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Sci. Pharm. 2013, 81(2), 531-542; doi:10.3797/scipharm.1209-05

Effects of Inhaled Rosemary Oil on Subjective Feelings and Activities of the Nervous System

1
College of Public Health Sciences, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
2
Salaya Stem Cell Research and Development Project; Research Center for Neuroscience, Mahidol University, Salaya, Nakhonpathom 73170, Thailand
3
Faculty of Pharmacy, Srinakharinwirot University, Nakhon-nayok 26120, Thailand
4
Research Center for Neuroscience, Institute of Molecular Biosciences, Mahidol University, Salaya, Nakhonpathom 73170, Thailand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 September 2012 / Accepted: 23 December 2012 / Published: 23 December 2012
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Abstract

Rosemary oil is one of the more famous essential oils widely used in aromatherapy. However, the effects of rosemary oil on the human body, in particular the nervous system, have not been sufficiently studied. This study investigates the effects of the inhalation of rosemary oil on test subjects’ feelings, as well as its effects on various physiological parameters of the nervous system. Twenty healthy volunteers participated in the experiment. All subjects underwent autonomic nervous system (ANS) recording. This consisted of measurements of skin temperature; heart rate; respiratory rate; blood pressure; evaluations of the subjects’ mood states; and electroencephalography (EEG) recordings in the pre-, during treatment, and post-rosemary inhalation periods as compared with control conditions. Our results showed significant increases in blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate after rosemary oil inhalation. After the inhalation treatments, subjects were found to have become more active and stated that they felt “fresher”. The analysis of EEGs showed a reduction in the power of alpha1 (8–10.99 Hz) and alpha2 (11–12.99 Hz) waves. Moreover, an increment in the beta wave (13–30 Hz) power was observed in the anterior region of the brain. These results confirm the stimulatory effects of rosemary oil and provide supporting evidence that brain wave activity, autonomic nervous system activity, as well as mood states are all affected by the inhalation of the rosemary oil.
Keywords: Rosmarinus officinalis L.; Electroencephalography; Alpha power; Autonomic nervous system; Mood state Rosmarinus officinalis L.; Electroencephalography; Alpha power; Autonomic nervous system; Mood state
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

SAYORWAN, W.; RUANGRUNGSI, N.; PIRIYAPUNYPORN, T.; HONGRATANAWORAKIT, T.; KOTCHABHAKDI, N.; SIRIPORNPANICH, V. Effects of Inhaled Rosemary Oil on Subjective Feelings and Activities of the Nervous System. Sci. Pharm. 2013, 81, 531-542.

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