The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of inhalation of eucalyptus oil and its constituents on anxiety in patients before selective nerve root block (SNRB). This study was a randomized controlled trial carried out in 62 patients before SNRB. The patients were randomized to inhale limonene, 1,8-cineole, or eucalyptus oil, each at concentrations of 1% vol/vol in almond oil or almond oil (control). Anxiety-visual analog scale (A-VAS), state-trait anxiety inventory (STAI), profile of mood states (POMS), pain-visual analog scale (P-VAS), blood pressure, and pulse rate were measured before and after inhalation prior to SNRB. Measures of anxiety, including A-VAS (P < 0.001), STAI (P = 0.005), and POMS (P < 0.001), were significantly lower in 1,8-cineole than in the control group and significantly greater in 1,8-cineole than in the eucalyptus group in A-VAS. P-VAS was significantly lower after than before inhalation of limonene, 1,8-cineole, and eucalyptus, despite having no significant difference in the four groups compared with control group. 1,8-Cineole, a major constituent of eucalyptus, was effective in decreasing anxiety before SNRB. The present findings suggest that inhalation of 1,8-cineole may be used to relieve anxiety before, during, and after various operations, in addition to SNRB.