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Lavender Research

Posted on: May 18th, 2012

Lavender aromatherapy has cortisol-lowering and relaxation effects and may have beneficial acute effects on coronary circulation. – GreenMedInfo Summary

Abstract Title: Relaxation effects of lavender aromatherapy improve coronary flow velocity reserve in healthy men evaluated by transthoracic Doppler echocardiography.
Abstract Source: Int J Cardiol. 2008 Sep 26;129(2):193-7. Epub 2007 Aug 8. PMID: 17689755
Abstract Author(s): Yumi Shiina, Nobusada Funabashi, Kwangho Lee, Tomohiko Toyoda, Tai Sekine, Sachiko Honjo, Rei Hasegawa, Takayuki Kawata, Yu Wakatsuki, Shinichiro Hayashi, Shio Murakami, Kazuo Koike, Masao Daimon, Issei Komuro

PURPOSE: It has been reported that mental stress is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular events and impairs coronary circulation. Lavender aromatherapy, one of the most popular complementary treatments, is recognized as a beneficial mental relaxation therapy. However, no study has examined the effect of this therapy on coronary circulation. We aimed to assess the effect of lavender aromatherapy on coronary circulation by measuring coronary flow velocity reserve (CFVR) with noninvasive transthoracic Doppler echocardiography (TTDE). MATERIAL AND METHODS: We enrolled 30 young healthy men (mean age 34+/-4.7 years, range 24-40 years). Coronary flow velocities in the left anterior descending coronary artery were recorded by TTDE at rest and during hyperemia induced with an intravenous infusion of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). CFVR was calculated as the ratio of hyperemic to basal mean diastolic flow velocity. CFVR was assessed at baseline and immediately after lavender aromatherapy (four drops of essential oil diluted with 20 ml of hot water and inhaled for 30 min). Simultaneously, serum cortisol was measured as a marker of stress hormones. To exclude the relaxation effects of rest, the same measurements were repeated in the same volunteers without aromatherapy as a control study.

RESULTS: CFVR measurements were obtained in all volunteers (100%). Blood pressure and heart rate responses to ATP infusion were not affected by lavender aromatherapy. Serum cortisol significantly decreased after lavender aromatherapy (8.4+/-3.6 to 6.3+/-3.3, p<0.05), but remained unchanged in controls (9.1+/-3.5 to 8.1+/-3.9, p=ns). In addition, CFVR significantly increased after lavender aromatherapy (3.8+/-0.87 to 4.7+/-0.90, p<0.001), but not in controls.

Rosemary and lavender have significant and therapeutic effects on mood, EEG patterns, alertness and math computations. – GreenMedInfo Summary

Abstract Title: Aromatherapy positively affects mood, EEG patterns of alertness and math computations.
Abstract Source: Int J Neurosci. 1998 Dec;96(3-4):217-24. PMID: 10069621
Abstract Author(s): M A Diego, N A Jones, T Field, M Hernandez-Reif, S Schanberg, C Kuhn, V McAdam, R Galamaga, M Galamaga
Article Affiliation: University of Miami School of Medicine, USA.

Abstract: EEG activity, alertness, and mood were assessed in 40 adults given 3 minutes of aromatherapy using two aromas, lavender (considered a relaxing odor) or rosemary (considered a stimulating odor). Participants were also given simple math computations before and after the therapy. The lavender group showed increased beta power, suggesting increased drowsiness, they had less depressed mood (POMS) and reported feeling more relaxed and performed the math computations faster and more accurately following aromatherapy. The rosemary group, on the other hand, showed decreased frontal alpha and beta power, suggesting increased alertness. They also had lower state anxiety scores, reported feeling more relaxed and alert and they were only faster, not more accurate, at completing the math computations after the aromatherapy session.
Pubmed Data : Int J Neurosci. 1998 Dec;96(3-4):217-24. PMID: 10069621
Article Published Date : Dec 01, 1998
Study Type : Human Study