Lavender, Arnica, Aloe Vera, Tea Tree Oil, and Calendula ; do they work ?

Written by on March 16, 2007 in Natural Treatments with 12 Comments

Australia’s Choice magazine is an independent magazine that reviews products from the point of view of the consumer. Recently they published an articled titled `Natural first aid: Are natural first-aid remedies effective?

The summary of the article ;

There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence from years of traditional use, but scientific evidence for the clinical effectiveness of natural first-aid remedies is generally lacking.

Most of the world relies mainly on natural medicines, and their popularity is growing in the west. You can easily find natural first-aid remedies in pharmacies and healthfood shops. But can you be sure that they’ll work?

Something I hadn’t heard of before is a body called `Commision E’. Where available the article cites findings from Commission E.

Commission E

An exception to the lack of scientific study of natural remedies is Commission E, a German government regulatory agency composed of scientists, pharmacists, toxicologists, physicians and herbalists that has produced a series of documents known as herbal monographs — essentially formal reviews of medicinal herbs based on the available scientific evidence as well as evidence from traditional use, case studies and the experience of modern herbalists. The monographs are considered to provide authoritative information including approved uses of the herbs and their side effects, interactions and doses.

See the full article for examples of where Commission E has published relevant information.

Some of the remedies in this article have been discussed in the past as possible treatments for rosacea. Unfortunately there isn’t much in this well written article suggesting that any of these natural remedies have been proven as effective for inflammatory skin diseases.

Following are some interesting extracts ;

Aloe Vera

The evidence is mixed, but it probably can’t hurt to try certified aloe vera gel (or aloe vera juice squeezed directly from the plant, if you have one) on minor wounds and burns/sunburn — and it might work.


Arnica montana is a medicinal herb with a long history of use for treating swelling and bruising resulting from blows, and injuries such as sprains. Arnica flower is commonly available in both herbal and homeopathic preparations.

Clinical evidence for arnica as an effective first aid treatment is lacking, but people with osteoarthritis might want to give it a go.


Calendula officinalis, or marigold, is a member of the daisy family (Compositae/Asteraceae). Its preparations have been used since ancient times to treat inflammatory skin conditions and accelerate wound healing.

Lavender oil

Oil from the lavender flower (Lavandula angustifolia) has been used as an antiseptic in medicine since ancient Arabian, Greek and Roman times.

The clinical evidence for its effectiveness as an antiseptic is lacking, though sprinkling lavender oil in your bathwater to help you relax is likely to be safe enough.

Tea tree oil

Australian Aborigines have used the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia plant for medicinal purposes for many centuries. Tea tree oil’s traditional use is as an antiseptic for preventing and treating minor skin infections.

The evidence so far is encouraging, though not definitive. It may be worth a try on insect bites and minor skin infections.

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About the Author

About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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12 Reader Comments

  1. Smith says:

    Its a nice post about herbal remedies.
    Thanks for such an helpful and required information.
    Also for your time for posting this post.

  2. Thanks ! I do hope that rosacea sufferers are able to find some relief from natural therapies.

  3. Irene says:

    Great post, most important thing, take care of your condition! I let mine go and now I went from mild to moderate, didn’t take it serious enough! Let my skin burn in the sun with no sunscreen and now I am paying for it. Oh well live and learn.

  4. CB says:

    Thanks for listing options and the research backing them. Have you found any studies using colloidal silver to treat rosacea?

  5. I haven’t found any studies on Colloidal Silver and Rosacea, just warnings that it is probably not a good idea. See Dr. Andrew Weil and Dr. Linda Sy’s take on Colloidal Silver and Rosacea


  6. Mary says:

    Rosacea runs in my family and while I do have issues with the skin on my face I have not been diagnosed with Rosacea. When my facial skin is acting up (red, sore, scaley, itchy) I use derma-e Tea Tree & E Antiseptic Creme and it really helps. We also have a tea tree soap we use for poison ivy and we swear by it.

  7. Becky says:

    Do you know what the best tea tree oil to apply to the rosacea papsules is?

  8. Hi Becky,

    I don’t think anyone would recommend applying tea tree oil directly to the skin. It is likely to be too harsh for most people’s skin, so please be careful.


  9. Becky says:

    Ok thanks David, I have however just ordered ‘australian tea tree cleansing soap’ to gently wash my faec in the morning – only to use in the water not directly on the face. I will try it to see what happens and let you know!

  10. JMC says:

    Becky: Have you started using the tea tree cleansing soap yet?

  11. Becky says:

    JMC: Not yet cos I’ve only just stopped using erythromycin tablets for the Rosacea; I dont want too much change to my routine yet!

  12. anniegoose says:

    personally – i use evening primrose oil for the rosacea on my face – have been using it since 2011 and it works wonders. ditto for calendula oil. the lavender oil works very nicely for inverse psoriasis, which i also have.

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