Aromatherapy with two essential oils from Satureja genre and mindfulness meditation to reduce anxiety in humans

J Tradit Complement Med. 2016 Jun 27;7(1):121-125. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcme.2016.06.003. eCollection 2017 Jan.


The goal of this study was to verify whether association of aromatherapy with essential oils of Satureja brevicalyx or Satureja boliviana and mindfulness meditation can reduce anxiety levels in humans. A randomized experimental trial was carried out with 108 participants who were divided into 6 groups, comprising a waiting list control group and five experimental groups. Aromatherapy was carried out by inhalation of essential oils while mindfulness intervention program was focused on "flow meditation". The anxiety index was evaluated by State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). Measures were taken two times: pretest and posttest. State and Trait anxiety scores showed a decrease in posttest study phase in comparison with pretest in all experimental groups (p < 0.005), especially in those where aromatherapy and mindfulness meditation were used together. All Cohen's d scores were over to 1 that means a large size effect in anxiety variable. Percentages of change showed reductions of anxiety variable ranging between 20% and 47%. All treatments used isolated or associated, may be considered alternative treatment options for anxiety.

Keywords: Anxiety; Aromatherapy; Essential oils; Mindfulness; Satureja boliviana; Satureja brevicalyx.