A group of scientists set out to find if lavender essential oil had any effects on the central and autonomic nervous systems. They also wanted to determine if their 20 healthy test subjects had a change in mood after sniffing the essential oil.
To do this scientifically, several steps had to be followed:
- blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate and skin temperature were all measured pre and post inhalation
- test subjects were asked to evaluate their moods
- subjects participated in an electroencephalogram (EEG) and data was “analyzed by comparing the effects of lavender oil on physiological and mood states with sweet almond oil. These assessments were measured before and after using paired t-test statistical procedure.”
The results concluded what we all know and love lavender for:
“[Inhaling] lavender [essential] oil caused significant decreases of blood pressure, heart rate, and skin temperature, which indicated a decrease of autonomic arousal. In terms of mood responses, the subjects in the lavender oil group categorized themselves as more active, fresher relaxed than subjects just inhaling base oil. Compared with base oil, lavender oil increased the power of theta (4-8 Hz) and alpha (8-13 Hz) brain activities. The topographic map showed obviously more scattering power in alpha range waves particularly in bilateral temporal and central area.”
If I could only have one essential oil for the rest of my days, I’d choose lavender. If you haven’t made the leap to try essential oils, I highly suggest lavender be your cherry-popper!