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Sniff Neroli to ease menopause, increase libido and reduce blood pressure!

Aromatherapy of Neroli Oil Influences Select Issues Menopausal Women

 From Emerson Ecologics Women’s Health Resources, 2 February, 2015

 

Authors: 

Yeon Choi S, Kang P, Su Lee H, Hee Seol G

 

Reference: 

Effects of inhalation of essential oil of Citrus aurantium L. var. amara on menopausal symptoms, stress, and estrogen in postmenopausal women: A randomized controlled trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2014;2014:796518

Design: 

This double-blind, randomized, controlled trial was designed to assess the inhalation of neroli oil and its effects on menopausal symptoms, stress and estrogen levels in postmenopausal women. Neroli oil was dissolved in almond oil at concentrations of 0.1% and 0.5%. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either the 0.1% or the 0.5% or an almond oil control group. Participants in the three groups received 10 bottles, each containing 1 mL of the neroli oil in almond oil or the almond oil only. Each individual was self-treated for 10 sessions twice daily for five consecutive days. Each participant decanted the 1 mL of oil onto a fragrance pad while sitting, with the pad 30 cm away from the nose for five minutes. Pre-trial and day six surveys and measurements were performed.

 

Participants: 

A total of 81 South Korean women 65 years old or less were included if they had been through natural menopause, had not used hormone replacement therapy or aromatherapy in the previous six weeks, had no history of psychiatric illness, were not on any medications for anxiety or depression, had normal olfactory function and were free of aromatherapy allergies.

 

Primary Outcome:  

Primary outcomes were the effects of neroli oil on menopause symptoms, stress and serum estrogen level in postmenopausal women. Measurements used were the menopause-specific quality of life questionnaire (MENQOL) and the stress and sexual visual analog scale (VAS). Other measurements included blood pressure, pulse rate, serum cortisol and estrogen levels. The MENQOL is a self-reported survey consisting of 29 items, including 16 in the physical domain, 7 in the psychological domain, 3 in the vasomotor domain and 3 in the sexual function domain. Subjects scored each item on a scale ranging from a 2 (“not bothered at all”) to an 8 (“extremely bothered”).


Key Findings: 

Compared with the control group, both the 0.1% and the 0.5% inhaled essential oil of neroli groups showed significant improvements in the physical domain score of the MENQOL and in sexual desire.

 

The 0.5% neroli group also resulted in significantly lower systolic blood pressure compared with the control group (an increase of 6.68 mmHg in the control group vs a decrease of 2.89 mmHg in the 0.1% and 5.92 mmHg in the 0.5% group). The two neroli groups showed significantly lower diastolic blood pressure compared to the control group (an increase of 7.34 mmHg in the control group and a decrease of 2.43 mmHg in the 0.1% and 3.18 in the 0.5% group). There was a trend towards improvement in pulse rate especially with a decrease of 1.92 beats/minute in the 05% neroli group. Serum cortisol and estrogen levels decreased slightly but none of the differences were statistically significant.

 

Practice Implications:

It’s always a pleasure to see a simple home treatment for any health problem. This short study highlights the potential benefits of neroli aromatherapy to significantly improve menopause symptoms, increase libido and reduce blood pressure. This will be an appealing approach to some.

 

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