Objective: This study investigated the soothing effects of fragrance from yuzu, a Japanese citrus fruit (Citrus junos Sieb. ex Tanaka), with salivary chromogranin A (CgA) used as an endocrinologic stress marker reflecting sympathetic nervous system activity.
Methods: Twenty healthy women (mean age, 20.5 ± 0.1 years) participated in a randomized, controlled, crossover study. Participants were examined on two separate occasions-once using the yuzu scent and once using unscented water as a control-in the follicular phase. This experiment measured salivary CgA and the Profile of Mood States (POMS) as a psychological index before and after the aromatic stimulation.
Results: Ten-minute inhalation of the yuzu scent significantly decreased salivary CgA. At 30 minutes after the inhalation period, the salivary CgA level further decreased. In addition, POMS revealed that inhalation of the aromatic yuzu oil significantly decreased total mood disturbance, a global measure of affective state, as well as four subscores of emotional symptoms (tension-anxiety, depression-dejection, anger-hostility, and confusion), as long as 30 minutes after the olfactory stimulation.
Conclusions: Yuzu's aromatic effects may alleviate negative emotional stress, which, at least in part, would contribute to the suppression of sympathetic nervous system activity.