November 29, 2012

Aromatherapy and your heart

Woman relaxingEssential oils, often used in aromatherapy for stress relief, may also have a beneficial effect on heart rate and blood pressure, according to researchers in Taiwan.

The study measured the heart rate and blood pressure of 100 spa workers after exposure to essential oil vapours. They found that between 15 and 60 minutes contact with the vapours was associated with reduced blood pressure and heart rate.

However, those beneficial effects were reversed when exposure to essential oils lasted more than an hour.

There are other lifestyle decisions which we know for sure can help protect your heart

Our Senior Cardiac Nurse, Ellen Mason, said: “Essential oils and aromatherapy can help many people to relax and unwind. This study seems to show that up to an hour’s exposure to these oils could help lower heart rate and blood pressure.

“However, this was a very small study on young spa workers in Taiwan. We do not know enough about the long term effects of aromatherapy to draw any conclusions about the possible positive or negative effects on your heart health.

“There are other lifestyle decisions which we know for sure can help protect your heart. Giving up smoking, being physically active, and eating a balanced diet are all positive steps towards keeping your heart healthy.”

This research was published in The European Journal of Preventative Cardiology.