There are over 30 species of Lavender and hundreds of genotypes that are distinguished by their growth form and the chemical compositions of their essential oils. There are 3 main species of Lavender that fall within the genus that produces essential oils. They belong to a group called “Lavendula” and they are: English Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) and Spike Lavender (Lavendula latifolia). The chemical composition of Lavender essential oil consists of over 100 constituents including: linalool, linalyl acetate, camphor, limonene, cineole, tannins, coumarins, flavonoids, triterpenes, and perillyl alcohol. The main ones are 1,8-cineole, limonene, linalool, camphor, linalyl acetate, lavendulyl acetate, terpinen-4-ol, a-pinene, cis-ocimene, 3-octanone, trans-ocimene, and caryophyllene.
There is not enough research to prove that this oil is safe to use at any stage of pregnancy, as it can act as a muscle relaxant and can affect hormone levels; therefore, pregnant and nursing women are advised not to use Lavender Oil, especially pregnant women in their third trimester, unless a medical practitioner is consulted first. Despite being considered generally safe for children to use, the effects of Lavender Oil on hormones means it could potentially be harmful to pre-pubescent boys. Parents are advised to exercise caution when using it on children in this age range.