Scientia Pharmaceutica, 2009
Massage of essential oils is increasing being used for the improvement of the quality of life and for the relief of various symptoms in patients, but scientific evaluation of the effects of fragrances in humans is rather scarce. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of rosemary oil (Rosmarinus officinalis L., Labiatae) on human autonomic parameters and emotional responses in healthy subjects after transdermal absorption. Thirty five healthy volunteers participated in the experiments. Four autonomic parameters, i.e. blood pressure, breathing rate, pulse rate, skin temperature were recorded. Emotional responses were assessed by means of rating scales. Compared to placebo, rosemary oil caused significant increases of breathing rate, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure which indicate an increase of autonomic arousal. At the emotional level, subjects feel more attentive, more alert, more vigorous, and more cheerful than before the administration of the oil. This finding suggests an increase of arousal in terms of self-evaluation. In conclusion, our investigation demonstrates the stimulating effect of rosemary oil and provides evidence for its use in medicines for the relief of depression and stress in humans.
Hongratanaworakit T. Simultaneous Aromatherapy Massage with Rosemary Oil on Humans. Sci Pharm. 2009;77:375-387.