Mental health issues have been increasingly recognized as public health problems globally. Their burden is projected to increase over the next several decades. Additional therapies for mental problems are in urgent need worldwide due to the limitations and costs of existing healthcare approaches. Essential oil aromatherapy can provide a cost-effective and safe treatment for many mental problems. This pilot study observed the effects of bergamot essential oil inhalation on mental health and well-being, as measured by the Positive and Negative Affect Scale, in a mental-health treatment center located in Utah, USA. Fifty-seven eligible participants (50 women, age range: 23-70 years) were included for analysis. Fifteen minutes of bergamot essential oil exposure improved participants' positive feelings compared with the control group (17% higher). Unexpectedly, more participants participated in experimental periods rather than control periods, suggesting even brief exposure to essential oil aroma may make people more willing to enroll in clinical trials. This study provides preliminary evidence of the efficacy and safety of bergamot essential oil inhalation on mental well-being in a mental health treatment center, suggesting that bergamot essential oil aromatherapy can be an effective adjunct treatment to improve individuals' mental health and well-being. © 2017 The Authors. Phytotherapy Research published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Keywords: aromatherapy; bergamot essential oil; mental health; mental well-being; negative affect; positive affect.
© 2017 The Authors. Phytotherapy Research published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.