The effects of lavender (Lavendula angustifolium) baths on psychological well-being: two exploratory randomised control trials

Complement Ther Med. 2002 Dec;10(4):223-8. doi: 10.1016/s0965-2299(02)00086-9.


Objective: Two important aspects of psychological well-being are positive mood state and a positive outlook with respect to the future. This study investigates the use of lavender baths to improve these aspects of psychological well-being.

Design: A single blind, randomised control trial.

Setting: The participants' home and interview rooms at the University of Wolverhampton.

Participants: Eighty women not receiving treatment for psychological disorders who were staff or students at the University of Wolverhampton. Forty participated in Study 1 and 40 in Study 2.

Intervention: Participants were randomly allocated to use either grapeseed oil or 80% grapeseed oil and 20% lavender oil in their bath for 14 days.

Main outcome measures: In Study 1, the UWIST mood adjective checklist. In Study 2, the MacLeod and Byrne Future Events procedure.

Results: In Study 1 psychologically positive mood changes were found after the bathing regimen for energetic arousal, tense arousal, hedonic tone and anger-frustration. Only anger-frustration showed a selective effect for lavender oil. In the second study negative responses about the future were selectively reduced after lavender oil baths.

Conclusions: These results are encouraging and suggest further investigation using potential patients may result in the development of a useful procedure for improving psychological well-being.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect / drug effects*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Baths*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lavandula
  • Oils, Volatile / therapeutic use*
  • Plant Oils / therapeutic use*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils
  • lavender oil