Effects of Fragrances on Autonomic Nervous System

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  • 香りが自律神経系に及ぼす影響
  • カオリ ガ ジリツ シンケイケイ ニ オヨボス エイキョウ

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This study was designed to clarify physiological effects of essential oils of lavender, rosemary and citronella on human body. Lavender, which was revealed to be the best fragrance in causing calm and relaxed feelings, produced an increase in blood flow (BF) of the finger-tip and decreases in galvanic skin resistance (GSR) and systolic blood pressure (SBP). Rosemary had refreshing and invigorating effects, and decreased BF and increased SBP immediately after an inhalation of it. Citronella produced an increase in R-R interval of ECG and decreases in BF and GSR. These results suggested that the fragrance which causes calm or relaxed feeling like lavenders must produce relaxed condition in autonomic nervous system physiologically by depressing sympathetic nervous system, in addition to the effect on mental or psychological states. In contrast, the fragrance which has the refreshing effect like rosemaries seems to stimulate the sympathetic nervous system. A taste for citronella varies widely among individuals, which might be responsible for causing complicated effects on autonomic nervous system. When aromatherapy is used in nursing practice, both taste of an individual for and physiological effects of the fragrance seem to be important factors.


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