Lavender oil is an oil made from the flowers of lavender. Lavender poisoning occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally swallows lavender oil.
This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.
Lavender oil (mainly linalyl acetate and linalool)
Lavender oil is used in certain perfumes. It is also used as a flavoring substance.
Therearticle may not include all uses of lavender oil.
- Blurred vision
- Breathing difficulty
- Burning pain in the throat
- Burns to the eye
- Diarrhea (watery, bloody)
- Stomach pain
Seek immediate medical help. Do NOT make a person throw up unless told to do so by poison control or a health care professional.
If the chemical was swallowed, immediately give the person water or milk, unless instructed otherwise by a health care provider. Do NOT give water or milk if the patient is having symptoms (such as vomiting, convulsions, or a decreased level of alertness) that make it hard to swallow.
Before Calling Emergency
Determine the following:
- Patient's age, weight, and condition
- Name of the product (ingredients and strengths, if known)
- Time it was swallowed
- Amount swallowed
The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.
This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
What to Expect at the Emergency Room
The health care provider will measure and monitor your vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated as appropriate. You may receive:
- Activated charcoal
- Breathing support
- Fluids by IV
- Medicines to treat the effects of the poison
- Tube through the mouth into the stomach to wash out the stomach
How well you do depends on the amount of poison swallowed and how quickly treatment is received. The faster you get medical help, the better the chance for recovery.
Lavender oil is generally nonpoisonous when breathed in during aromatherapy or swallowed. The major effects are due to allergic reactions of the skin.
Prashar A, Locke IC, Evans CS. Cytotoxicity of lavender oil and its major components to human skin cells. Cell Prolif. 2004;37:221-229.
Review Date: 2/16/2012
Reviewed By: Eric Perez, MD, St. Luke's / Roosevelt Hospital Center, NY, NY, and Pegasus Emergency Group (Meadowlands and Hunterdon Medical Centers), NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.