Objective: We evaluated the stress relief effect of lavender aroma by measuring sensitive salivary endocrinological stress markers, cortisol and chromogranin A (CgA).
Design: Thirty healthy students performed a serial arithmetic task for 10min and then rested for 10min. During the resting period, 16 students (aroma group) were exposed to airborne organic essential oil of lavender. Saliva samples were collected immediately before and after the arithmetic task, and at 5 and 10min after that. Salivary cortisol and CgA levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Results: In the aroma group, levels of CgA that had been elevated at the end of the arithmetic task were statistically significantly lower 10min later. The control group showed no such change. During the protocol, no statistically significant changes in levels of cortisol were detected in either the aroma group or the control group.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that lavender aroma has a stress relief effect.