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EVALUATION OF THE EFFICACY OF CARDAMOM AROMATHERAPY ON AEROBIC FITNESS & AUTONOMIC FUNCTIONS AMONG STUDENTS. 1 2 1

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Introduction: Aromatherapy is categorized as a form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), and has been steadily gaining popularity in today's society. Aromatherapy is considered by many to promote comfort, well-being and invigorating. However there appears to be insufficient supporting evidence to validate physiological changes that may reflect invigoration. Objectives: This study examined the physiological effects of cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) aromatherapy as indicated by heart rate variability. Aerobic fitness is one of the non invasive and simplest parameters which help in accessing one's fitness. In this present study we have also evaluated the efficacy of aromatherapy on the individual's physical fitness. Methods: Total thirty healthy college students were selected as a subject who has attended four sessions in random order involving only exercise, aromatherapy and exercise combined. Each intervention lasted 15 minutes. Heart rate data were recorded for all sessions, and heart rate variability was analyzed. Aerobic fitness parameters also evaluated with the help of standard methods. Results: There was statistically significant difference in LF/HF between the two intervention studies. During this aromatherapy, physiological responses such as oxygen consumption, respiratory exchange ratio and minute ventilation were significantly altered among different groups. Aerobic fitness was observed higher in aromatherapy combined exercise group against the only exercise group. Conclusion: These results suggest significant physiological effect of cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) aromatherapy interventions occurs in the autonomic nervous system as indicated by heart rate variability. The present study demonstrates that good estimated aerobic fitness was independently associated with aromatherapy and exercise.
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EVALUATION OF THE EFFICACY OF CARDAMOM AROMATHERAPY ON
AEROBIC FITNESS & AUTONOMIC FUNCTIONS AMONG STUDENTS.
1 2 1
Shrikant L. Patil , E. Sreekumaran , A.P. Krishna
1 Department of Physiology, K. S. Hegde Medical Academy, Nitte University, Mangalore - 575 018, INDIA.
2 Department of Life Sciences, University of Calicut, Calicut - 673 635, INDIA.
Correspondence:
Shrikant L. Patil
Department of Physiology, K. S. Hegde Medical Academy, Nitte University,
Mangalore - 575 018, INDIA. E-mail : shrikantlpatil@gmail.com
Abstract:
Introduction: Aromatherapy is categorized as a form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), and has been steadily gaining
popularity in today's society. Aromatherapy is considered by many to promote comfort, well-being and invigorating. However there appears to
be insufficient supporting evidence to validate physiological changes that may reflect invigoration.
Objectives: This study examined the physiological effects of cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) aromatherapy as indicated by heart rate
variability. Aerobic fitness is one of the non invasive and simplest parameters which help in accessing one's fitness. In this present study we have
also evaluated the efficacy of aromatherapy on the individual's physical fitness.
Methods: Total thirty healthy college students were selected as a subject who has attended four sessions in random order involving only
exercise, aromatherapy and exercise combined. Each intervention lasted 15 minutes. Heart rate data were recorded for all sessions, and heart
rate variability was analyzed. Aerobic fitness parameters also evaluated with the help of standard methods.
Results: There was statistically significant difference in LF/HF between the two intervention studies. During this aromatherapy, physiological
responses such as oxygen consumption, respiratory exchange ratio and minute ventilation were significantly altered among different groups.
Aerobic fitness was observed higher in aromatherapy combined exercise group against the only exercise group.
Conclusion: These results suggest significant physiological effect of cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) aromatherapy interventions occurs in
the autonomic nervous system as indicated by heart rate variability. The present study demonstrates that good estimated aerobic fitness was
independently associated with aromatherapy and exercise.
Keywords : Aromatherapy, autonomic function, aerobic fitness, exercise.
Introduction
Ancient writings provide insight into how religions and
cultures of old used the aroma of burning herbs, flowers,
tree leaves and other natural sources in their spiritual
practices. It is learnt from the Hebrew, Christian,
Buddhist and Hindu cultures more about these types of
1
ritualistic observances . All these cultures from around
the world had access to various plants from which to
develop a recipe for pleasing the nose and mind. They
assigned mystical energies to these plants and learned
over the ages which ones provided results and which
ones failed. They also provided us with instructions for
using aromas that were pleasing not only to the senses of
the human nose, but also to the senses of the Divine
forces in their lives. Incense sticks are part of the 16
essential offerings during a Hindu ritual. According to
2
Saurabh Bhattacharya each of these offerings has
symbolic spiritual significance and is offered to the Divine
in a particular order.
Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement
produced by skeletal muscles that result in energy
3
expenditure . Physical fitness can be defined in multiple
ways, such as a set of outcomes or traits that relate to the
3
ability to perform physical activity . Aerobic fitness
determines the degree of fatigue that almost everybody
experiences in daily life. The higher the aerobic fitness,
the less fatigue one experiences. Aerobic fitness is the
ability to sustain work for prolonged periods. In order to
Nitte University Journal of Health Science
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EVALUATION OF THE EFFICACY OF CARDAMOM AROMATHERAPY ON
AEROBIC FITNESS & AUTONOMIC FUNCTIONS AMONG STUDENTS.
Original Article
NUJHS Vol. I, No.1-3, September 2011
enhance aerobic fitness, athletes are known to try a
variety of aids to enhance performance and boost their
chances of winning. The term ergogenic aids identifies
those agents or procedures which if followed before a
competition will potentially enhance the athlete's
4
performance .
Aromatherapy, another possible ergogenic aid, has been
growing in recent years and has received much attention
by both traditional and alternative medicine
practitioners. However, there is very little evidence
which supports or refutes the claims made by merchants,
5
practitioners, and manufacturers . Since smell is the least
6
understood of all our senses it is logical to understand
why the number of discrepancies exist within the lay and
scientific literature regarding the validity of
aromatherapy. Buckle et. al. (1998) argues that
aromatherapy is becoming more and more valuable in
holistic nursing practice and should be a part of nursing
7
protocols . Martin et. al. (1996) suggested that drawing
conclusions regarding aromatherapy is premature since
much of the data is qualitative as much of it is based on
pure historical content and anecdotal reports from
8
individuals . Researchers have argued against
aromatherapy secondary to the poor follow-up of clients
after sessions. Additionally many reports are purely
subjective in nature and cannot be considered truly
9
scientific .
Earlier it was demonstrated that inhaling peppermint is
reported to be a stimulant for increased energy which
would certainly benefit any athletic or non-athletic
10
individual during an exercise bout . By definition,
peppermint could be considered an ergogenic aid.
Lavender is marketed as an aroma which promotes
7
relaxation and a calming effect . As with any ergogenic
aid, multiple questions arise regarding legal and ethical
issues. Also important is the additive being used a
substance the athlete would normal consume or use in
4
everyday life . How effective are the aromatherapy and
environment conditioning fragrances? It has been said
that aromas from lavender, basil, cinnamon and citrus
flavor aid relax, whereas cardamom, peppermint, thyme
and rosemary invigorate. Ginger, cardamom, licorice and
chocolate are supposed to arouse a sense of romance,
11, 12
while rose combat depression . Stimulating or
invigorating odors such as cardamom, rosemary and
lemongrass affect the locus ceruleus with the resultant
release of noradrenalin into the brain and this has the
effect of arousal/waking up. Researchers at the Royal
Berkshire Hospital NHS Trust recently broke new ground
by studying the effects of aromatherapy in the intensive
care unit as a means of helping to alleviate anxiety and
13
stress .
The purpose of this pilot investigation was to examine
the potential benefits that common cardamom (Elettaria
cardamomum) aromas might have on basic physiological
measures before, during and after a 15-minute exercise
bout. There is little evidence in the literature addressing
the actual physiological responses after the introduction
of an aromatherapy during exercise. It was hypothesized
that cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) aromatherapy
can induce significant changes in the autonomic activity.
Our main concern is to elucidate the effect of cardamom
aromatherapy is synergistic or antagonistic. It was
hypothesized that the effect of aromatherapy on heart
rate would be a greater alteration in autonomic nervous
system activity than the effect of exercise alone.
MATERIALS METHODS
Subjects: Sixteen male and fourteen female apparently
healthy college students volunteered to participate in
this investigation. Mean ages were 22.5 ± 0.8 for males
and 21.75 ± 0.9 for females. These students considered
themselves sedentary. In this investigation, an individual
was considered sedentary if he/she did not regularly
participate in physical activity more than two days per
week at equal to or greater than 60% of their maximal
heart rate. All subjects were familiar with exercise
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EVALUATION OF THE EFFICACY OF CARDAMOM AROMATHERAPY ON
AEROBIC FITNESS & AUTONOMIC FUNCTIONS AMONG STUDENTS.
NUJHS Vol. I, No.1-3, September 2011
protocols and walking on a motorized treadmill. This
study was approved by the departmental review board
for institutional ethical committee. Informed consent
was obtained from every individual who has participated
in this study. Using an in-house designed questionnaire,
background information was gathered from the subjects.
Methods:
Anthropometric measurements: All subjects underwent
a clinical examination; weight, height, and waist and hip
circumferences have been measured. Blood pressure
was recorded by auscultatory method with a mercury
sphygmomanometer according to the American Heart
Association guidelines.
Measurement of Peak Expiratory Flow Rate (PEFR):
Peak expiratory flow rate was examined with an Airmed
peak-flow meter. The test was performed in standing
position holding the peak flow meter horizontally. A tight
fitting disposable cardboard mouthpiece was inserted in
the inlet nozzle. After proper rest, subject was requested
to take a deep breath and followed by exhalation as
forcefully as possible in one single blow into the
instrument. The procedure was repeated three times
and best of the three was recorded.
Measurement of Physical Fitness Index (PFI): PFI was
14
measured by Harvard step test . The standard procedure
for the original step test was modified and used with a
difference that the stepping height is reduced from 20
inches to 18 inches in the line of originator of the tests
who suggested that for evaluating subjects with body
surface area below 1.85sq.m, an 18 inches stool should
be appropriate. The subjects stepped up and down on a
stool at the rate of 30 complete steps per minute keeping
time to a metronome for duration of 5 minutes unless
one stops from exhaustion. The recovery pulse counts
were measured at 1 to 1.5, 2 to 2.5, 3 to 3.5 minutes
recovery. Physical fitness is scored as PFI = [Duration of
exercise in sec x 100] / [2 x (sum of 1 to 1.5 min., 2 to 2.5
min., 3 to 3.5 minutes recovery)].
Oxygen consumption (VO ), minute ventilation (VE) and
2
respiratory exchange ratio (RER) were obtained via open
circuit spirometry using a metabolic analyzer. HR (Heart
rate) was recorded using a Polar Heart Rate Monitor. A
motorized treadmill was used for the exercise mode. RPE
15
was obtained using the modified Borg scale .
Aromatherapy: In this treatment schedule the subject
has been categorized and in order to assess each
subject's olfactory sensation, they were asked to identify
three recognizable aromas: garlic, ginger and a control
[water with food coloring made to resemble other aroma
mixtures]. As subjects confirmed their olfactory
sensation by recognizing each aroma, their suitability for
participation was confirmed. After acclimatization to the
laboratory, subjects returned once per week for three
weeks. Each week cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)
aroma was administered in a double blind fashion. The
administration of the cardamom essential oil was
delivered through a sealed plastic container with the oil
concentrated on a sterile cotton pad. Subjects inhaled
the aroma with only nose breathing. The procedure of
administration cardamom aromatherapy was modified
16
from the Pournemati P. et.al. . Each subject inhaled the
aroma for one minute and began walking on the
treadmill at a speed of 90.5 meters/minute for 15
minutes. At every three-minute interval, the subject's
HR, VO , VE and RPE were obtained and recorded. Also at
2
each interval the designated aroma was again
administered using the sealed container for a period of
60 seconds. After the 15-minute period was completed,
subjects walked for five minutes at a speed of 55.3
meters/minute. Recovery heart rates were obtained
until it was confirmed that subjects had returned to
within 15-20 beats of their pre-exercise heart rate.
Measurement of HRV parameters: The ECG was
recorded using lead II to obtain a QRS complex of
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EVALUATION OF THE EFFICACY OF CARDAMOM AROMATHERAPY ON
AEROBIC FITNESS & AUTONOMIC FUNCTIONS AMONG STUDENTS.
NUJHS Vol. I, No.1-3, September 2011
sufficient amplitude and stable base line. ECG signals
were conveyed through an A/D converter (Biopac MP 30,
Biopac system) at a sampling frequency of 500 Hz to PC
and were analyzed
Statistical analysis: The data obtained were analyzed for
their statistical significance by one way ANOVA test and
paired t-test using SPSS. P<0.05 was considered the level
of significance.
RESULTS
The data represented in Table 1. highlights the
characteristics features such as age, height, blood
pressure and different habits of the subjects. In addition,
weight and height was obtained to determine the body
mass index of each subject, waist and hip measurements
are included to determine waist to hip ratio.
The information gathered from the subjects during the
interactive session clearly shows that few of them were
also got the addiction to the alcohol, caffeine, and
smoking. The collected information about the lifestyle
parameters such as food habits, walking habits, health
and sports habits and stress related conditions at the
college. It was demonstrated that students are having
poor attitude towards their lifestyle parameters and
highly sensitive to the stressful conditions.
Table 1 Base line general features of selected students
Each subject completed three separate exercise bouts of
treadmill walking lasting 15 minutes. During each bout
subjects inhaled one of three samples in a double blind
fashion. Table 1 contains the data obtained from analysis
of expired gases Oxygen consumption (VO ) minute
2
ventilation (VE) and Respiratory Exchange Ratio (RER)
remained the same among all three trials.
Table 2 - Comparison of selected physiological
parameters among exercise and exercise combined
aromatherapy.
Table 1 shows the higher aerobic capacity in
aromatherapy group as compared to exercise group,
expressed by higher (P < 0.01) oxygen uptake and
physical fitness index.
Heat rate response can be found in Table 2. During
exercise, heart rate increased approximately 30 beats
per minute above pre-exercise rate for all three trials.
Based on the rate of exercise intensity which subjects
performed, this response was considered normal. The
exception to this increase was with the cardamom trial
which only elicited a 29 beat increase secondary to the
higher pre-exercise heart rate of 71 BPM as compared to
77 BPM for the exercise group.
Table 3. Heart rate and rating perceived exertion (RPE)
response in exercise and exercise combined
aromatherapy group.
Parameters Excercise Aromatherapy P
group combined exercise Value
Physical Fitness 44.5 ± 2.42 49.4 ± 1.41 P<0.01
Index (PFI)
VO max 29.6 ± 1.24 35.5 ± 3.79 P<0.01
2-1
(ml.kg min)
Peak expiratory 376.1±67.67 429.9±.42.91 P<0.01
flow rate (PEFR)
-1
(Lmin )
VE [L/min] 28.65 ± 2.7 32.16 ± 3.2 P<0.01
RER 1.55 ± 0.07 1.92 ± 0.08 P<0.01
Subjects (n) in each group, n= 30. The values are expressed as mean ±SD.
Particulars
Age (Years) 22 ± 0.5
Weight (kg) 58.7 ± 5.95
Height (cm) 159.5 ± 6.74
2
BMI (kg/m ) 23.2 ± 0.8
WHR (waist-hip-ratio) 0.69 ± 0.03
Systolic blood pressure (mmHg) 124 ± 10.68
Diastolic blood pressure (mmHg) 74 ± 2
Smoking 2 %
Alcoholics 1 %
Excess Caffeine 2 %
Subjects (n) in each group, n= 30. The values are expressed as mean ±SD.
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Subjective measures of the modified Borg Scale or Rating
of Perceived Exertion [RPE] were obtained and these
results demonstrated an increase for the aromatherapy
combined exercise group [3.7] compared to a [2.4] for
the exercise group. An RPE of 3 equates to a perception of
hard work. An RPE of 2 equates to a perception of light
17
work.
The results depicted in table.4, Data are reported as
medians and interquartile range. RR = standard normal
RR interval; LF, HF = low and high frequency power,
respectively; LF/HF = ratio of absolute LF power to HF
power values. Frequency ranges: LF: 0.04-0.15 Hz and
HF: 0.15-0.4 Hz.
According to the results presented in table. 4 It is
apparent that after the aromatherapy treatment blood
pressure shows significant changes in both systolic and
diastolic. There was also an increase in heart rate, LF and
LF/HF ratio. Apparently, treatment of aromatherapy
decreases parasympathetic nervous activity.
The differences in the heart rate and other parameters
between the two groups at baseline, before and after
exercise are shown in Table 4, indicating a significant
difference in LF between the exercise and exercise
combined aromatherapy groups before and after
exercise. The median LF, HF level in exercise combined
aromatherapy group was significantly higher than those
in the exercise group. The smaller HF and larger LF/HF
after exercise may indicate possible elevation of
sympathetic activity. All the other HRV measurements,
indicates significant difference between the cardamom
aromatherapy combined exercise and exercise group.
Table 4. Comparison of heart rate variability parameters
in the exercise combined aromatherapy group.
DISCUSSION
Aromatherapy uses concentrated essential oils extracted
from herbs, flowers, trees and other plants. The essential
oils are believed to have an effect on both psychological
and physiological level. Depending on the mix and blend,
18
this effect may be either to stimulate or relax .
Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) is also known as
cardamon; it is related to several spices, such as ginger
(Zingiber officinale), and consequently possesses some
similar therapeutic properties and benefits as ginger.
Some important neurotransmitters have been identified
in cardamom, aceylcholine and choline, which explain
herbal medicine's position that cardamom, may behave
as a stimulant to the nervous system, and uses it to help
prevent convulsions or spasms. Scientific studies have
shown that cardamom has a blood thinning action, due
18
to its high concentration of linoleic acid .
We found a significant increase in mean heart rate and
increases in analysis of heart rate variability parameters
after 15 min of cardamom inhalation. Moreover, HF is
Parameters Excercise Aromatherapy P
group combined exercise Value
Pre-exercise 77.23±8.5 71.64 ± 7.7 P<0.1
heart rate
Exercise Heart 100.23 ± 8.7 100.9± 9.3 P<0.1
Rate
Time of running 12.45 ± 1.2 14.30 ± 0.9 NS
(minute)
RPE 2.4 ± 0.8 3.7 ± 0.8 P<0.1
Subjects (n) in each group, n= 30. The values are expressed as mean ±SD.
Subjects (n) in each group, n= 30. The values are expressed as mean ±SD.
*P < 0.05; **P < 0.01; ***P < 0.001.
Parameters Exercise group Aromatherapy
combined exercise
Pre- Post- Pre- Post-
exercise exercise exercise exercise
Heart Rate 69.32 ± 76.05 ± 78 ± 82.7 ±
(BPM) 8.75 6.11 10.49* 15*
2
LF(msec ) 357.55 ± 305.88 ± 534.64 ± 370.27 ±
** ***
159.84 227.74 567.80 257.52
2
HF(msec ) 1191.32 ± 399.18 ± 787.73 ± 482.36 ±
** **
1298.74 419.84 755.52 429.80
LF/HF 0.299 ± 0.764 ± 0.705 ± 0.968 ±
**
1.017 1.351 1.671 1.145***
Systolic blood 112.04 ± 129.52 ± 123.27 ± 139.09 ±
** **
pressure (mmHg) 17.29 11.31 11.16 6.49
Diastolic blood 74.32 ± 83.00 ± 78.82 ± 86.00 ±
**
pressure (mmHg) 8.72 6.89 8.94 6.72***
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NUJHS Vol. I, No.1-3, September 2011
also increased, and all these indices have been used to
reflect primarily sympathetic influences. LF has been
shown to reflect both sympathetic and parasympathetic
influences, making the contributive components of this
19, 20
measurement less clear . However, the change in LF
and ratio of LF/HF infer that there is an impact on
sympathetic drive to the heart.
In this present study we also investigated that the
differences in autonomic cardiovascular control could
appear between exercise and exercise combined
aromatherapy group during a situation of exercise stress,
which is a natural stimulus, leading to sympathetic
excitation and vagal withdrawal in the heart. During
exercise the initial increase in the heart rate response is
mediated by a decrease in vagal activity, followed by an
enhanced sympathetic activity that maintains higher
values of heart rate during the test.
The finding of increased low to high frequency (LF/HF)
ratio in response to cardamom aromatherapy indicates
that aromatherapy may in fact cause a sympathetic
response, rather than a parasympathetic response. This
finding warrants further research. Further, it is not
known what mechanisms play a role with aromatherapy
and metabolism. At 15 minutes of exercise the average
individual is just beginning to achieve a true point when
oxygen demands equal oxygen availability or more
commonly referred to as steady state of oxygen
17
consumption .
The use of aromatherapy is rapidly growing within
western society. It is obvious from the literature that
there are vast differences in opinion regarding the
efficacy, validity and the overall claims towards the role
of aromatherapy in all aspects of medicine, particularly
preventative and rehabilitative medicine. Exercise does
fall into both categories, preventive and rehabilitative;
therefore the use of aromatherapy in concert with
exercise is quite popular. Although it is claimed that
peppermint may accentuate energy by stimulating the
10
adrenal cortex it is not known what dosage and how this
increased energy may affect exercise performance.
Cardamom has reputation for having simulative effects
on autonomic bodily systems like digestion and
circulation. Cardamom may improve blood circulation to
the lungs, and is indicated in folk medicines to relieve
11-13
symptoms of asthma and bronchitis. Our study clearly
suggests that during dynamic exercise, heart rate
increases due to both a parasympathetic withdrawal and
an augmented sympathetic activity. The relative role of
the two drives spectral depends on the exercise
20-25
intensity.
In the present investigation, cardamom aromatherapy
had significant effect on resting or exercises heart rate
during 15 minutes of moderate treadmill walking. The
result of present study about rating perceived exertion
shows a slight increase in aromatherapy groups. Rating
perceived exertion is a good index for evaluating
15
individual's effort during an exercise bout .
Earlier study mentioned that inhaling the essential oil
can affect the performance in both positive and negative
20
ways and the cardamom essences is known as
aphrodisiac and invigorating which may be the reason for
increase in concentration and improves performance.
The results of this study indicate that inhaling a
cardamom essence has brought the significant
differences when compared to exercise group. The value
of respiratory exchange ratio indicates that fat is being
consumed for energy generation during exercise. It is
possible that cardamom aroma may have more
beneficial effects when fat are the major fuel source as
opposed to carbohydrate.
The higher aerobic capacity of the athletes was reflected
in greater oxygen consumptionand physical fitness index
in both groups. Also, the resting heart rate was
significantly lower in exercise combined aromatherapy
group than in exercise group. Changes in the intrinsic
mechanisms acting on the sinus node and alterations in
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NUJHS Vol. I, No.1-3, September 2011
the autonomic nervous system control of the heart have
23, 24
been reported to contribute to this phenomenon.
These data are exciting regarding aromatherapy and
exercise performance; however, given the above
limitations regarding time and introduction of aroma,
these results are understandable.
The benefits of aroma on exercise performance is not yet
established, the questions regarding their ethical use
must be addressed. However, further research on the
normal and strenuous exercise in combination with
appropriate control needs to be conducted to clarify the
efficacy of cardamom aromatherapy in the management
of well-being in combating with lethargy, sedentary life
style and or other health issues. Heart rate and other
cardiac variables should have been measured during
exercise to clarify physiological responses more in
details. We demonstrate the need of further research to
investigate subjects, measurement indicators, and
experimental conditions to clarify the relationship
between physiological and emotional responses
produced by cardamom aromatherapy.
CONCLUSION
Everyone experiences some degree of pressure at work,
and being under pressure can help improve performance
and productivity. Excessive levels of pressure, however,
can have adverse effects, resulting in stress and intense
long-lasting stress can lead to mental and physical ill-
health. In such situations, simple techniques that can
help to cope up with stress, such as aromatherapy, can be
of major benefit. We have demonstrated on young
healthy adults the effect of inhaling the aroma from
Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) essential oil on
autonomic balance. The results provided support for the
stimulatory effect of aroma, as indicated by a shift of the
autonomic balance toward sympathetic predominance.
Combining exercise with cardamom aromatherapy is not
only enjoyable because of its effects on mood but also
promotes physiological excitation, thereby increasing
physical activation. Inhalation of cardamom essential oil
may provide a relatively simple, safe, well-being,
invigorating and effective method of handling the
stressful conditions.
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Nitte University Journal of Health Science
29
EVALUATION OF THE EFFICACY OF CARDAMOM AROMATHERAPY ON
AEROBIC FITNESS & AUTONOMIC FUNCTIONS AMONG STUDENTS.
NUJHS Vol. I, No.1-3, September 2011
Book
This reference book is based on the history, cultivation, processing, breeding, protection, phytochemistry, and pharmacological importance of cardamom. Cardamom is scientifically known as Elettaria cardamomum (L.) Maton and is a member of the Zingiberaceae family. It's a shade-loving plant that grows well at an altitude between 600 and 1400 metres above sea level, with annual rainfall ranging from 1300–4000 mm and temperatures ranging from 10 to 35°C. Cardamom is highly cross-pollinated and depends on honeybees for pollination. Cardamom is classified into three types based on the nature of the panicles, namely, Malabar (prostrate panicle), Mysore (erect panicle) and Vazhukka (semi-erect panicle), a natural hybrid between Mysore and Malabar varieties. In India, currently, six research institutions, namely, Cardamom Research Station (CRS), Pampadumpara (Kerala Agricultural University, Kerala), ICAR-Indian Institute of Spices Research (IISR), Kozhikode, Kerala; Cardamom Research Centre, Appangala, Karnataka; Indian Cardamom Research Institute (ICRI), Myladumpara, Kerala and its Regional Research Station, Sakleshpur, Karnataka and Regional Research Station, Mudigere (University of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences) are engaged in research for the improvement of cardamom farming. These research institutions have begun doing routine surveys to exploit desirable genes using a variety of traditional and modern crop improvement techniques. Also, these research centres/institutes are holding enormous genetic wealth of different accessions. Recently, many researchers have used various biotechnological approaches to conduct studies on micropropagation, assess the diversity in germplasm collections, and elucidate the biotic and abiotic stress tolerance mechanisms in cardamom. Fungal, bacterial and viral diseases pose severe threats to the successful cultivation of this crop. Major pests of cardamom include thrips, shoot and capsule borer, root grub, and whiteflies. Injudicious pesticide applications to manage pests and diseases rises the residue levels in the cured product, limiting its export value. Bio-pesticides control pest in an eco-friendly manner and are considered as the best alternatives to synthetic pesticides. It includes the effective utilization of microbials (bacteria, fungi, virus, and nematodes), macrobials (predators, parasitoids, and parasites), botanicals, organic amendments, semiochemicals, endophytes, and reduced risk pesticides in managing pest and diseases. Cardamom is grown in the throughout tropical mountains mainly for its capsules and its essential oil. Cardamom capsules/seeds accumulate essential oil and other bioactive metabolites, which contribute to their distinctive aroma and are used in the functional food, pharmaceutical, and nutraceutical industries. More than 100 secondary metabolites have been identified from cardamom essential oil. The essential oil of cardamom capsules possesses predominantly monoterpene constituents, such as 1,8-cineole, α-pinene, α-terpineol, linalool, linalyl acetate and nerolidol and the ester constituent α-terpinyl acetate all of which have therapeutic benefits including antioxidant, anticancer, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiviral and gastroprotective activities. Cardamom capsules contain substantial concentration of flavonoids like catechin, myricetin, kaempferol and quercetin. Lutein is said to be the most abundant carotenoid in small cardamom. According to recent investigations, cardamom phenolic constituents’ flavonoids, alkaloids, terpenoids, and anthocyanins are being used to treat cardiovascular, pulmonary, kidney, and lung disorders. Cardamom capsules are a nutraceutical and functional food that can protect humans from several chronic diseases when taken daily. Cardamom oil is a new potential natural source for food, aroma, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. Since the 4th century BC, Indian Ayurvedic physicians, as well as Greek and Roman doctors, have used small cardamom capsules to treat bronchitis, asthma, and constipation, as well as colds, coughs, diuretics, carminatives, teeth and gum infections, urinary and kidney disorders, congestion of the lungs, pulmonary tuberculosis, irritation of the eyelids, cataract, nausea, and diarrhoea. Cardamom was used to treat constipation, stomach aches, bladder infections, and dysentery in children in traditional Chinese medicine. Cardamom is also used in Ayurvedic medicine to cure food sickness. Cardamom oils are being employed in the production of plant-based hand lotions and soaps. Digestive problems can be treated with powdered cardamom capsules mixed with pulverised cloves, ginger, and caraway. In addition, using cardamom capsules helps to relieve inflammation and headaches. This reference book entitled “Cardamom [Elettaria cardamomum (L.) Maton]: Production, Breeding, Management, Phytochemistry and Health Benefits” is comprises of twelve chapters contributed by different authors and provide complete information about this wonderful herb. Its occurrence, history, cultivation, post-harvest processing, botany, crop improvement, biotechnology, protection, ethnopharmacological uses, phytochemistry and pharmacological activities are well described with supporting references. The book contains latest information pertaining to cardamom and its cultivation. The information provided in this book will be very useful for students, academicians, researchers, and scientists, as well as others interested/involved nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries.
Research
Full-text available
Introdução: A experiência da dor vivida pelo atleta de alto rendimento é tida como cotidiana e marcador de bom rendimento nos treinos e competições. Há uma crescente procura pelas terapias integrativas e complementares à saúde visando o bem-estar, qualidade de vida, rendimento e, principalmente, uma prática livre do risco de dopping. A aromaterapia, ciência que estuda o uso terapêutico dos óleos essenciais (OEs), tem mostrado resultados positivos empiricamente, porém, fazem-se necessárias pesquisas que validem tais práticas a fim de, com segurança e eficácia, servir àqueles que a necessitam e procuram. Objetivo: Avaliar o efeito dos óleos essenciais (OEs) sobre a dor no atleta de alto rendimento. Métodos: Estudo piloto quasi-experimental, cegado para o participante, com duas fases: a primeira com utilização de placebo (15 dias) denominada grupo Dor A, a segunda com OEs (15 dias) chamada grupo Dor B e um follow-up de sete dias. Amostra de conveniência composta por 26 atletas adultos de alto rendimento. A intervenção foi realizada com uma sinergia de OEs (lavanda, gengibre e sucupira) e como placebo foi utilizado óleo vegetal inerte (OV). Para a coleta de dados foram utilizados um questionário com dados sóciodemográficos e prática do esporte, recordatório de dor e tratamentos durante o período de estudo, e escalas de Humor de Brunel (BRUMS) e Inventário Breve de Dor (IBD). Para análise de dados utilizou-se o modelo de efeitos fixos e o teste de Bonferroni, teste d Cohen, além de medidas descritivas de tendência central e de variabilidade. Resultados: No início do tratamento, os 26 atletas apresentaram médias de dor de 5,2 no grupo Dor A e 5,6 no grupo Dor B. Após o tratamento com o óleo medicado houve redução de 79% na dor logo após os 15 dias de aplicação e de 81% ao final do período de follow-up (p < 0,001). O nível de tensão medido pela Escala de Humor de Brunel indicou melhora de 37%, logo após o período de aplicação do óleo medicado e 49% após o período de follow-up (p < 0,05). Conclusão: Os resultados mostraram que a sinergia de óleos essências em diluição de 10% teve efeito sobre a dor de atletas de alto rendimento em três aplicações diárias por 15 dias e possuiu efeito residual em sete dias de follow-up (p < 0,05). Observou-se efeito sobre o humor dos atletas, com diminuição da tensão (preocupação e tensão musculoesquelética).
Data
Full-text available
The popular recipe "Shangri-kahwa" is an age old home remedy for respiratory and various other problems in almost whole of Kashmir. It is prepared from important spices like liquorice, clove, cinnamon, and cardamom, which have documented health benefits. Information about its use and method of preparation was obtained from group discussions held in some villages of Baramullah district of Jammu and Kashmir. People in these villages believe that Shangri-kahwa is cost effective, delicious, made from easily available ingredients and can be prepared easily at home. Being residents of this area, the authors are aware of the popularity of this magical drink used as a first line of treatment for various ailments at home, particularly during cold days. This recipe is extremely famous in these villages both as a refreshing and stimulant drink, as well as believed to be highly efficacious in respiratory illnesses. It is cost effective and highly palatable. The ingredients of Shangri-kahwa are being used extensively in Unani system of medicine and Ayurveda for almost same indications as the recipe is used. This study was carried out to highlight the effectiveness and focus the attention of the researchers towards this attractive and effective dosage form used as home remedy in Kashmir.
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to determine whether inhaling peppermint odor has effects on time of running, maximum heart rate (MHR), maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max), oxygen consumption (VO2), minute ventilation (VE) and respiratory exchange ratio (RER) during acute intensive exercise or not. 36 women soccer player were chosen for participating in this research. They were randomly divided in 3 groups (control, inhaling peppermint, inhaling mixture of peppermint and ethanol). In order to be aware of similarity of groups, the subjects' BMI was determined and ANOVA did not show any significant differences (p < 0.05). The subjects of three groups ran on treadmill according to Bruce test. Heart rate, time of running, VO2max, VO2, VE and RER were measured by Gas Analyzer. After collecting the data, ANOVA was done (p < 0.05) and the results showed that in this study the inhaling of fragrant odors did not have any significant effect on the time of running, MHR, VO2max, VO2, VE and RER, which we think is due to the intensity and duration of training. Referring to our results of the present study; we suggest that inhaling peppermint odor during acute intensive exercise has no significant effect on pulmonary indexes and physical performance (Tab. 4, Fig. 1, Ref. 21).
Article
Full-text available
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. The understanding of the risk factors for CVD may yield important insights into the prevention, etiology, course, and treatment of this major public health concern. Autonomic imbalance, characterized by a hyperactive sympathetic system and a hypoactive parasympathetic system, is associated with various pathological conditions. Over time, excessive energy demands on the system can lead to premature aging and diseases. Therefore, autonomic imbalance may be a final common pathway to increased morbidity and mortality from a host of conditions and diseases, including cardiovascular disease. Heart rate variability (HRV) may be used to assess autonomic imbalances, diseases and mortality. Parasympathetic activity and HRV have been associated with a wide range of conditions including CVD. Here we review the evidence linking HRV to established and emerging modifiable and non-modifiable CVD risk factors such as hypertension, obesity, family history and work stress. Substantial evidence exists to support the notion that decreased HRV precedes the development of a number of risk factors and that lowering risk profiles is associated with increased HRV. We close with a suggestion that a model of autonomic imbalance may provide a unifying framework within which to investigate the impact of risk factors, including psychosocial factors and work stress, on cardiovascular disease.
Article
The purpose of this study was to compare the applicability of four different measures of heart rate variability (HRV) in the assessment of cardiac vagal outflow, with special reference to the effect of breathing pattern. The anticholinergic effects of an intravenous glycopyrrolate infusion (5 μg kg−1 h−1 for 2 h) during spontaneous and controlled (15 min−1) breathing rate were investigated in eight volunteers, and the effects of different fixed breathing rates (6–15–24 min–1) and hyperventilation in 12 subjects. Cardiac vagal activity was assessed by ECG recordings in which the following measures of HRV were computed: the high-frequency (HF) spectral component, the instantaneous RR interval (RRI) variability (SD1) analysed from the Poincaré plots, the percentage of differences between successive RRIs greater than 50 ms (pNN50), and the square root of the mean squared differences of successive RRIs (RMSSD). On average, glycopyrrolate reduced the HF spectral component by 99·8%, SD1 by 91·3%, pNN50 by 100% and RMSSD by 97·0%. The change of breathing pattern from controlled to spontaneous decreased significantly the HF component and pNN50, but did not affect SD1 or RMSSD. Rapid breathing rate (24 min–1) decreased the HF component, but had no effects on the other measures. A controlled breathing rate is needed for a reliable assessment of cardiac vagal outflow by the spectral analysis technique. The quantitative geometrical analysis of short-term RRI variability from the Poincaré plots and the time domain measure RMSSD were not significantly affected by changes in the breathing rate, suggesting that these indices are more suitable for the measurement of cardiac vagal outflow during the ‘free-running’ ambulatory conditions.
Article
The authors tested the effect of ambient scents in a shopping mall environment. Two competing models were used. The first model is derived from the environmental psychology research stream by Mehrabian and Russel (1974) and Donovan and Rossiter (1982) where atmospheric cues generate pleasure and arousal, and, in turn, an approach/avoidance behavior. The emotion–cognition model is supported by Zajonc and Markus (1984). The second model to be tested is based on Lazarus' (1991) cognitive theory of emotions. In this latter model, shoppers' perceptions of the retail environment and product quality mediate the effects of ambient scent cues on emotions and spending behaviors. Positive affect is enhanced from shoppers' evaluations. Using structural equation modeling the authors conclude that the cognitive theory of emotions better explains the effect of ambient scent. Managerial implications are discussed.
Article
'Aromatherapy' is one of the most actively growing forms of alternative medicine combining massage together with counselling and a nice odour. Most clients suffer from some kind of stress-related disorder and aromatherapy encourages the healing process largely through relaxation and the relief of stress. Stress is also a major problem in hospitals, hospices and homes for the aged and physically or mentally-challenged. Aromatherapy is welcomed by nurses who want to be closer to their patient and doctors who can refer patients with stress-related disorders who do not respond to conventional medicines. The actual mode of action of essential oils in vivo is still far from known, although there is strong in vitro evidence that essential oils can act as an antimicrobial or antioxidant agent or have a pharmacological effect on various tissues. Studies have shown that essential oils have an effect on brainwaves and can also alter behaviour. It is possible that most of the effect of the oils is probably transmitted through the brain via the olfactory system. Used professionally and safely, aromatherapy can be of great benefit as an adjunct to conventional medicine or used simply as an alternative.
The power spectral analysis of R-R interval variability (RRV) has been estimated by means of an autoregressive method in seven sedentary males at rest, during steady-state cycle exercise at 21 percent maximal oxygen uptake. (% V O2max), SEM 2%, 49% VO2max, SEM 2% and 70% VO2max, SEM 2% and during recovery. The RRV, i.e. the absolute power of the spectrum, decreased 10, 100 and 500 times in the three exercise intensities, returning to resting value during recovery. In the RRV power spectrum three components have been identified: (1) high frequency peak (HF), central frequency about 0.24 Hz at rest and recovery, and 0.28 Hz, SEM 0.02, 0.37 Hz, SEM 0.03 and 0.48 Hz, SEM 0.06 during the three exercise intensities, respectively; (2) low frequency peak (LF), central frequency about 0.1 Hz independent of the metabolic state; (3) very low frequency component (VLF), <0.05 Hz, no peak observed. The HF peak power, as a percentage of the total power (HF%), averaged 16%, SEM 5% at rest and did not change during exercise, whereas during recovery it decreased to 5%–10%. The LF% and VLF% were about 50% and 35% at rest and during low exercise intensity, respectively. At higher intensities, LF% decreased to 16% and VLF% increased to 70%. During recovery a return to resting values occurred. The HF component may reflect the increased respiratory rate and the LF peak changes the resetting of the baroreceptor reflex with exercise. The hypothesis is made that VLF fluctuations in heart rate might be partially mediated by the sympathetic system.