|Authors: ||K. Tomi, T. Fushiki, H. Murakami , Y. Matsumura, T. Hayashi, S. Yazawa|
|Keywords: ||volatile components, autonomic nervous system, chemotype, POMS, gas chromatography, aromatherapy|
It is widely accepted that aromas from plant essential oils show some mental and physiological effects that are often called “aromachology” effects.
However, there are few reports exhibiting the clear scientific evidence on aromachology effects of essential oil.
In this study, we tested aromachology effects of essential oils from two lavenders (Lavandula angustifolia (called “true lavender”) and L. hybrid (called “lavandin”)). Lavender essential oil is believed to have relaxing effects.
POMS (Profile of Mood States) test was tried to reveal the mental effects of the oils on human volunteers.
Some relaxing effects such as decrease of “fatigue” feeling were observed by giving aroma of both the lavender essential oils.
Power spectral analysis on R-R intervals of heartbeat was used for evaluating the physiological effects of the lavender oils on human autonomic activity.
Aroma of the lavender oil from L. angustifolia (called “true lavender”) caused an increase of human parasympathetic nerve activity, but the oil from L. hybrid did not show such an effect.
To reveal key compounds causing such a difference in the physiological effect, volatile compounds of the essential oils were analyzed by GC and GC-MS. The similar contents of linalool and linalyl acetate were included in both the essential oils, but the content of camphor was higher in the oil of lavandin.
Since camphor is believed to have the ability of increasing sympathetic nerve activity, this compound may offset the relaxing effects of linalool and linalyl acetate.
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