The Nose Knows, Doesn’t It? Aromatherapy Under Scrutiny
Researchers at the Ohio State University tested lemon oil, distilled water, and lavender to determine if fragrances affect mood, blood pressure, stress hormone release, increased immune function, and body healing as some products claim. The intensive study observed 56 participants during three separate sessions. Through the course of the study, researchers also recorded the effect of the fragrances on emotional and pain responses. They found that except for a mood-lifting effect of lemon oil, the fragrances studied were objectively equal to distilled water in several tested parameters. It is particularly noteworthy that lavender has been touted to have a relaxing and mood improving effect by fragrance manufacturers; however, this study disproved those claims. MedPage Today, March 7, 2008.