying that it contains salicylates similar to aspirin. Lavender does have a pronounced effect on the nerves, calming them and promoting a relaxed state, but this effect is not due to salicylates as far as we know.

Lavender is often recommended for "nervous" heart, insomnia, and nervousness. John Lust, in his book, "The Herb Book", gives recipes for using lavender in simple teas for these nervous conditions.

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