This section is from the book "Materia Medica And Therapeutics - Vegetable Kingdom", by Charles D. F. Phillips. Also available from Amazon: Materia Medica And Therapeutics: Vegetable Kingdom.
Active Ingredients. - The flower spikes, which alone are officinal, contain a considerable quantity of oil, combined with which is a bitter principle. The former is an oxidized volatile oil or hydrocarbon, and contains in solution a camphor-like substance called stearoptine. In color it is pale yellow; the sp. gr. somewhat varies, but is usually about 0.95, the lightest oil being the purest. It is fragrant, of a pungent and aromatic taste, soluble in rectified spirit, and in two parts of proof spirit.
Physiological Action. - Lavender oil is, in large doses, a narcotic poison, causing death preceded by convulsions. Doses of one drachm are sufficient to produce these effects in rabbits. It is also a very effective poison to skin parasites.
Therapeutic Action. - Occasionally administered in cases of hysteria, and for nervous headache, hypochondriasis, and flatulence. The oil is employed for scenting evaporating lotions, ointment, and liniments. It is used in the preparation of the compound liniment of camphor, and the compound tincture is a constituent of the Liquor Potassoe Arsenitis. The leaves and flowers have been employed in sternutatories.
Preparations and Dose. - Oleum Lavendulae, m j. - v. (.05 - .25); Spts. Lavendul., 3 ss. - j. (2. - 4.); Spts. Lavendul. Co., 3 j. - ij.