Is Lavender Toxic To Cats, Dogs Or Humans?
The question of whether the intensely fragrant lavender is edible or at least toxic for cats, dogs, or humans is a preoccupation for many. We clarify. Lavender ( Lavandula ) is a wonderfully smelling herb with a wide range of uses. And many hobby gardeners would certainly only be too happy to have their own lavender bush for the garden or balcony. Usually, however, concerns quickly arise as to whether the lavender might not be poisonous for children and animals. After all, it can happen that people are nibbling on the plants in an unobserved moment.
It should therefore be anticipated that it naturally makes a difference whether the lavender leaves and flowers or concentrated lavender oil are consumed. There are also differences between the different types of lavender. Copy lavender ( Lavandula stoechas ) and Speiklavender ( Lavandula latifolia ), for example, contain very high concentrations of essential oils. The milder real lavender (Lavandula angustifolia ) is therefore usually better suited as a scented and aromatic plant.
Is lavender toxic to adults and children?
Lavender plants per se are not poisonous for children and can therefore be integrated into the family garden without much concern. Nothing happens if the little ones stick individual parts of the plant in their mouths. The scent of a herbal sleep pillow filled with dried lavender blossoms can even work wonders for cranky babies.
The only caution is required when using lavender oil. Infants under two years of age should generally not be treated with essential oils of any kind. Young children must not inhale lavender oil, apply it to the skin or use it to scent the cot. In the worst case, this can even lead to the child’s respiratory failure. The high concentrations of essential oil are not a problem for older children, but they should use a significantly lower dosage than for adults.
The essential oil of lavender is obtained by steam distillation. It is one of the few essential oils that can be applied directly to the skin. But of course, every person reacts differently, and sometimes skin irritations and rashes can occur. Because of its slightly corrosive effect, mucous membranes should ideally not come into contact with the lavender oil at all. Internally, the oil of real lavender may only be taken in very small amounts by adults, because too high a dosage can lead to irritation of the stomach. Spotted lavender oil and cupped lavender oil can even be poisonous in high doses.
Sensitive people react with headaches when lavender oil is burned in an aroma lamp. If hypersensitivity to lavender is known, the use of lavender in any form should be avoided. A large number of products with lavender oil are available in stores for pregnant and breastfeeding women, but it has not yet been conclusively examined whether external use causes side effects. However, we strongly advise against the use of crested or Speiklavender during this time. In general, we advise you: In the event of illnesses and serious complaints – regardless of whether you belong to a risk group or not – you should definitely discuss the use of lavender with a doctor.
Is lavender toxic to cats, dogs, and the like?
The opinion that the wonderfully fragrant lavender bushes are poisonous for pets is widespread. At least for cats and dogs, however, all parts of the lavender plant are harmless. If your darlings nibble on it from time to time, there is no risk of poisoning. In contrast, rabbits and guinea pigs may very well suffer from lavender poisoning. The same applies to other small rodents such as mice and hamsters. They cannot tolerate the high concentrations of essential oils and, in the worst case, can even die from it.
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Lavender toxic to cats
For cat lovers, lavender is one of the harmless plants for balconies and gardens. However, due to the essential oils, it contains, it should not be consumed regularly by our four-legged friends. Many cats instinctively avoid lavender anyway – not because it is toxic to them, but because their velvet paws cannot stand the strong smell of the plant.
Animals are very sensitive to smells. Therefore, use fragrance lamps with essential lavender oil indoors only with caution. As a cat owner, you should also allow your pet to leave the room to avoid the strong scent of lavender. The internal use of lavender oil in restless cats is completely discouraged.
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Edible lavender: use in the kitchen
Lavender is generally edible in smaller quantities. However, you should only use real lavender in the kitchen. Due to its intense taste, lavender usually only plays an accompanying role as a seasoning herb. In the worst case, larger amounts can lead to stomach and intestinal problems. Children, pregnant and breastfeeding women should preferably not consume lavender or if only in very small amounts. Because of their ingredients, crested and Speiklavender are only used by very experienced cooks and then only in extremely small quantities as a seasoning herb in the kitchen.
Dry the lavender yourself
To keep the fragrant flowers longer, you can dry the flowers of the real lavender. The harvest time is during the heyday from June to August. Cut the branches about 10 cm below the base of the flower and spread them out on a cloth. After a few days, you can hang up the lavender in bunches. After removing the stems, you can finally store the purple flowers in jars or cans in the dark. In this way, the color and aroma are retained over a longer period of time.
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Lavender as a remedy: ingredients and active ingredients of lavender
In addition to tannins and other secondary plant substances, lavender contains a high proportion of essential oils. However, the composition of lavender oil is extremely complex. The main components linalool and linalyl acetate together make up about 75%. But other components – such as cineole, borneol, and camphor – also make an important contribution to the overall aroma.
The essential oil has a disinfecting effect and is therefore often used in natural cosmetics. When making homemade creams and body oils, however, you shouldn’t overdo it with the amount of lavender essential oil. Feel for the right amount carefully, because a few drops are usually enough.
For household use, you can make an oil extract from the lavender flowers. To do this, you should put the plant parts in a glass and cover them completely with virgin vegetable oil, such as olive oil. The homemade lavender oil is ready after about two weeks and can be strained. You can use it, for example, to heal burns and minor injuries. You can also use it as a massage oil for tense muscles or apply it to bare parts of the body in summer to keep mosquitoes away.
In exciting times, the scent of lavender provides calm and balance for many people. The dried flowers help you fall asleep when filled in scented sachets. At the same time, the herb also has a mood-enhancing effect. Lavender is a classic nerve relaxant that has a relaxing effect without making us tired. The Mediterranean herb can also provide relaxation for headaches. In addition to using the (essential) lavender oil, you can also drink the dried flowers as tea or add them to the bathwater. The variety of types of lavender is simply overwhelming. We have put together some of the most popular for you.