Lavender is a flowering plant of the mint family. Lavender may be helpful in the treatment of anxiety and depression. It may also improve breathing, relaxation, and sleep. In studies that use massage along with lavender aromatherapy, massage may be more responsible for some of the benefits. Only a few studies have evaluated lavender for cancer and related symptoms. In test tube experiments, lavender has several properties that may be helpful against cancer, but human studies are needed. Lavender may also cause enlarged breasts in boys. So, because Lavender has weak hormonal activities, long-term oral or topical use of lavender should be avoided in patients with hormone-sensitive cancers that can feed the sex hormones. Lavender may be helpful against cancer, but no studies have been conducted in humans. A compound called POH Perillyl alcohol that may have come from lavender was developed as a nasal spray and showed some benefit in palliative care patients with recurrent gliomas which is a type of a malignant tumor of the glial tissue of the nervous system. Lavender did not reduce anxiety during radiation treatment. In hospitals that allowed the use of aromasticks found that lavender was among the most popular, did not disturb others, and improved breathing and relaxation. Aromatherapy is the use of aromatic plant extracts and essential oils in massage or baths.
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