Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 2000
This study was designed to investigate the effect of foot-bath with or without the essential oil of lavender on the autonomic nervous system.
Randomized crossover controlled study.
Nursing college, Nagano, Japan.
Young women sat with their feet soaked in hot water for 10 minutes with and without the essential oil.
An electrocardiogram, finger tip blood flow and respiratory rate were recorded. Autonomic function was evaluated using spectral analysis of heart rate variability.
The foot-bath caused no changes in heart or respiratory rates, but produced a significant increase in blood flow. Using spectral analysis, the parasympathetic nerve activity increased significantly during the both types of foot-bath. In the case of the foot-bath with the addition of essential oil of lavender, there were delayed changes to the balance of autonomic activity in the direction associated with relaxation.
A hot foot-bath and oil of lavender appear to be associated with small but significant changes in autonomic activity.
Saeki Y. The effect of foot-bath with or without the essential oil of lavender on the autonomic nervous system: a randomized trial. Complement Ther Med. 2000;8(1):2-7.