The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Lavender oil as a source of allergic antigens

     The results of this study by researchers at Göteborg University in Gothenburg, Sweden have important implications for people who use lavender oil as aromatherapy.

    First, the details.

    • The study was designed to measure the development of strong contact allergens in lavender oil.
    • Lavender oil was exposed to air and the autoxidation reaction (interaction with oxygen) was measured.
    • The sensitizing potency of this interaction was measured in mice lymph nodes.
    • Volunteers with patch test reactions to oxidized linalool (a main oxidized constituent of lavender oil) were then tested to determine if air-exposed lavender oil could cause dermatitis.

    And, the results.

    • The sensitizing potency of lavender oil increased with increasing exposure to air.
    • Patch testing showed positive reactions to air-exposed lavender oil and its chemical components.

    The bottom line?
    The authors concluded that when lavender oil is exposed to air it becomes an important source of allergens.

    Interesting, considering that lavender is recommended by some to calm atopic dermatitis, and can be found in “natural soaps.”

    I think if you’re prone to allergic reactions (atopy), pay attention to the development of allergic reactions if lavender is part of your aromatherapy or an ingredient in “natural” stuff you put on your skin.

    9/13/08 21:36 JR

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