Rose Oil Aromatherapy for Anxiety

Plants contain essential oils, and many of these have been shown to have medicinal effects. Essential oils from plants can be absorbed through the respiratory system, and then can have physiological effects. Rose sent is known to affect the central nervous system, with the chemicals sytrinol and 2-phenyl ethyl alcohol being thought to confer antianxiety effects. One study showed that use of rose oils in labour reduces anxiety by 71 % and following this, only 14 % of patients needed local anesthesia. In another study, researchers administered rose oil aroma to subjects during labour using a warm foot bath. The results of the study showed that the rose oil caused a significant reduction in anxiety scores, when compared to a warm foot bath alone, or a control group undertaking no treatment. This supports evidence that rose essential oil possesses anxiolytic effects in humans, and may be a useful treatment for mood disorders. Other essential oils including lavender may also have similar effects. 

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Kheirkhah, M., Pour, N. S. V., Nisani, L. and Haghani, H. 2014. Comparing the effects of aromatherapy with rose oils and warm foot bath on anxiety in the first stage of labor in nulliparous women. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal. 16(9): e14455
Smith, C. A., Collins, C. T. and Crowther, C. A. 2011. Aromatherapy for pain management in labour. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. (7)

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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