In it, it stated that "None of the 6 studies that evaluated pain showed significant effects with inhalation aromatherapy."
So I decided to do some research of my own and came across this article on Evaluation of the effect of aromatherapy and lavender oil on post-tonsillectomy pain in pediatric patients, a randomized controlled trial. It was first published in the international journal of paediatric otorhinolaryngology in Sept 2013.
Quote: The patients of the case group also inhaled lavender essential oil. Both groups took Acetaminophen (US paracetamol type medication)
Results: The use of lavender essential oil caused statistically significant reduction in daily use of acetaminophen in all three post-operative days but had not significant effects on pain intensity and frequency of nocturnal awakening.
Conclusion: Aromatherapy with lavender essential oil decreases the number of required analgesics following tonsillectomy in pediatric patients.Now this would imply that although the inhalation of lavender oil did not have any significant effect on the pain intensity, it did reduce the amount of analgesia that the children needed, and with all medication coming with side effects, I see this as a positive outcome, and one that I would chose for my child, over a pharmaceutical. Having little experience in nursing children post-tonsillectomy in the 1980's i can tell you that getting paracetamol into them post-op was not an easy nor pleasant job. Getting them to sniff from a bottle of lavender oil would have been much more pleasant.
I also came across this article on pubmed, discussing whether sniffing lavender essential oil helped children undergoing tooth extraction. This article concluded that " During surgical procedures such as local anesthesia and tooth extraction, lavender oil inhalation decreases pain levels of children."
So that's 2 articles that would suggest that inhaling lavender essential oil for children has some beneficial effect, contrary to Edzard Ernst's opinion.
Even minor procedures can be upsetting for children, and if getting them to inhale lavender essential oil would help their anxiety to lessen, or reduced the amount of analgesia they required after having their tonsils removed, wouldn't you want to give it a go? Would you like to find home remedies to help your family.
At only £3.95 for 10 mls at today's prices, I know I would.