Science is validating that ‘aroma’-therapy can significantly reduce cortisol levels in humans through simple inhalation of essential oils!
Cortisol Reduced by Rose Otto
Cortisol is a hormone produced by our adrenal glands when we’re under stress. It is easily measured through analysis of a saliva sample, as was done in this research, before and after inhalation of Rose essential oil. (3)
As noted in the study’s conclusion: “Inhalation of rose essential oil significantly inhibited…the increase in the salivary concentration of cortisol in humans.” A second marker of stress was also reduced by the inhalation of the oil.
So What About Other Essential Oils, and Application Methods?
Further, there are several studies that proclaim that 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. The oil was not inhaled, but ingested in this case. (1)
A series of studies performed in Germany demonstrated that a capsule containing 2 drops of Lavender essential oil ingested daily had as significant an impact in reducing stress as benzodiazapine drugs. (2)
The ‘take home message’ is that the simple aromas of essential oils can measurable effects in stress reduction. And not just Rose Otto essential oil…Lavender, Sandalwood, Mandarin, Bergamot, and a host of other ‘relaxing’ aromatics are very likely to do the same.
(1) Nihon Shinkei Seishin Yakurigaku Zasshi. 2007 Aug;27(4):167-71.[Effect of santalol on the sleep-wake cycle in sleep-disturbed rats].[Article in Japanese]Ohmori A, Shinomiya K, Utsu Y, Tokunaga S, Hasegawa Y, Kamei C.
(2) Int Clin Psychopharmacol. 2010 Sep;25(5):277-87. Silexan, an orally administered Lavandula oil preparation, is effective in the treatment of ‘subsyndromal’ anxiety disorder: a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial.Kasper S, Gastpar M, Müller WE, Volz HP, Möller HJ, Dienel A, Schläfke S.
(3) Chem Senses. 2011 Dec 13. Effect of Rose Essential Oil Inhalation on Stress-Induced Skin-Barrier Disruption in Rats and Humans. 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 MedicineTottori 683-8503, Japan.