Here’s a new, very interesting study noting that inhalation of Rose essential oil (and implied that ‘inhaling sedative oils in general can produce the same result) can limit stress on the skin, and limit production of stress hormones in general.
Many leaps can be made with these results, as while the direct observation was only made on the skin barrier, the cause was resultant do to lessening of stress-inducing enzymes reduced by inhalation of Rose aroma.
It’s well known that other essential oils will lower stress levels as well. Particularly Lavender, Chamomile, Sandalwood and the like. Further, there are several studies that proclaim that it’s not simple inhalation that causes this anti-stress chemistry within the body, but simply having the oils within the bloodstream (one study had noted that Sandalwood need not be inhaled for sleep improvement – simply having the oils in the bloodstream seems to produce the result).
So here, inhalation of Rose oil inhibited production of stress hormones. More specifically, inhalation of Rose oil significantly lowered the markers of production of these hormones in the bloodstream. The full abstract is below.
The ‘take home message’ is that aromatherapy, even via inhalation, has measurable effects in stress reduction. And it needed be just Rose Otto essential oil. Lavender, Sandalwood, Mandarin, Bergamot, and a host of other ‘relaxing’ aromatics have been shown, or are likely to be shown, to do the same.
Effect of “Rose Essential Oil” Inhalation on Stress-Induced Skin-Barrier Disruption in Rats and Humans.
From: Chem Senses. 2011 Dec 13., by Fukada M, Kano E, Miyoshi M, Komaki R, Watanabe T. Division of Integrative Physiology, Department of Functional, Morphological and Regulatory Science, Tottori University Faculty of Medicine, 86 Nishi-cho, Yonago, Tottori 683-8503, Japan.
In stressed animals, several brain regions exhibit neuronal activation, which increases plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and glucocorticoids. Here, we investigated whether rose essential oil inhibits the stress-induced 1) increases in PVN neuronal activity in rats and plasma glucocorticoids (corticosterone [CORT] in rats and cortisol in humans) and 2) skin-barrier disruption in rats and humans. The results showed that in rats subjected to acute restraint stress, rose essential oil inhalation significantly inhibited the increase in plasma CORT and reduced the increases in the number of c-Fos-positive cells in PVN. Inhalation of rose essential oil significantly inhibited the following effects of chronic stress: 1) the elevation of transepidermal water loss (TEWL), an index of the disruption of skin-barrier function, in both rats and humans and 2) the increase in the salivary concentration of cortisol in humans. These results suggest that in rats and humans, chronic stress-induced disruption of the skin barrier can be limited or prevented by rose essential oil inhalation, possibly through its inhibitory effect on the HPA axis.