Purpose: To investigate the effectiveness of aromatherapy on blood pressure, heart rate variability, aortic pulse wave velocity and the aortic augmentation index of essential hypertensive patients.
Methods: Using a coin toss, 22 participants were assigned to the experimental group and 20 to the control. The experimental group was given a blend of oils of lemon (Citrus limonum), lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), and ylang ylang (Cananga odorata) which were prepared in the ratio of 2:2:1, respectively. The control group was given an artificial lemon fragrance of Limonene (35 cc) and Citral (15 cc) mixture. The experiment, inhalation, was conducted for 3 weeks (2 min per inhalation, 2 times per day) to both groups.
Results: There was a noticeable difference in systolic blood pressure between the groups (p=.001), however the difference in diastolic blood pressure between the two groups was not significant. There was a notable difference in sympathetic nerve system activity of heart rate variability (p=.047). However, the differences in aortic pulse wave velocity or the aortic augmentation index were not significant.
Conclusion: Aromatherapy is effective in lowering systolic blood pressure and sympathetic nerve system activity.