An orally administered lavandula oil preparation (Silexan) for anxiety disorder and related conditions: an evidence based review

Int J Psychiatry Clin Pract. 2013 Nov:17 Suppl 1:15-22. doi: 10.3109/13651501.2013.813555. Epub 2013 Aug 3.


Objective: Silexan is a lavender oil preparation in gelatine capsules containing 80 mg. We reviewed the clinical trials investigating the anxiolytic efficacy and tolerability of Silexan as well as its safety and potential for drug interactions.

Methods: Seven trials were included, among which four therapeutic trials had a treatment duration of 6 or 10 weeks.

Results: In patients with subsyndromal anxiety or generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) an anxiolytic effect of Silexan was evident after 2 weeks. Patients treated with Silexan showed Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAMA) total score decreases between 10.4 ± 7.1 and 12.0 ± 7.2 points at Week 6 and between 11.8 ± 7.7 and 16.0 ± 8.3 points at Week 10.

Conclusions: HAMA total score reductions between baseline and end of treatment were significantly superior to placebo in patients with subsyndromal anxiety and comparable to lorazepam in its starting dose in patients with GAD. Silexan had beneficial effects on typical co-morbidity symptoms of anxiety disorders, for example, disturbed sleep, somatic complaints, or decreased quality of life. Except for mild gastrointestinal symptoms, the drug was devoid of adverse effects and did not cause drug interactions or withdrawal symptoms at daily doses of 80 or 160 mg.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Anxiety Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Eructation / chemically induced
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Lavandula*
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology
  • Oils, Volatile / therapeutic use*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Placebos
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology
  • Plant Oils / therapeutic use*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Anxiety Agents
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Placebos
  • Plant Oils
  • lavender oil