Biosynthesis and therapeutic properties of Lavandula essential oil constituents.

Lavenders and their essential oils have been used in alternative medicine for several centuries. The volatilecompounds that comprise lavender essential oils, including linalool and linalyl acetate, have demonstrative therapeutic properties, and the relative abundance of these metabolites is greatly influenced by the genetics and environment of the developing plants. With the rapid progress of molecular biology and the genomic sciences, our understanding of essential oil biosynthesis has greatly improved over the past few decades. At the same time, there is a recent surge of interest in the use of natural remedies, including lavender essential oils, in alternative medicine and aromatherapy. This article provides a review of recent developments related to the biosynthesis and medicinal properties of lavender essential oils.