Background: Essential oils (EOs) have been claimed to modulate mental functions though the most of data were obtained from subjective methods of assessment. Direct effects of EO on brain function remained largely to be confirmed with scientific proof. This study aimed to demonstrate quantifiable and reproducible effects of commercial vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides) EO inhalation on sleep-waking and electroencephalogram (EEG) patterns in adult male Wistar rats. The experiments were conducted during November 2013 - February 2014.
Materials and methods: The following electrode implantation on the skull, control, and treated animals were subjected for EEG recording while inhaling water and vetiver EO (20 and 200 µl), respectively. Fast Fourier transform was used for analysis of EEG power spectrum.
Results: One-way ANOVA analysis confirmed that vetiver EO inhalation significantly increased total waking and reduced slow-wave sleep time. Moreover, EO inhalation decreased alpha and beta1 activity in both frontal and parietal cortices and increased gamma activity in the frontal cortex. Changes in these frequencies began almost from the start of the inhalation.
Conclusion: These data suggest refreshing properties of vetiver EO on electrical brain activity and alertness.
Keywords: Electroencephalogram; Vetiveria zizanioides; essential oil; sleep-waking; vetiver.