The Effects of Aromatherapy on Premenstrual Syndrome Symptoms: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2020 Dec 21;2020:6667078. doi: 10.1155/2020/6667078. eCollection 2020.


ObjectivesPremenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a common disturbance among women of childbearing age. Aromatherapy is a commonly used form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to treat PMS. The purpose of this study is to quantify and summarize the effects of aromatherapy on premenstrual syndrome symptoms. Methods. PubMed, Scopus, and Cochrane Library databases were searched through relevant search terms until October 2020. The effect sizes were pooled as weighted mean difference (WMD) and 95% confidence interval (CI) using the random effect model. Egger tests and visual inspection of the funnel plot were performed to identify the existence of publication bias. The I-squared (I 2) test was applied to measure heterogeneity. Results. Eight studies (n = 8) were included in this analysis. The quantitative synthesis of evidence found that aromatherapy decreases PMS scores (WMD -13.83; 95% CI (-22.04, -5.63), I 2 = 94.5%), total psychological symptoms of PMS (WMD -3.51; 95% CI (-4.84, -2.18), I 2 = 82.6%), anxiety of PMS (WMD-1.78; 95% CI (-3.17, -0.38), I 2 = 94.2%), depression of PMS (WMD-2.0; 95% CI (-3.65, -0.34), I 2 = 93.7%), and fatigue of PMS (WMD - 1.44; 95% CI (-2.44, -0.44), I 2 = 89.7%) compared to the control group. Conclusion. Aromatherapy is an effective tool for the relief of PMS symptoms. Additional randomized controlled clinical trials with different durations and essential oils should be conducted to confirm our findings.

Publication types

  • Review