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Physiological and Psychological Effects of Lemongrass and Sweet Almond Massage Oil

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  • College​ of​ Herbal​ Pharmacy

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the physiological effects of lemongrass massage oil on human vital signs. The study design was a controlled trial with a cross-over study. Twenty nine volunteers participated in this study. Blood pressure and pulse rate were measured by the auscultatory method with a contact electrode secured over the left brachial artery. The parameters of assessment were measured before and after using the paired t-test statistical procedure. The results showed that each subject who received one of the three forms of massage once a week for 3 weeks showed a greater reduction in diastolic blood pressure (DBP) than those in the control group. However, there were no significant differences in systolic blood pressure (SBP) or pulse rate. These results suggest that lemongrass oil has harmonizing effects on the function of nervous system. Interestingly, it could be inferred from this study that massage with lemongrass essential oil might also affect emotional and sensation states. INTRODUCTION Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of essential oil from plants. Essential oils can be absorbed into the body via the skin or the olfactory system. Commercially available essential oils have been used for several hundred years and are regularly used for stress management and minor ailments. Many studies have found that olfactory stimulation produces immediate changes in physiological parameters such as blood pressure, muscle tension, pupil dilation, blink magnitude, skin temperature, skin blood flow, electrodermal activity, pulse rate, and brain activity. However, the therapeutic effects of aromatherapy are not well supported by clinical studies. A recent study was conducted to investigate if lavender, chamomile, rosemary, and lemon applied with massage would reduce anxiety and improve self-esteem in elderly women in Korean [1].
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Original Research Article 85
http://www.jhealthres.org J Health Res
vol.29 no.2 April 2015
PHYSIOLOGICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF
LEMONGRASS AND SWEET ALMOND MASSAGE OIL
Narisa Kamkaen
1, 2, *
, Nijsiri Ruangrungsi
1
, Natedaow Na Patalung
3
,
Rith Watthanachaiyingcharoen
4
1
Faculty of Pharmacy, Rangsit University, PathumThani, 12000, Thailand
2
Faculty of Sciences and Technology, Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, Bangkok 10300, Thailand
3
International College for Sustainability Studies, Srinakharinwirot University, Khlong Toei Nuea, 10310 Bangkok, Thailand
4
Faculty of Pharmacy, Srinakharinwirot University, Ongkharak district, Nakhonnayok, 26120, Thailand
ABSTRACT:
The aim of this study was to evaluate the physiological effects of lemongrass massage oil on human vital
signs. The study design was a controlled trial with a cross-over study. Twenty nine volunteers
participated in this study. Blood pressure and pulse rate were measured by the auscultatory method
with a contact electrode secured over the left brachial artery. The parameters of assessment were
measured before and after using the paired t-test statistical procedure. The results showed that each
subject who received one of the three forms of massage once a week for 3 weeks showed a greater
reduction in diastolic blood pressure (DBP) than those in the control group. However, there were no
significant differences in systolic blood pressure (SBP) or pulse rate. These results suggest that
lemongrass oil has harmonizing effects on the function of nervous system. Interestingly, it could be
inferred from this study that massage with lemongrass essential oil might also affect emotional and
sensation states.
Keywords: Lemongrass oil, Sweet almond oil, Blood pressure, Pulse rate, Harmonizing effect
Received April 2014; Accepted June 2014
INTRODUCTION
Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of
essential oil from plants. Essential oils can be
absorbed into the body via the skin or the olfactory
system. Commercially available essential oils have
been used for several hundred years and are
regularly used for stress management and minor
ailments. Many studies have found that olfactory
stimulation produces immediate changes in
physiological parameters such as blood pressure,
muscle tension, pupil dilation, blink magnitude,
skin temperature, skin blood ow, electrodermal
activity, pulse rate, and brain activity. However, the
therapeutic effects of aromatherapy are not well
supported by clinical studies. A recent study was
conducted to investigate if lavender, chamomile,
rosemary, and lemon applied with massage would
reduce anxiety and improve self-esteem in elderly
women in Korean [1].
*
Correspondence to: Narisa Kamkaen
E-mail: narisa.kamkaen@gmail.com
Lemongrass, Cymbopogon citratus (DC) Stapf., a
tall perennial grass, is native to warm regions and
grows in almost all tropical and subtropical
countries [2]. It is widely used as an ingredient in
Asian cuisines because of its sharp lemon flavor.
The biologically active constituent of lemongrass is
citral, which constitutes more than 75% w/w, of its
essential oil. Lemongrass essential oil is used to
cure acne, oily skin, and scabies. It has also been
used to combat flatulence, as a carminative,
stimulant, emmenagogue and diuretic, for the
treatment of headaches, and for blood circulation
problems and excessive perspiration due to its
antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal
activities.
Almond oil is an excellent moisturizer and
lubricant, which prevents the skin from drying and
prevents chapped and peeling skin [3]. For
centuries, almond oil had been used, as a soothing
remedy for skin allergies, and to treat minor cuts
and wounds. Another common use of almond oil is
in massages because it is an excellent skin
Cite this article as:
Kamkaen N, Ruangrungsi N, Na Patalung N, Watthanachaiyingcharoen R. Physiological and
psychological effects of lemongrass and sweet almond massage oil. J Health Res. 2015; 29(2):
85-91.
86
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vol.29 no.2 April 2015 http://www.jhealthres.org
Table 1 Interventional clinical protocol
Group
First week
Second week
Third week
A (n = 10)
Treatment 1
Treatment 2
Treatment 3
B (n = 10)
Treatment 2
Treatment 3
Treatment 1
D (n = 10)
Treatment 3
Treatment 1
Treatment 2
Remark; Treatment 1 = Massage alone (60 min); Treatment 2 = Massage with lemongrass oil (60 min); Treatment 3 =
Massage with sweet almond oil (60 min); Clinical Assessment before and after treatment: 1. Blood pressure 2. Pulse
rate
lubricant. Its properties make it popular with
massage therapists worldwide. It does not have a
greasy effect and will take a little bit of time before
it is absorbed by the skin. A massage with almond
oil makes the body feel relaxed and the skin look
healthy. It will definitely relieve the stress from a
hard day’s work. Newly pressed sweet almond oil
is a mitigator of pain and all manner of aches;
therefore it is useful in pleurisy and colic, and to
calm the brain.
In Thailand, there are only a few recent studies
on the effects of essential oils on physiological and
emotional states. In addition, massage techniques
have been often used in many researches to evaluate
the effect of essential oils, e.g. rosemary, orange,
ylang-ylang, jasmine and lemongrass oils [4]. A
review of the literature suggests that this study is
the first experimental research in Thailand to
evaluate the physiological and psychological
effects of essential oils on the vital signs including
blood pressure and pulse rate. Thus, the purpose of
this study was to determine the physiological and
psychological effects of massage with lemongrass
oil compared with sweet almond oil.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Essential oil analysis
Sweet almond oil and lemongrass oil were
purchased from the Diora Management Company,
Thailand. The lemongrass oil was analyzed by
gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS)
equipped with Finnigan DSQ MS detector, Thermo
Finnigan model Trace GC Ultra. The oil’s
constituents were identified by matching their mass
spectra and retention times, as indicated in NIST05
MS library; the percentage compositions also were
computed from GC the peak area [5].
Participants
The subjects were recruited through
advertisements to participate in a three-week
aromatherapy program as subjects for the present
study. An individual was eligible to participate in
the program if he/she (a) was able to read and
complete study questionnaires, (b) could attend
group sessions over three weeks, (c) exhibited no
impairment of cognitive ability, and (d) agreed to
the use of aromatherapy. A total of 30 subjects
volunteered to participate in the study. They were
assigned to start with either an aroma massage
group (n = 10), an oil massage group (n = 10), or a
massage alone group (n = 10) by purposive
sampling. The experimental treatment involved
providing massage to the experimental group in a
treatment room in 60-min sessions once a week for
three-week periods separated by a one-week break,
giving a total of three treatments (Table 1). The
study received institutional approval from
the Ethical Review Committee for Research
Involving Human Research Subjects, Faculty of
Pharmacy, Srinakharinwirot University (Permissions
No.001/2014) before the subjects were approached
and their written consent was obtained.
Measurement of blood pressure and pulse rate
After a 10-min pre intervention rest, blood
pressure and pulse rate were measured by the
auscultatory method with a contact electrode
secured over the left brachial artery. The researcher
measured the BP twice in each subject, and the
values were averaged.
Intervention
The first treatment was aromatherapy provided
to subjects in the form of oil massage with diluted
lemongrass essential oil in carrier oil. The second
treatment was provided as massage with sweet
almond oil. The third treatment was provided as
massage without any oils as the control group. The
room for massage received no natural light and was
equipped with a special bed. Each 60-min massage
began with the foot, leg, and knee, followed by the
abdomen, neck, face and head.
Statistical analysis
Data were analyzed using analytical software.
Chi-squared and t-tests were used to compare the
homogeneity of general characteristics and
categorical variables between the control and
aromatherapy groups. Paired t-tests were used to
analyze the differences between the baseline and 3-
week values.
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Table 2 Demographic data of twenty nine subjects
Number
Age
Height (cm)
Weight (kg)
Body Mass Index (kg/m
2
)
1
42
162
75
28.58
2
18
168
65
23.03
3
18
182
75
22.64
4
34
160
51
19.92
5
30
158
55
22.03
6
55
153
59
25.20
7
65
158
56
22.43
8
26
170
86
29.76
9
57
155
56
23.31
10
60
171
81.5
27.87
11
25
171
63
21.55
12
60
155
65
27.06
13
82
150
48.5
21.56
14
62
155
78
32.47
15
62
172
75
25.35
16
65
165
74
27.18
17
65
155
65
27.06
18
63
167
75
26.89
19
75
158
74
29.64
20
48
162
70
26.67
21
42
160
75
29.30
22
47
154
63
26.56
23
48
178
80
25.25
24
45
160
50
19.53
25
46
175
90
29.39
26
46
157
47
19.07
27
49
160
52
20.31
28
54
160
49
19.14
29
75
158
74
29.64
Mean
50.48
162.38
66.45
25.12
SD
16.69
8.04
12.23
3.78
Table 3 Percent changes in blood pressure and pulse rate after massage with lemongrass oil
Number
%Change
Systolic pressure
Diastolic pressure
Pulse rate
1
-4.80
-37.82
1.35
2
-16.13
-32.69
-8.57
3
-11.02
-40.95
14.52
4
-0.81
-36.89
-7.79
5
0.82
-26.83
-11.11
6
-11.64
-43.41
-4.11
7
15.11
-53.75
12.16
8
11.97
-48.85
4.48
9
6.72
-41.73
-2.70
10
6.78
-49.21
21.88
11
-9.38
-44.83
1.56
12
-16.05
-41.18
11.25
13
-1.43
-47.83
-11.11
14
0.00
-27.27
-8.75
15
-1.34
-41.50
-10.47
16
34.26
-37.24
-12.09
17
1.50
-51.85
-4.62
18
12.24
-47.27
6.90
19
23.15
-54.89
15.00
20
3.60
-43.75
7.41
21
19.05
-40.67
-20.22
22
-31.62
-3.23
-12.22
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Table 3 Percent changes in blood pressure and pulse rate after massage with lemongrass oil (Cont.)
Number
%Change
Systolic pressure
Diastolic pressure
Pulse rate
23
-1.44
-29.93
-11.46
24
5.56
-43.86
1.56
25
6.56
-40.00
6.41
26
18.18
-45.38
4.23
27
-11.61
-33.33
-6.06
28
-9.02
-41.44
12.31
29
8.91
-46.36
-3.39
Mean
1.66
-40.48
-0.47
SD
13.64
10.13
10.38
Table 4 Percent changes in blood pressure and pulse rate after massage with sweet almond oil
Number
%Change
Systolic pressure
Diastolic pressure
Pulse rate
1
10.62
-44.80
4.35
2
-13.79
-38.00
0.00
3
0.89
-41.59
-1.52
4
5.22
-38.02
-6.67
5
3.48
-38.66
1.37
6
0.62
-45.40
-17.98
7
8.40
-46.48
1.32
8
1.35
-48.67
53.25
9
-7.81
-38.98
-12.50
10
-1.74
-36.28
-2.78
11
1.63
-48.80
1.56
12
2.70
-50.66
5.33
13
-2.13
-46.38
-9.46
14
-3.52
-44.53
-1.32
15
-3.45
-44.29
-10.26
16
-11.56
-43.85
-4.11
17
0.81
-57.26
22.64
18
17.65
-48.33
8.06
19
10.19
-52.10
8.77
20
-2.54
-33.91
1.32
21
-11.54
-23.48
5.68
22
14.68
-35.20
0.00
23
3.05
-33.33
-4.44
24
3.00
-39.81
0.00
25
9.01
-34.71
8.86
26
0.89
-38.05
8.57
27
-1.00
-36.36
-1.59
28
-7.96
-27.88
-17.33
29
1.82
-39.29
7.35
Mean
1.00
-41.21
1.67
SD
7.47
7.37
13.05
RESULTS
Essential oil analysis
Five major constituents were identified in
lemongrass oil: E-citral (44.6%), Z-citral (33.7%), β-
myrcene 5.2%), selina-6-en-4-ol (1.4%) and cis-
ocimene (0.7%) as shown as the previous report [5].
Participants
The twenty nine subjects completed three
intervention of clinical protocol. Three groups did
not differ significantly in the demographic
characteristics of age, height, weight and body
mass index (Table 2). A total of 8 males and 21
females subjects aged between 18 to 82 years
(mean age 50.60 ± 16.41 years) with a body mass
index ranging 19.14 to 32.47 kg/m
2
(mean BMI
25.12 ± 3.78) were enrolled for this study.
DISCUSSION
In the present study, each subject who received
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Table 5 Percent changes in blood pressure and pulse rate after massage without oil
Number
%Change
Systolic pressure
Diastolic pressure
Pulse rate
1
-11.28
-41.53
4.35
2
7.92
-33.94
-5.56
3
-20.33
-3.06
2.11
4
8.04
-35.54
-8.97
5
-5.45
-27.88
-21.33
6
-15.94
-45.69
-3.17
7
12.68
-49.38
-4.94
8
12.12
-50.68
10.96
9
14.41
-50.39
-1.59
10
7.32
-31.82
-10.00
11
-0.85
-43.97
4.62
12
-6.10
-45.45
0.00
13
19.58
-63.74
27.42
14
38.54
-47.37
5.71
15
5.88
-46.53
-3.90
16
22.43
-45.04
-8.33
17
-15.28
-43.44
-11.59
18
-16.80
-37.50
-7.69
19
-7.32
-46.49
-4.92
20
2.63
-34.19
-1.30
21
20.69
-39.29
3.53
22
0.81
-37.90
5.19
23
-9.27
-27.74
-1.01
24
-4.80
-44.54
9.09
25
4.84
-42.31
13.33
26
8.26
-41.53
7.25
27
23.08
-50.89
20.00
28
-7.96
-27.88
-17.33
29
10.68
-50.88
0.00
Mean
3.40
-40.92
0.07
SD
14.07
10.93
10.37
Table 6 Consumer satisfaction with aromatherapy massage (n = 29)
Mean
SD
Meaning
The properties of essential oil
1. Has a pleasant smell
4.33
0.55
Satisfied
2. Has a long lasting scent
4.19
0.74
Satisfied
3. Provides a relaxing and stress-free feeling
4.70
0.47
Completely satisfied
4. Leaves skin with a pleasant feeling
4.56
0.58
Completely satisfied
5. Provides a refreshing feeling
4.63
0.63
Completely satisfied
6. Does not cause any adverse effect
4.59
0.57
Completely satisfied
The performances of therapist
1. Personality
4.37
0.63
Satisfied
2. Technical competence
4.56
0.58
Completely satisfied
3. Politeness
4.59
0.50
Completely satisfied
4. Friendliness
3.96
1.32
Satisfied
5. The ability to answer the questions
4.70
0.47
Completely satisfied
The overall service
1. The quality of the essential oil
4.52
0.51
Completely satisfied
2. The quality of the service provided by the therapist
4.63
0.84
Completely satisfied
one of the three forms of massage once a week for
three weeks showed a greater reduction in diastolic
blood pressure (DBP) than those of no treatment in
the control group. However, there were no
significant differences in systolic blood pressure
(SBP) or pulse rate (Table 3-5). Consumer
satisfaction with aromatherapy massage including
the properties of essential oil, the performances of
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therapist, and the overall service were mostly
completely satisfied (Table 6).
In previous studies, the aromatherapy group
reported feeling less depressed (as assessed using
the Profile of Mood States) and more relaxed after
each session [6, 7]. Aromatherapy also reportedly
reduces anxiety in young and middle-aged women
[8, 9]. Aromatherapy may affect health behavior by
helping subjects to maintain self-care. There have
been discrepancies in the reported effects of
aromatherapy on blood pressure (BP). Oh et al.
found that aromatherapy reduced the pulse rate and
respiratory rate in normal healthy subjects,
although it had no effect on BP [10]. Another study
found that aromatherapy modulates the systolic BP
(SBP), but not the diastolic BP (DBP), pulse rate,
or respiratory rate in the healthy women [11]. Yi
reported that SBP, DBP, and pulse rate differed
significantly between aromatherapy and control
group in presurgery patients [12]. Rho et al.
reported that the different results for physiological
modulation may be attributable to the type of
odors, regions massaged, and duration of
application [1]. In the present study, although the
BP and pulse rate did not change significantly over
time, they did tend to improve compared to
baseline. The results from a recent study suggested
that aromatherapy massage may reduce anxiety
levels and improve self-esteem in Korean elderly
women. Sayowan et al. investigated the effects of
inhaled citronella oil on emotional states and
physiological parameters of the nervous system [4].
Twenty healthy volunteers participated in this
experiment. All subjects underwent autonomic
nervous system recordings. These recordings
included: body temperature, heart rate, respiratory
rate, and blood pressure; mood states were also
evaluated as was electroencephalography (EEG)
recording in pre-, during, and post-citronella
inhalation. The results were compared with control
conditions. These assessments were measured
before and after using a paired t-test statistical
procedure. The results indicated that citronella oil
might be characterized using the concept of
“harmonization”. Citronella significantly decreased
blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate after
inhalation. Subjectively, participants reported
feeling in a better mood and fresher [4]. Moreover,
the power of alpha and beta brain activities was
increased. These results were then confirmed the
stimulating effects harmonized together with the
relaxing effect of citronella oil. Various studies
have shown that monoterpenes and their derivative
compounds also exhibit several types of
pharmacological properties, such as antinociception,
antidepressant and sedative effects [13]. Previous
studies found mice treated with citronellal
presented behavioral alterations such as a decrease
of spontaneous activity, ataxia and sedation [14,
15]. Furthermore, Azarmi et al. found that geraniol,
another main component of citronella oil, had
vascular effects. Geraniol was able to reduce the
contractile response to noradrenaline in vascular
walls and heart, leading to relaxation of the aorta,
lower blood pressure and a lower heart rate [16].
However, it is acknowledged that this was a
preliminary study with several limitations, such as
a small sample size and the lack of an equivalent
placebo control group to estimate an expectation
effect. It cannot be definitely stated whether the
positive effects were due to the aromatherapy,
massage, or both. Future randomized studies that
include more objective measures, larger samples,
measurements after multiple sessions, and long-
term follow-up are needed to determine
unequivocally the effects of aromatherapy on well-
being and other psychological variables in healthy
volunteers.
CONCLUSIONS
In conclusion, this study showed a
harmonizing effect of lemongrass massage oil
which was similar to sweet almond oil. The
findings suggested that diastolic pressure was
decreased significantly after the three forms of
massage with and without massage oil. The results
confirmed scientific evidence for including
lemongrass oil in the group of harmonizing
essential oils. Psychoactive medications for treating
mood disorders have a range of unpleasant and
undesirable side-effects. Studies on the effects on
mood from aromatic oils may assist in the
development of medications with fewer adverse
effects.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This study was financially supported by Suan
Dusit Rajabhat University in the 2014 fiscal year.
We appreciate the assistance of Diora Spa
Lungsuan for providing facilities including the
private treatment rooms and the professional
therapists.
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... The relaxing effects of lemongrass oil have also been explored in the context of therapeutic massage [51,108,111]. In one study, a group of subjects with ages ranging from 18 to 82 years old received a therapeutic massage using lemongrass as a vehicle. ...
... Since this study did not compare the hypotensive effect between different massage groups, it is not possible to suggest an effect of the lemongrass oil, especially when it is much more likely that it was the massage itself that caused this effect. Therefore, these results merely demonstrate the interest and suitability in using lemongrass oil as a therapeutic massage vehicle [51]. Citral, the major component of lemongrass oil, is known to undergo transdermal absorption. ...
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Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus (DC) Stapf) is a herb commonly used in folk medicine for many purposes. However, its anti-hypertensive potential has not yet been thoroughly studied. This paper reviews the anti-hypertensive effects of both lemongrass and its main compound citral in in vitro, ex vivo, preclinical and clinical studies. Lemongrass essential oil contains terpenes and their derivatives, whereas extracts contain different classes of polyphenols. Both citral and lemongrass display vasorelaxant activity ex vivo, acting by the promotion of endothelial nitric oxide/prostanoids secretion together with the blockage of calcium channels in the vascular smooth muscle. Citral also displays a negative chronotrope effect, probably due to a centrally mediated enhancement of parasympathetic activity. In both healthy and hypertensive animals, the acute administration of lemongrass results in a decrease in blood pressure, sometimes accompanied by a compensatory increase in heart rate. Similarly, in healthy and hypertensive human subjects, the consumption of lemongrass tea decreases blood pressure. Additionally, a weak/moderate diuretic activity has also been reported in animals and humans, although the mechanisms of action remain elusive. Future preclinical studies are necessary to identify other compounds with anti-hypertensive activity and additional pharmacological pathways. Although well tolerated, the safety profile of lemongrass should be better characterized.
... The analgesic properties lemongrass provides relief from headache, migraine, and rheumatism (Meenapriya and Priya 2017). When applied topically, it improves blood circulation (Kamkaen et al. 2015) and can be useful for treating spasms, sprains, backaches, muscle cramps, bruises, internal injuries, dislocations, etc. Another heath benefit of lemongrass is seen in its cleansing effect on lymphatic congestion which soothe the swelling and provides relief from edema (Boukhatem et al. 2014). ...
Chapter
Secondary metabolites (SMs) are known to have a wide range of therapeutic values. Large numbers of drugs are derived from these SMs. These naturally occurring SMs known to act as a potent source of antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and insecticidal agents. Aromatic plants are the prime source of variety of easily available SMs. Numerous classes of these SMs also act as powerful natural antioxidants. Antioxidants are the compounds that inhibit or slow down the oxidation of other molecules and help to cure the oxidative stress condition. Oxidative stress is the condition where the amount of free radicals in the body of organism exceeds the homeostatic balance of free radicals and indigenous antioxidant. This excess of free redials leads to various types of chain reactions that damage cells. These free radicals are the cause of more than hundred kinds of diseases in living beings. Cymbopogon is a genus of about 180 species of monocots grasses in a family of Poaceae (Gramineae). The species of genus Cymbopogon are rich source of naturally occurring antioxidants (such as phenolic acids, flavonoids, tannins, hydroquinone, terpenoids and fatty alcohols, etc.), and lemongrass (Cymbopogon citrates) is one of them. Further, the pharmacological applications of lemongrass are also well explored. Hence in the present chapter, we intend to discuss the botanical description, traditional uses, phytochemistry, antioxidant potential, health benefits, and potential economic importance of lemongrass.
... As a result, the application of bergamot essential oil indirectly improved their quality of life and well-being. Kamkaen et al. (2015) have conducted a study to examine the physiological effects of lemongrass massage oil on the vital signs of 29 volunteers in Thailand. Blood pressure and pulse rate were measured. ...
... Recently, Kamkean and coworkers reported that participants between 18 -75 years old who received a massage with lemongrass oil in a 3-week program showed a greater reduction in diastolic blood pressure. 35 However, the routes of essential oil administration, age range of participants and the time of assessment in the previous study and the present study are different. Therefore, these three factors might explain the difference between our results and those of Kamkean. ...
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Objective: To evaluate the effects of inhalation of lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) essential oil on the cognitive function and mood in healthy female volunteers. Methods: All 30 participants of each group were required to inhale either lemongrass essential oil or a placebo (inactive control oil) for five minutes. Before and after the 5-minuite inhalation period, their cognitive function was assessed with a computerized battery of tests and the mood with a self-rated visual analogue; the blood pressure and heart rate were also measured. Differences in the cognitive function, mood, blood pressure and heart rate between the two groups were analyzed and tested using an independent t-test. Results: After the inhalation, the lemongrass essential oil enhanced their cognitive performance for the domains of the continuity of attention and the quality of memory (P-value = 0.013 and 0.026, respectively), whereas the mood in terms of alertness and calmness was also increased (P-value = 0.001 and 0.035, respectively). However, no significant change in the blood pressure and heart rate was observed. Conclusion: The lemongrass essential oil inhalation could improve the cognitive function and modulate mood of healthy women with no effect on the physiological status. However, the underlying mechanisms of these positive effects still require further studies.
... Researches indicate that the olfactory stimulation produces immediate changes in physiological parameters such as blood pressure, pulse rate, muscle tension, pupil dilation, body temperature, blood flow, electrodermal activities and cerebral activities. However, the effects of aromatherapy of essential oils are not well supported through scientific clinical studies (21) . ...
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Aromatherapy is a Practical or Complementary Health Therapy that uses volatile concentrates extracted from plants called essential oils, in order to improve physical, mental and emotional well-being. Aromatherapy has been practiced historically and worldwide by nurses and, as in Brazil is supported by the Federal Nursing Council, it is relevant to discuss this practice in the context of Nursing through Theories of Nursing. This study of theoretical reflection, exploratory and descriptive, aims to discuss the pharmacognosy of essential oils, the historical trajectory of Aromatherapy in Nursing and the conceptions to support Aromatherapy in light of eight Nursing Theorists (Florence Nightingale, Myra Levine, Hildegard Peplau, Martha Rogers, Callista Roy, Wanda Horta, Jean Watson and Katharine Kolcaba), contributing to its inclusion as a nursing care practice.
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This article is a short historical overview of the use of essential oils and aromatherapy from ancient times until present days. It presents brief characterization of essential oils and the possible ways of application as well as the main methods of their extraction. The focus is on aromatherapy as a main form of essential oil use, the mechanism of action of these oils and the basic biological and physiological effects on the human organism. The main modes of their application are described together with some possible side effects. Special attention is paid to the use of aromatherapy in spa. Conclusion: Aromatherapy can be used as a means of restoring the balance and harmony between the individuals and the environment they live in by helping the organism with managing the stress. Essential oils are not panacea, but are an excellent and efficient way of improving the mood, conquering the emotions, and balancing the hormones. There is a need of current and more thorough studies on the effect of essential oils and aromatherapy on the different organs and systems, and in many diseases and functional conditions.
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From the fresh leaf sheathes of lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) and rhizomes of galanga (Alpinia galanga) light yellow and colorless oils, respectively, were obtained by hydrodistillation and microwave assisted extraction (MAE) in yields of 0.24% and 0.03%, and 0.11% and trace (w/w), respectively. By GC/MS analysis, five major constituents were identified in lemongrass oil, E-citral, Z-citral, beta-myrcene, selina-6-en-4-ol, and cis-ocimene, and five in galanga oil, 1,8-cineole, phenol 4-(2-propenyl)-acetate, dl-limonene, alpha-pinene, and a-terpineol. Three major components of the combined lemongrass and galanga oils (ratio 7:3, 1:1, 3:7) were 1,8-cineole (46.3%, 31.5%, 19.3%), E-citral (12.8%, 22.7%, 32.8%) and Z-citral (8.5%, 15.2%, 21.6%). The MICs of lemongrass and galanga oils were: against Staphylococcus aureus 0.5% and 4%, v/v, against Pseudomonas aeruginosa 40% and >40%,v/v, against Streptococcus bovis 0.25% and 0.5%, v/v, and against Candida albicans 0.25% and 0.5%, v/v. Citral (from lemongrass oil) gave greater potentiation than 1,8-cineole (from galanga oil). The combination profiles of galanga oil with lemongrass oil (volume ratios 3:7, 1:1, and 7:3) were tested against the four pathogenic microorganisms. Synergistic activity was best noted for only one ratio (volume ratio 3:7) as the sigmafic< 1 against all tested microorganisms. The present investigation provides evidenc that the utilization of two essential oils in combination should be assessed for synergistic antimicrobial activity in order to reduce their minimum effective dose.
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Out of the 1114 strains belonging to 29 genera and 105 species of microbes (molds, yeasts and bacteria) isolated from different sources [clinical cases, environment (water, air, soil, droppings of lizards and birds), food and healthy animals], 38.2% were sensitive to lemongrass oil discs containing 50 μg oil/disc. All molds, yeasts, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Morganella morganii, most of the Bacillus spp. strains (84.3%), aeromonads (78%), Edwardsiella spp. (73.9%), 53.6% pseudomonads, 53.1% streptococci and 50% of Budvicia aquatica and Leminorella ghirmontii strains were sensitive to lemongrass oil (LGO). On the other hand, all Hafnea alvei, Laclercia adecarboxylata, Xenorhabdus luminescens and majority of Salmonella enterica (98.3%), Citrobacter spp. (93.7%), Providencia spp. and Kluyvera cryocrescens (83.3%), Enterobacter spp. (78.2%), Proteus spp. (78%), Escherichia spp. (77.7%), enterococci (73.7%), Serratia spp. (75%) and Erwinia ananas (75%), Pragia fontium (70.6%), staphylococci (69.8%) and Klebsiella spp. (62.7%) strains were resistant to LGO. MIC of LGO for sensitive strains (tested against discs containing 50 μg LGO) varied from 1 μg to 32 μg /ml while none of the resistant strains had MIC <64 μg LGO/ ml. MIC for yeast strains was the least i.e., 1 μg LGO/ ml. LGO had microbicidal activity on E. coli, S. aureus and Candida albicans. LGO instantly killed C. albicans and E. coli, and S. aureus in 10 min at 1 mg/ ml concentration, indicating of its wide spectrum antimicrobial activity at easily achievable concentrations. Study also indicated that LGO is more effective on enterococci in aerobic instead of microaerophilic growth conditions, it is indicative that in-vivo sensitivity results may differ from in-vitro tests.
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Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the vascular effect of geraniol, a monoterpene essential oils that is found in some medicinal plants, in rat thoracic aorta. Methods:The thoracic aorta was isolated, cut into rings, mounted in organ-bath chambers containing Krebs's solution (37 , 95%O 2 and 5%CO 2) and equilibrated in resting tension (2g) for 60 min. Isometric tension was recorded under the treatments with vasoconstrictors, geraniol, and various drugs as pharmacological interventions. The effect of geraniol on the contractions evoked by noradrenaline (10µM) was tested after 20 min pre-incubation of aortic rings with increasing concentrations of geraniol in the bath. In various experiments the endothelium-intact or -denuded aortic rings contracted by 80 mM potassium chloride. When contraction was stable geraniol was applied. Relaxation was expressed as % reduction or reversal of initial contraction induced by vasocative agents. The possible participation of nitric oxide (NO), intracellular cyclic GMP and prostacyclin in the relaxant effects of geraniol, were studied by incubating (for 20 min) some rings with the NO synthase inhibitor N-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME, 200 µM), methylene blue(10 µM) and indomethacin (10µM), respectively. Results: Geraniol in dose dependent manner reduced the contractile response to noradrenalin and relaxed of KCl induced active tone in rat aorta. Relaxant effects of geraniol on the KCl induced contraction was not modified by L-NAME, methylene blue and indomethacin. Conclusion: In conclusion geraniol induced dose dependent relaxation in rat aorta, which was endothelium-independent.
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Citronella oil is a famous odor and widely used in mosquito repellent application. However, the study of the effects of citronella oil on nervous system is rather limited. In this study we investigated the effects of inhaled citronella oil on emotional states and physiological parameters of the nervous system. Twenty healthy volunteers participated in this experiment. All subjects underwent autonomic nervous system recordings. These recordings included:, body temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure; mood states were also evaluated as was electroencephalography (EEG) recording in pre-, during, and post-citronella inhalation The results were compared with control conditions. These assessments were measured before and after using a paired t-test statistical procedure. Our results indicated that citronella oil might be characterized onto the concept of "harmonization". Citronella significantly decreased blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate after inhalation. Subjectively, participants reported feeling in a better mood and fresher. Moreover, the power of alpha and beta brain activities was increased. These results were then confirmed the stimulating effects harmonized together with relaxing effect of citronella oil.
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Citronellal (CT) is a monoterpenoid and the major constituent of the mixture of terpenoids that give the citronella oil its lemon scent. Citronella oil is widely used around the world for various purposes and is mainly obtained from plants of the Cymbopogon genus, which are known as "lemongrass." Considering these plants have been used worldwide for various medicinal purposes, the interest of researchers to understand the biological activities of monoterpenoids related to the Cymbopogon genus has been increasing. In the present work, we investigated the antinociceptive action and the redox properties of CT. Our results indicate that intraperitoneal injection of CT was effective in reducing nociceptive face-rubbing behavior in both phases of the formalin test, which was also naloxone-sensitive. CT also evoked antinociceptive response in the capsaicin and glutamate tests. The total radical-trapping antioxidant parameter and total antioxidant reactivity assays indicate that CT at doses of 0.1 and 1 mg/mL exerts a significant antioxidant activity, which is probably related to its ability to scavenge superoxide and nitric oxide, but not H(2)O(2) or hydroxyl radicals, as evaluated separately by specific in vitro tests. These results show for the first time the antinociceptive potential of CT and indicate that the antioxidant properties of this compound may rely on its mechanism of biological actions because CT-containing natural products are used to treat various diseases related to oxidative stress and reactive species.
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Citronellal is a monoterpene reported to be a major component of the essential oils in various aromatic species of plants. The present study evaluated the central nervous system depressant and antinociceptive properties of citronellal through behavioral experimental models. Following intraperitoneal injection, citronellal induced the reduction of spontaneous activity, ataxia, analgesia, and sedation. In pentobarbital-induced hypnosis, CTL (citronellal) at 50, 100, and 200 mg/kg (i.p.) significantly increased sleeping time (88.0 +/- 11.4, 100.2 +/- 16.4, and 119.5 +/- 20.9 min) when compared to vehicle solution injections (43.0 +/- 6.1). Citronellal (100 and 200 mg/kg, i.p.) significantly reduced the number of writhes (66.4 and 81.9%) in a writhing test and the number of paw licks during phase 1 (47.0 and 66.8%) and phase 2 (71.1 and 79.2%) of a formalin test when compared to control group animals. In addition, the results of a hot plate test showed central analgesic properties for citronellal (p < 0.05). These results indicate depressant, hypnotic, and antinociceptive properties of this monoterpene.
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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of aromatherapy on the level of anxiety and fatigue in student nurses who were undergoing their first clinical practice. Method: A non-equivalent. control group. pretest-posttest design was used. A convenience sample of 42 student nurses were selected. They were assigned to experimental and control groups. The aromatherapy using lavender, geranium and camomile was given to the experimental group for four consecutive days while the control group only rested. Result: 1. Anxiety scores for the experimental group were significantly lower than those of the control group on the and days of clinical practice. 2. Fatigue scores for the experimental group were significantly lower than those of the control group on the and day of clinical practice. Conclusion: The results support the conclusion that aromatherapy using selected essential oils is an effective intervention for relieving anxiety and fatigue in student nurses experiencing their first clinical practice. However differences between aromatherapy and massage were not clear. Further investigation needs to be done.
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The perception of odors is well identified as having strong emotional correlates. It is also well known that the acoustic characteristics of the voice differ according to the emotional state. This study compared some acoustic features of the voice of 18 subjects reading the same text in pleasant (lavender) and unpleasant (pyridine) ambient odor conditions. The results revealed that the pitch of the voice was higher in the pleasant than in the unpleasant condition. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis of local and functional convergences of encoding vocal emotion and hedonic perception of odors.