Aromatherapy Studies

Aromatherapy Studies

Diego, M., Jones, N.A., Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., Schanberg, S., Kuhn, C., McAdam, V., Galamaga, R. & Galamaga, M.(1998). Aromatherapy positively affects mood, EEG patterns of alertness and math computations. International Journal of Neuroscience, 96, 217-224.

EEG activity, alertness, and mood were assessed in 40 adults given aromatherapy using two aromas, lavender (relaxing odor) or rosemary (stimulating odor). Participants were also given simple math computations before and after the therapy. The lavender group showed increased drowsiness, they had less depressed mood and performed the math computations faster and more accurately. The rosemary group showed greater alertness, were more relaxed, and only faster not accurate at completing the math computations.

Fernandez, M., Hernandez-Reif, M., Field, T., Sanders, C., Diego, M., & Roca , A. (2004). EEG during lavender and rosemary exposure in infants of depressed and non-depressed mothers. Infant Behavior and Development, 27, 91-100.

This study investigated whether exposure to lavender or rosemary would change EEG activity and behavior in infants of depressed and non-depressed mothers. Although the groups did not differ at baseline and the two odors did not differentially affect the EEG, the infants of depressed mothers showed increased relative left frontal EEG asymmetry from baseline to the odor exposure phase. Infants of non-depressed mothers showed no change in frontal EEG asymmetry from baseline to the odor exposure phase.

Field, T., Cullen, C., Largie, S., Diego, M., Schanberg, S. & Kuhn, C. (2008). Lavender bath oil reduces stress and crying and enhances sleep in very young infants. Early Human Development, 84, 399-401.

Very young infants were given a bath with or without lavender-scented bath oil. The mothers in the lavender bath oil group were more relaxed, smiled and touched their infants more during the bath. Their infants looked at them a greater percentage of the bath time and cried less and spent more time in deep sleep after the bath. The cortisol levels of this group of mothers and infants significantly decreased, confirming the behavioral data showing increased relaxation of the mothers and their infants. These findings support a body of research showing the relaxing and sleep-inducing properties of lavender aroma.

Field, T., Diego, M., Hernandez-Reif, M., Cisneros, W., Feijo, L., Vera, Y., & Gil, K. (2005). Lavender fragrance cleansing gel effects on relaxation. International Journal of Neuroscience, 115, 207-222.

Alertness, mood, and math computations were assessed in healthy adults who sniffed a cosmetic cleansing gel with lavender floral blend aroma, developed to be relaxing. EEG patterns and heart rate were also recorded before, during and after the aroma session. The lavender fragrance blend improved mood and made the participants feel more relaxed, and perform math computations faster.

Sanders, C., Diego, M., Fernandez, M., Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M. & Roca, A. (2002). EEG asymmetry responses to lavender and rosemary aromas in adults and infants. International Journal of Neuroscience, 112, 1305-1320.

Frontal EEG asymmetry shifting from baseline was examined in adults and infants exposed to lavender and rosemary. Results showed significant EEG shifting in the lavender group, with a positive shift to greater relative left frontal EEG activation.