Lavender Helps Ease Fear of Dental Pain

by Rajashri on Sep 13 2008 6:11 PM

A new study has revealed that taking a few whiffs of lavender before you see the dentist may help ease the fear of pain or of hearing bad news.

The researchers at King's College London used questionnaires to measure the anxiety levels of 340 patients while they appeared for a scheduled dental check-up.

Researchers exposed half of the participants to a scent given off by a candle warmer, which activated five drops of lavender oil in water. This procedure was repeated during a four-week period. The rest of the patients did not receive such therapy.

The researchers found that anxiety level of those not exposed to lavender was 10.7 compared with 7.4 among those who sniffed the scent.

"Our findings suggest that lavender could certainly be used as an effective 'on-the-spot' anxiety reduction in dentists' waiting rooms," lead researcher Koula Asimakopoulou said. the details of the study were presented at the British Psychological Society's health psychology conference.