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  1. zare
    zare پنج شنبه ۱۲, تیر ۱۳۹۳ at ۶:۰۶ ب.ظ | | Reply

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    Effects of Inhaled Rosemary Oil on Subjective Feelings and Activities of the Nervous System

    Winai Sayorwan, Nijsiri Ruangrungsi, […], and Vorasith Siripornpanich

    Additional article information
    Abstract

    Rosemary oil is one of the more famous essential oils widely used in aroma-therapy. However, the effects of rosemary oil on the human body, in particular the nervous system, have not been sufficiently studied. This study investigates the effects of the inhalation of rosemary oil on test subjects’ feelings, as well as its effects on various physiological parameters of the nervous system. Twenty healthy volunteers participated in the experiment. All subjects underwent autonomic nervous system (ANS) recording. This consisted of measurements of skin temperature; heart rate; respiratory rate; blood pressure; evaluations of the subjects’ mood states; and electroencephalography (EEG) recordings in the pre-, during treatment, and post-rosemary inhalation periods as compared with control conditions. Our results showed significant increases in blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate after rosemary oil inhalation. After the inhalation treatments, subjects were found to have become more active and stated that they felt “fresher”. The analysis of EEGs showed a reduction in the power of alpha1 (8–۱۰٫۹۹ Hz) and alpha2 (11–۱۲٫۹۹ Hz) waves. Moreover, an increment in the beta wave (13–۳۰ Hz) power was observed in the anterior region of the brain. These results confirm the stimulatory effects of rosemary oil and provide supporting evidence that brain wave activity, autonomic nervous system activity, as well as mood states are all affected by the inhalation of the rosemary oil.
    Keywords: Rosmarinus officinalis L., Electroencephalography, Alpha power, Autonomic nervous system, Mood state
    Introduction

    Approximately 400 types of essential oils are currently available for therapeutic and clinical uses. They can be applied to a subject in order to induce relaxation or to reduce specific symptoms. Rosemary, scientifically labeled as Rosmarinus officinalis L., is a small perennial shrub of the mint family. Rosemary oil is essentially the extract of a small light blue flower along the with extract from the leaves to yield the fragrance of the essential oil, which is sometimes used as an ingredient in perfumes as well as for a food flavoring. Rosemary oil has a powerful, refreshing herbal smell with the appearance of clear water and a viscous texture [1]. Rosemary oil has been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of certain medical problems such as acne, baldness, rheumatic pain, and circulatory blockages. In addition, rosemary oil has a pronounced action on the brain and central nervous system (CNS) and is a powerful tool in helping to clear the mind and for increasing mental awareness. It has also been shown to possess excellent brain-stimulating properties as well as an aid for memory improvement [2]. The main chemical components of rosemary oil are α-pinene, camphor, and 1,8-cineole. The general properties of these substances include carminative, aromatic, antispasmodic, anti-depressant, antimicrobial, astringent, and stimulatory actions [3].

    Numerous extensive studies have been done on the effects of rosemary oil. In vitro studies with 1,8-cineole have been reported to have shown a stimulatory effect on the cerebral cortex of rats [4]. It has been found that after exposure to 0.5 ml of rosemary oil for a period of 1 hour, the locomotive activity of mice was increased [5]. Furthermore, Graham et al. explored the influence of rosemary on the behavior of dogs and found that the diffusion of rosemary into the dogs’ environment significantly encouraged the dogs to stand and move about significantly more when compared to exposure to other types of odoriferous substances [6]. The stimulatory effects can also be observed in human subjects. A group of 35 volunteers, after having been massaged with rosemary oil, showed an increase in the measurements of their blood pressures and breathing rates. At the same time, they were observed to be more attentive, more alert, and cheerful [7]. In addition, the electroencephalography (EEG) recordings showed a significant decrease in the power of the alpha (8–۱۲ Hz) waves over the bilateral mid-frontal regions [8]. These findings, therefore, suggest that the decreased alpha power may be related to the increased level of alertness. However, brain wave changes in this experiment were measured in a small area by choosing only four electrodes over the frontal and parietal brain regions. There are other brain areas that have been reported to be involved from essential oil inhalation as well. This is the temporal area and it is associated with emotions [9].

    Presently, the effects of rosemary oil inhalation on the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and people’s emotional state have not been properly studied. Although, a previous study has demonstrated alterations in ANS parameters after the transdermal administration of rosemary oil in humans [7]. However, there is still a lack of studies on the effects of rosemary oil on nervous system functions via inhalation. Many studies support that the mode of administration of chemicals could make a significant difference in terms of the level of the response. Take for example, the inhalation of methyl salicylate causes hypertension and convulsions; however, topical application of methyl salicylate reduces blood pressure due to the confinement of the local effects [10]. α-Santalol, the main constituent in East Indian Sandalwood, induces alertness after administration through inhalation. However, it reduces physiological arousal after being administered transdermally via body massage [11]. Our present study focuses on the effects of rosemary oil inhalation on the human nervous system. We are the first to examine the effects of rosemary inhalation on the nervous system focusing on aspects such as brain wave activity and ANS parameters which include: heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and skin temperature, as well as the assessment of mood states through comparative measures.
    Results and Discussion

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