The Effect of Copaiba Oil Odor on Anxiety Relief in Adults under Mental Workload: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2022 Mar 20:2022:3874745. doi: 10.1155/2022/3874745. eCollection 2022.


Background: Aromatherapy has been proved to be effective in alleviating anxiety in practices and research. Recently, copaiba oil (CPO) is popular in the market and is recommended for anxiety relief in aromatherapy practice. However, relevant scientific research is still lacking.

Methods: A randomized controlled trial was designed to evaluate the anxiety-relieving effect of CPO inhalation in 22 adults. Jojoba oil was used as the control treatment. N-back and mental arithmetic tasks were used as stress stimulation. CPO or control intervention was carried out after the n-back training phase. The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), EEG activities, physiological indexes including heart rate (HR), blood pressure (BP), blood oxygen saturation, and salivary cortisol were assessed in different phases of the experimental process.

Results: There was no significant difference in the change of HR and BP between the CPO and control groups before odor intervention. The S-AI scores of the CPO treated participants decreased after the n-back and mental arithmetic tests and were significantly lower than those of the participants who received control treatments. The HR and salivary cortisol of participants who received CPO intervention significantly decreased during the n-back and mental arithmetic tests. Furthermore, a remarkable decrease of beta wave activity was observed in the left midfrontal region (F3) when the participant received the CPO intervention.

Conclusion: The study's findings supported that the CPO odor showed beneficial effects on alleviating anxiety based on several indicators in subjective, physiological, and EEG measurements.