Can lavender oil help induce labor?

Lavender essential oil, lavandula angustifolia, is the star performer among aromatherapy’s luminaries. Best known for its ability to calm and sedate, lavender essential oil is extracted by steam distillation of the flowering tops of the tall, woody shrub, although the entire plant is highly aromatic.

Lavender also contains over 100 chemical constituents including linalyl acetate, linalol, lavandulol, terpineol, cineol, limonene, and many others. These constituents vary depending on the altitude in which they are grown. Lawless states that lavender is an emmenagogue, which stimulates contractions of the uterus and encourages menstruation. According to the APA, lavender can help create a tranquil, relaxing atmosphere which can reduce pain and facilitate contractions.