Lavender Science

July 13, 2012 Written by JP    [Font too small?]

For many scientists, it’s hard to imagine that something as inexpensive, pleasing and simple to use as lavender oil can have a profound influence on emotional states, sleep quality and well being. On the other hand, consumers from around the world have made lavender oil a top selling aromatherapeutic aid. Anecdotal accounts of success and recommendations from family and friends are the primary reasons why lavender remains a strong seller among those in need of a calmer state of mind and relief from insomnia. In recent months, several studies have been published which help bridge the gap between lavender-believers and lavender-skeptics.

The June 2012 issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society tested the effect of lavender oil or a placebo in a group of 145 nursing home residents. Over the course of one year, half of the participants wore a lavender oil patch and the remainder an unscented patch. The results of the trial indicate that those exposed to “continuous olfactory stimulation from a lavender patch” had fewer falls (26 vs. 36) and reported a lesser degree of agitation. Two other experiments from 2012 go on to report that lavender oil inhalation promotes relaxation based on both objective measures (decreases in blood pressure, heart rate and skin temperature) and subjective perceptions (feeling “more active” and “fresher”). Desirable changes in brain wave patterns were also noted, including increased alpha and theta wave activity. The end result of these positive changes on the autonomic nervous system are likely the reason behind lavender’s enduring reputation as a natural sleep aid.

Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!

To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:

Study 1 – Fall Prevention Using Olfactory Stimulation w/ Lavender Odor in Elderly (link)

Study 2 – The Effects of Lavender Oil Inhalation On Emotional States, Autonomic(link)

Study 3 – The Effect of Lavender Aromatherapy on Autonomic Nervous System in (link)

Lavender Oil Inhalation May Improve Sleep Quality

Source: Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:740813. (link)

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Mental Health

20 Comments & Updates to “Lavender Science”

  1. JP Says:

    Update: Lavender oil massage reduces menstrual pain …

    Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. 2015 Jan-Feb;20(1):156-60.

    The effect of aromatherapy massage with lavender oil on severity of primary dysmenorrhea in Arsanjan students.

    BACKGROUND: Presently, using complementary therapy such as lavender oil has specific application in medicine. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of aromatherapy massage on the severity of primary dysmenorrhea in nursing and midwifery students of Islamic Azad University of Arsanjan, Iran.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study was performed using clinical trial method on 80 eligible students whose level of pain was measured by visual analogue scale (VAS) before the intervention. Each participant, in the first days of menstruation, randomly received two types of massage with lavender and placebo oil in two consecutive cycles of menstruation. Their level of pain was measured before and 30 min after the intervention. In this study, each group was considered as their self-control group in the next cycle. The data were analyzed by SPSS software.

    RESULTS: A significant decrease in VAS score after lavender massage was detected in comparison with placebo massage. There was a statistically significant difference between VAS scores after and before placebo massage. In addition, statistically the effect of lavender massage on the severity of primary dysmenorrhea was higher than that of placebo massage (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Findings of this study showed that lavender oil massage decreases primary dysmenorrhea and it can be used as an effective herbal drug. Be well! JP

  2. JP Says:

    Update 04/29/15:

    J Caring Sci. 2015 Mar 1;4(1):63-73.

    Effect of Lavender Cream with or without Foot-bath on Anxiety, Stress and Depression in Pregnancy: a Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial.

    INTRODUCTION: Psychological disorders are associated with maternal and neonatal morbidities. We aimed to evaluate the effect of Lavender cream with or without foot-bath on depression, anxiety and stress of pregnant women.

    METHODS: In this trial, 141 women at 25 to 28 weeks gestation were randomly assigned into three groups (47 at each group); receiving Lavender cream with foot-bath, only Lavender cream, or placebo, 2g every night for two months. Depression, anxiety and stress were assessed at baseline, and 4(th) and 8(th) weeks after intervention, using DASS-21. General linear model was used to compare the groups.

    RESULTS: There were three losses to follow-up at the 4(th) and one more at the 8(th) week. Scores of all three outcomes in both Lavender and foot-bath and only Lavender groups were significantly lower than those in the placebo group at the 8(th) week; adjusted difference of depression score -3.3, 95% confidence interval -4.6 to -1.9;-2.4, -3.7 to -1.0, respectively, anxiety score -1.4, -2.6 to -0.2; -1.7,-2.9 to -0.5 and stress score -3.1, -4.7 to -1.5; -2.7, -4.3 to -1.1. At the 4(th) week, only score of anxiety in the lavender group (-2.3, -3.9 to -0.8) and stress in the both groups (-2.3, -4.1 to -0.5; -1.9, -3.7 to -0.1) were significantly less than those in the placebo group. There were not statistically significant differences between the two experimental groups in terms of the outcomes.

    CONCLUSION: Lavender cream with foot-bath or alone can be used for pregnant women for reducing their stress, anxiety and depression.

    Be well!


  3. JP Says:

    Update 05/30/15:

    Iran Red Crescent Med J. 2015 Apr 25;17(4):e25880.

    Lavender fragrance essential oil and the quality of sleep in postpartum women.

    BACKGROUND: Labor and delivery is a stressful stage for mothers. During these periods, sleep-related disorders have been reported. The problems of inadequate sleep include decrease in concentration, judgment, difficulty in performing daily activities, and an increase in irritability. Even the effects of moderate sleep loss on life and health quality can be similar to sleep deprivation. some research aggravated by aromatherapy on sleep quality in different periods of life so might be useful for the improve of sleep quality in postpartum women.

    OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to determine the effect of aromatherapy on the quality of sleep in postpartum women. The sample was recruited from medical health centers of Zanjan University of Medical Sciences.

    PATIENTS AND METHODS: This study was a randomized clinical trial with the control group. A total of 158 mothers in postpartum period (with certain inclusion criteria) were enrolled in the study and assigned randomly to two groups of control and intervention. Lavender fragrance (made by Barij Essence Pharmaceutical Co.) was used by participants in the intervention group nightly before sleeping. The fragrance was dropped on cotton balls, which were placed on a cylindrical container at mothers’ disposal. Keeping the container at a projected distance of 20 cm, the participants inhaled 10 deep breaths and then the container was placed beside their pillow until morning. This procedure was done 4 times a week for 8 weeks. For the control group, the same intervention was done with the placebo. The instrument for collecting data was Pittsburgh sleep quality index, which was completed at the baseline, fourth, and eighth weeks after the intervention. Data were analyzed using independent t test and repeated measures analysis of variance calculated by SPSS16.

    RESULTS: Before the intervention, there were no significant differences between mothers in two groups (P > 0.05). After 8 weeks follow up, a significant improvement appeared in mothers’ sleep quality in the intervention group. Aromatherapy increased sleep quality mean score (±SD) from 8.2911 (± 2.1192) to 6.7975 (± 2.3663) (P < 0.05), but in the control group sleep quality mean score (±SD) changes from 8.4557 (± 2.3027) to 7.5696 (± 1.1464) (P > 0.05). Comparing sleep quality between control and intervention groups after 8 weeks from the beginning of the intervention indicated that aromatherapy was effective in the improvement of mothers’ sleep quality (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Considering the effects of aromatherapy on the improvement of mother's sleep quality during postpartum period, aromatherapy has been suggested as a non-pharmacological method for the improvement of the maternal health. Be well! JP

  4. JP Says:

    Updated 07/28/15:

    Nurs Crit Care. 2015 Jul 27.

    Effects of aromatherapy on sleep quality and anxiety of patients.

    BACKGROUND: In intensive care units (ICUs), patients cannot sleep well. Aromatherapy is used for depression, anxiety, relaxation and disorders related with sleep and stress.

    AIM: This study aimed to investigate the effect of lavender essential oil on the sleep quality and anxiety level of patients in coronary ICU.

    PARTICIPANTS: A total of 60 patients in coronary ICU participated in this study.

    DESIGN: A randomized controlled study was conducted with 60 patients in a province located in the southeast of Turkey.

    METHODS: After informing the patients in both groups about the study, they were administered a questionnaire, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) scale. The patients in the intervention group were given 2% lavender essential oil via inhalation for 15 days after which they were administered the same scales again to evaluate the sleep quality and anxiety. As for the control group, they were administered the same scales again after 15 days without the inhalation of lavender essential oil.

    RESULTS: Comparison of the PSQI and BAI scores of the patients in the control and intervention groups before and after the intervention showed statistically significant differences in the change in favour of the intervention group (p < 0·05). CONCLUSION: Lavender essential oil increased quality of sleep and reduced level of anxiety in patients with coronary artery disease. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: As a non-invasive, cheap, easily applicable, cost-effective, independent nursing intervention and appropriate for cardiac patients, lavender essential oil could be applied in ICUs. Be well! JP

  5. JP Says:

    Updated 08/12/15:

    Adv Biomed Res. 2015 Jun 4;4:127.

    The effectiveness of lavender essence on strernotomy related pain intensity after coronary artery bypass grafting.

    BACKGROUND: Considering the side effects of pharmacological methods, there has been a suggestion to use nonpharmacological methods such Aromatherapy following coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of lavender 2% aromatherapy on sternotomy pain intensity after coronary artery bypass graft surgery in patients who have undergone surgery.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: During this clinical trial, 50 patients who were candidates for CABG, were randomly divided into two equal groups, that is, the control group (n = 25) and the case group (n = 25). Following CABG, the case group received two drops of 2% lavender oil every 15 minutes with supplemental oxygen and the control group received only supplemental oxygen through a face mask. The data collection tools comprised of the demographic check list and visual analog scale (VAS) for evaluating the pain intensity. The pain intensity were assessed pre- and five, 30, and 60 minutes post aromatherapy. The final data were analyzed by the t-test and chi-squared test.

    RESULTS: The findings showed that the pain perception intensity in the case group was lower than that in the control group at the 30- and 60-minute phases after intervention (P < 0.0001). CONCLUSION: The result indicated that aromatherapy can be used as a complementary method in postoperative pain reduction, as it reduced pain. The patients require two sedative drugs, and moreover, it avoids expenses of treatment. Be well! JP

  6. JP Says:

    Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2015 Aug 7.

    Efficacy of orally administered Silexan in patients with anxiety-related restlessness and disturbed sleep – A randomized, placebo-controlled trial.

    The anxiolytic effect of Silexan, a patented active substance with an essential oil produced from Lavandula angustifolia flowers, was investigated in patients with anxiety-related restlessness and disturbed sleep. 170 out-patients with a diagnosis of restlessness (ICD-10 R45.1), a Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAMA) total score ≥18 points and ≥2 points for HAMA items ‘Tension’ and ‘Insomnia’ participated in this randomized, double-blind trial and received 80mg Silexan or placebo once daily for 10 weeks. Patients with clinically important other psychiatric or neurological disorders potentially interfering with the assessment of treatment efficacy were excluded. Outcome variables were the HAMA as well as the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), the Zung Self-rating Anxiety Scale, a State Check inventory and the Clinical Global Impressions questionnaire. In the Silexan group the HAMA total score decreased from an average of 25.5±6.0 points at baseline to 13.7±7.0 points at treatment end, compared to a decrease from 26.5±6.1 to 16.9±9.8 for placebo, corresponding to decreases of 12.0 and 9.3 points (marginal means), respectively (group difference: p=0.03, ANCOVA with factor treatment and baseline value as covariate). In all outcome measures the treatment effect of Silexan was more pronounced than with placebo. According to the HAMA, 48.8% and 33.3% of the patients were responders (Silexan, placebo; reduction ≥50%; p=0.04) and 31.4% and 22.6% achieved remission (HAMA<10; p=0.20). 33.7% (Silexan) and 35.7% (placebo) of the participants reported adverse events. The study confirms the calming and anxiolytic efficacy of Silexan.

    Be well!


  7. JP Says:

    Updated 04/22/16:

    Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. 2016 Mar-Apr;21(2):197-201.

    Effect of lavender scent inhalation on prevention of stress, anxiety and depression in the postpartum period.

    BACKGROUND: Stress, anxiety, and postpartum depression are the most common problems among women in their childbearing age. Research has shown that aromatherapy administered during labor reduces anxiety in mothers. With regard to the specific biological conditions in postpartum period and the subsequent drop in hormone levels, this study investigated the effect of lavender on prevention of stress, anxiety, and postpartum depression in women.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: In a clinical trial, 140 women admitted to the obstetric and gynecological unit were randomly divided into aromatherapy and non-aromatherapy groups immediately after delivery. Intervention with aromatherapy consisted of inhaling three drops of lavender essential oil every 8 h with for 4 weeks. The control group received routine care after discharge and was followed up by telephone only. After 2 weeks, 1 and 3 months of delivery, women were assessed by the 21-item Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale and the Edinburgh stress, anxiety, and depression scale in the two groups. Data analysis was performed by Mann-Whitney, analysis of variance (ANOVA), and post hoc tests. Level of significance was set as 0.05 for all tests.

    RESULTS: The results showed that the mean stress, anxiety, and depression at time point of 2 weeks (P = 0.012, P < 0.0001, and P = 0.003, respectively) and stress, anxiety, and depression scores at time points of 1 month (P < 0.0001) and 3 months after delivery (P < 0.0001) were significantly lower in the study group compared with the control group. CONCLUSIONS: Inhaling the scent of lavender for 4 weeks can prevent stress, anxiety, and depression after childbirth. Be well! JP

  8. JP Says:

    Updated 06/17/16:

    J Neurophysiol. 2016 May 1;115(5):2294-302.

    Odors enhance slow-wave activity in non-rapid eye movement sleep.

    Most forms of suprathreshold sensory stimulation perturb sleep. In contrast, presentation of pure olfactory or mild trigeminal odorants does not lead to behavioral or physiological arousal. In fact, some odors promote objective and subjective measures of sleep quality in humans and rodents. The brain mechanisms underlying these sleep-protective properties of olfaction remain unclear. Slow oscillations in the electroencephalogram (EEG) are a marker of deep sleep, and K complexes (KCs) are an EEG marker of cortical response to sensory interference. We therefore hypothesized that odorants presented during sleep will increase power in slow EEG oscillations. Moreover, given that odorants do not drive sleep interruption, we hypothesized that unlike other sensory stimuli odorants would not drive KCs. To test these hypotheses we used polysomnography to measure sleep in 34 healthy subjects (19 women, 15 men; mean age 26.5 ± 2.5 yr) who were repeatedly presented with odor stimuli via a computer-controlled air-dilution olfactometer over the course of a single night. Each participant was exposed to one of four odorants, lavender oil (n = 13), vetiver oil (n = 5), vanillin (n = 12), or ammonium sulfide (n = 4), for durations of 5, 10, and 20 s every 9-15 min. Consistent with our hypotheses, we found that odor presentation during sleep enhanced the power of delta (0.5-4 Hz) and slow spindle (9-12 Hz) frequencies during non-rapid eye movement sleep. The increase was proportionate to odor duration. In addition, odor presentation did not modulate the occurrence of KCs. These findings imply a sleep-promoting olfactory mechanism that may deepen sleep through driving increased slow-frequency oscillations.

    Be well!


  9. JP Says:

    Updated 06/30/16:

    J Altern Complement Med. 2016 Jun 29.

    Aroma Effects on Physiologic and Cognitive Function Following Acute Stress: A Mechanism Investigation.

    OBJECTIVE: Aromas may improve physiologic and cognitive function after stress, but associated mechanisms remain unknown. This study evaluated the effects of lavender aroma, which is commonly used for stress reduction, on physiologic and cognitive functions. The contribution of pharmacologic, hedonic, and expectancy-related mechanisms of the aromatherapy effects was evaluated.

    METHODS: Ninety-two healthy adults (mean age, 58.0 years; 79.3% women) were randomly assigned to three aroma groups (lavender, perceptible placebo [coconut], and nonperceptible placebo [water] and to two prime subgroups (primed, with a suggestion of inhaling a powerful stress-reducing aroma, or no prime). Participants’ performance on a battery of cognitive tests, physiologic responses, and subjective stress were evaluated at baseline and after exposure to a stress battery during which aromatherapy was present. Participants also rated the intensity and pleasantness of their assigned aroma.

    RESULTS: Pharmacologic effects of lavender but not placebo aromas significantly benefited post-stress performance on the working memory task (F(2, 86) = 5.41; p = 0.006). Increased expectancy due to positive prime, regardless of aroma type, facilitated post-stress performance on the processing speed task (F(1, 87) = 8.31; p = 0.005). Aroma hedonics (pleasantness and intensity) played a role in the beneficial lavender effect on working memory and physiologic function.

    CONCLUSIONS: The observable aroma effects were produced by a combination of mechanisms involving aroma-specific pharmacologic properties, aroma hedonic properties, and participant expectations. In the future, each of these mechanisms could be manipulated to produce optimal functioning.

    Be well!


  10. JP Says:

    Updated 07/11/16:

    J Chin Med Assoc. 2016 Jul 4.

    Effect of lavender aromatherapy on menopause hot flushing: A crossover randomized clinical trial.

    BACKGROUND: Flushing is generally considered to be the primary symptom of menopause and is typically the most common complaint in menopausal women. Although flushing poses no danger to a woman’s health, it decreases the quality of life. Thus, the purpose of this study was to determine the effect of lavender aromatherapy on menopause flushing.

    METHODS: This double-blinded crossover clinical trial included 100 menopausal women 45-55 years of age who were referred to various health centers in Ardabil, Iran in 2013-2014. Samples were blocked randomly and divided into two intervention (lavender) and control (diluted milk) groups. Lavender aroma was smelled for 20 minutes twice a day, over a 12-week period. Data were collected using a demographic questionnaire, and flushing numbers were duly recorded. Data analysis was performed by SPSS version 16 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA) using the Chi-square and t test.

    RESULTS: The results of our investigation showed that both groups had no significant difference according to demographic characteristics (p > 0.05). Additionally, the flushing number significantly decreased in the intervention group than in the control group (p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: This study indicated that the use of lavender aromatherapy reduced menopause flushing. Given the impact of stress on flushing and the undesirable effects of menopause symptoms on the quality of life, it would appear that this simple, noninvasive, safe, and effective method can be used by menopausal women with noticeable benefits. Be well! JP

  11. JP Says:

    Updated 09/25/16:

    Explore (NY). 2016 Aug 18.

    Well-Being and Self-Assessment of Change: Secondary Analysis of an RCT That Demonstrated Benefit of Inhaled Lavender and Sleep Hygiene in College Students With Sleep Problems.

    CONTEXT: Sleep issues are prevalent and affect health and well-being. The aspects of well-being that are impacted by sleep interventions have not been well studied.

    OBJECTIVES: To investigate the impact of lavender and sleep hygiene (LSH) compared to sleep hygiene (SH) alone on well-being as measured by the Self-assessment of Change questionnaire (SAC) at post-intervention and two-week follow-up, and secondarily to compare the SAC sleep item to results from standardized sleep surveys.

    DESIGN: Secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) where one group received a lavender inhalation patch and practiced sleep hygiene (LSH) and the other group received a placebo inhalation patch and practiced sleep hygiene (SH) for five consecutive nights.

    SETTING: Usual sleep setting.

    PARTICIPANTS: Seventy-nine college students with self-reported sleep issues.

    MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The SAC was completed at post-intervention and follow-up.

    RESULTS: Exploratory analysis showed significantly improved well-being for the LSH group at post-intervention for well-being domains of sleep, energy, and vibrancy (P = .01, .03, and .05, respectively) and an overall trend of improved well-being in comparison to the SH group at post-intervention and follow-up. The SAC sleep item showed a similar pattern of change to the standardized sleep surveys with a statistically significant improvement in sleep for the LSH group at follow-up (P = .02).

    CONCLUSIONS: Findings demonstrate the positive impact of the lavender intervention on three domains of self-assessed well-being are energy, vibrancy, and sleep. SAC results extend and complement prior findings of improved sleep quality.

    Be well!


  12. JP Says:

    Updated 10/25/16:

    J Tissue Viability. 2016 Oct 5. pii: S0965-206X(16)30057-2.

    Antioxidant and wound healing activity of Lavandula aspic L. ointment.

    Lavandula aspic L. is a strongly aromatic shrub plant of the Lamiaceae family and traditionally used in herbal medicine for the treatment of several skin disorders, including wounds, burns, and ulcers. The present study aimed to investigate the composition and in vitro antioxidant activity of lavender essential oil. In addition, it aimed to evaluate the excision wound healing activity and antioxidant property of a Lavandula aspic L. essential oil formulated in ointment using a rat model. The rats were divided into five groups of six animals each. The test groups were topically treated with the vehicle, lavender ointment (4%) and a reference drug, while the control group was left untreated. Wound healing efficiency was determined by monitoring morphological and biochemical parameters and skin histological analysis. Wound contraction and protein synthesis were also determined. Antioxidant activity was assessed by the determination of MDA rates and antioxidant enzymes (GPx, catalase and superoxide dismutase). The treatment with lavender ointment was noted to significantly enhance wound contraction rate (98%) and protein synthesis. Overall, the results provided strong support for the effective wound healing activity of lavender ointment, making it a promising candidate for future application as a therapeutic agent in tissue repairing processes associated with skin injuries.

    Be well!


  13. JP Says:

    Updated 11/20/16:

    Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2016 Nov;25:81-86.

    The effect of aromatherapy with lavender essence on severity of labor pain and duration of labor in primiparous women.

    OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of Lavender essence inhalation on severity of labor pain and duration of labor.

    METHODS AND MATERIALS: This single-blind, randomized clinical trial was conducted on 120 pregnant women in two groups. The experimental group received 2 drops of Lavender essence inhaled at three stages (4-5, 6-7, 8-9 cm cervical dilation) and severity of the labor pain and duration of labor was measured before and after intervention. The control group was treated with distilled water as a placebo in the similar ways, too.

    RESULTS: The results showed that difference in the labor pain before and after intervention in two groups was significant (P = 0/001). But there was no difference in mean duration of the active phase and the second stage of labor between the two groups.

    CONCLUSION: Lavender essence aromatherapy may be an effective therapeutic option for pain management for women in labor.

    Be well!


  14. JP Says:

    Updated 11/20/16:

    Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2016 Nov;25:75-80.

    Effect of aromatherapy massage with lavender essential oil on pain in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee: A randomized controlled clinical trial.

    BACKGROUND: Osteoarthritis of the knee is the most common chronic joint disease that involves middle aged and elderly people. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of aromatherapy massage with lavender essential oil on pain in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee.

    METHODS: In this single-blinded, randomized clinical trial, 90 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee who referred to the outpatient rheumatology clinics affiliated with Birjand University of Medical Sciences were selected through convenience sampling method. They were randomly assigned to three groups: intervention (aromatherapy massage with lavender essential oil), placebo (massage with almond oil) and control (without massage). The patients were evaluated at baseline, immediately after the intervention, 1 week, and 4 weeks after the intervention in terms of pain via visual analogue scale. The data were analyzed in SPSS (version 16) using the repeated measure ANOVA, one-way ANOVA, and chi-squared test.

    RESULTS: Pain severity of the patients in the intervention group was significantly different immediately and 1 week after the intervention compared with their initial status (p < 0.001) and that of the control group (p < 0.001 and p = 0.009 respectively). However, at the third phase of follow-up (i.e., 4 weeks after the intervention), there was no significant difference between the groups according to the visual analogue scale (p = 0.67). CONCLUSION: Aromatherapy massage with lavender essential oil was found effective in relieving pain in patients with knee osteoarthritis. However, further studies are needed to confirm findings of this study. Be well! JP

  15. JP Says:

    Updated 02/28/17:

    Intensive Crit Care Nurs. 2017 Feb 22.

    Use of aromatherapy to promote a therapeutic nurse environment.

    BACKGROUND: Workplace stress can affect nurse satisfaction. Aroma therapy as a therapeutic use of essential oil can be beneficial in reducing stress.

    PURPOSE: Assess perceived stress pre-post introduction of Essential Oil Lavender among registered nurses, charge nurses, and patient care technicians in a trauma intensive care unit, surgical specialty care unit and an orthopedic trauma unit.

    METHODS: Pre-post intervention with a quasi-experimental design. After a pre-survey, Essential Oil Lavender was diffused 24h per day over 30days in a designated nursing area that all nurses were not required to enter on each unit.

    RESULTS: Dependent sample t-test for “how often do nurses feel stressed a work in a typical week” revealed pre-survey mean 2.97 (SD=0.99) which was significantly higher than post-survey mean 2.70 (SD=0.92) with significance, t(69)=2.36, p=0.021, suggesting a difference in how often staff felt stressed at work in a typical week, trending down from “feeling stressed half of time” to “once in a while”. There were no statistically significant differences in pre-post survey scores for TICU, TOU, or SSC as separate units.

    RELEVANCE: Use of essential oils to decrease work-related stress among nursing staff may improve retention, workplace environment, and increase nurse satisfaction.

    Be well!


  16. JP Says:

    Updated 04/13/17:

    Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017;2017:1902807.

    Effects of Inhalation Aromatherapy on Symptoms of Sleep Disturbance in the Elderly with Dementia.

    This study investigated the effects of inhalation aromatherapy on sleep disturbance in elderly individuals with dementia. In 19 subjects, normal sleep was observed for a 20-day control period, inhalation aromatherapy was then applied for a 20-day intervention period, and the control and intervention periods were compared. During the intervention period, essential oils were placed nightly on towels around the subjects’ pillows. The measured sleep conditions were sleep latency, total sleep time, sleep efficacy, duration of the longest sustained sleep period, wake time after sleep onset, early morning awakening, total daytime sleep, and the Neuropsychiatric Inventory. Total sleep time was significantly longer in the intervention period than in the control period (p < 0.05). The duration of the longest sustained sleep period was significantly longer in the intervention period than in the control period (p < 0.05). Early morning awakening in the intervention period was significantly less compared to that in the control period (p < 0.05). Total daytime sleep could not be adequately measured and was omitted from the analysis. No significant differences in other sleep conditions were observed. These results indicated positive effects of inhalation aromatherapy on symptoms of sleep disturbance in elderly individuals with dementia. Be well! JP

  17. JP Says:

    Updated 08/29/17:

    Indian J Psychiatry. 2017 Apr-Jun;59(2):225-227.

    (-)-Linalool influence on the cerebral blood flow in healthy male volunteers revealed by three-dimensional pseudo-continuous arterial spin labeling.

    BACKGROUND: Although aromatherapy is widely used, the pharmacology of the essential oils remains undiscovered.

    AIM: The present study assessed the effect of (-)-linalool, the main contained material of lavender, on the brain function.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: Healthy male volunteers calculated the regional cerebral blood flow (CBF) before and after inhalation of (-)-linalool, and CBF changes were evaluated.

    RESULTS: There were significant CBF reductions in the right superior temporal gyrus to insula, anterior cingulate cortex after inhalation.

    CONCLUSIONS: The previous study detected the regulatory influence of (-)-linalool on the glutamatergic transmission. The effect of (-)-linalool on the ACC and insula would cause the sedative and anxiolytic activity.

    Be well!


  18. JP Says:

    Updated 05/21/18:

    J Natl Med Assoc. 2018 Jun;110(3):265-269.

    The Effect of Lavender Aromatherapy on the Symptoms of Menopause.

    OBJECTIVES: The menopause is a natural biological process that is happened by a permanent regal stop due to the loss of performance. The aim of this research is to evaluate the effect of lavender aromatherapy on the menopause symptoms.

    STUDY DESIGN: This double-blind cross over clinical trial carried out on 100 menopause women (between 45 and 155 years old) referring to health centers in Ardabil in 2013-14. The samples blocked randomly, placed in two experimental (Lavender) and control (diluted milk) groups. Lavender aroma is smelled two times daily for 20 min during 12 weeks by research subjects. Data were collected by Green questionnaire and the analysis of data carried out in SPSS v.16 by paired t-test.

    MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The level of the symptoms has been decreased significantly after using lavender.

    RESULTS: Comparing the level of the symptoms before and after using lavender in experimental group suggested that the rate of the menopause symptoms has been decreased significantly (P = 0.000). The comparison of the mean of the menopause symptoms after intervention between two groups suggested that the menopause symptoms in the experimental group had a significant decrease comparing the control group (P = 0.000).

    CONCLUSION: Using the lavender aromatherapy decreases menopause symptoms. According to the undesirable effect of the menopause symptoms on the quality of life of the menopausal women, these interventions may be instructed by midwives in the treatment and care centers as a health activity.

    Be well!


  19. JP Says:

    Updated 09/24/18:

    J Perianesth Nurs. 2018 Sep 8.

    Aromatherapy for Preoperative Anxiety: A Pilot Study.

    PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of a lavender aromatherapy skin patch on anxiety and vital sign variability during the preoperative period in female patients scheduled for breast surgery.

    DESIGN: This observational pilot study used a one-group, pretest and post-test design.

    METHODS: Participants received an aromatherapy patch in addition to standard preoperative care. Anxiety levels were assessed with a 10-cm visual analog scale at baseline and then every 15 minutes after patch placement. Vital sign measurements were recorded at the same interval.

    FINDINGS: There was a statistically significant decrease (P = .03) in the anxiety visual analog scale measurements from baseline to final scores.

    CONCLUSIONS: Findings from this study suggest the use of aromatherapy is beneficial in reducing anxiety experienced by females undergoing breast surgery. Further research is needed to address the experience of preoperative anxiety, aromatherapy use, and the challenges of managing preoperative anxiety.

    Be well!


  20. JP Says:

    Updated 10/16/18:

    Holist Nurs Pract. 2018 Nov/Dec;32(6):324-335.

    The Effect of Lavender Oil Application via Inhalation Pathway on Hemodialysis Patients’ Anxiety Level and Sleep Quality.

    Sleep and anxiety problems occur in hemodialysis (HD) patients due to physical symptoms, lifestyle changes, and psychosocial changes. To remove these sleep and anxiety problems, lavender oil inhalation is one of the nonpharmacological treatment options with less adverse effects than pharmacological methods. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of lavender oil application via inhalation pathway on HD patients’ anxiety level and sleep quality. The study was conducted with 34 HD patients who have been on HD treatment at 2 dialysis centers. The patients of the intervention group (n = 17) were told to drip 2 drops into the box and to place it 15 to 20 cm away from the pillow, 30 minutes before going to bed for 1 week. Control group (n = 17) received no intervention. Data were collected with questionnaire form, Visual Analog Scale, and Hamilton Anxiety Assessment Scale with a face-to-face interview. Subjective sleep quality of the intervention group was higher than that of control group, mean Visual Analog Scale daytime sleepiness score declined (P < .05), and mean score of sleep duration increased (P < .001) in the intervention group. However, the differences of mean score of time for falling asleep between the 2 groups were not different. The mean score of total and subdimensions of Hamilton Anxiety Assessment Scale of intervention group and control group was significantly different (P < .001). These study results provide new promising information about the effect of lavender inhalation on sleep problems and anxiety and these have made significant contributions to nursing, especially for dialysis nurses. Be well! JP

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