J Korean Acad Nurs.  2010 Oct;40(5):705-713. 10.4040/jkan.2010.40.5.705.

Effects of Aromatherapy on Changes in the Autonomic Nervous System, Aortic Pulse Wave Velocity and Aortic Augmentation Index in Patients with Essential Hypertension

  • 1Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2College of Nursing, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea. ysyoo@catholic.ac.kr


To investigate the effectiveness of aromatherapy on blood pressure, heart rate variability, aortic pulse wave velocity and the aortic augmentation index of essential hypertensive patients.
Using a coin toss, 22 participants were assigned to the experimental group and 20 to the control. The experimental group was given a blend of oils of lemon (Citrus limonum), lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), and ylang ylang (Cananga odorata) which were prepared in the ratio of 2:2:1, respectively. The control group was given an artificial lemon fragrance of Limonene (35 cc) and Citral (15 cc) mixture. The experiment, inhalation, was conducted for 3 weeks (2 min per inhalation, 2 times per day) to both groups.
There was a noticeable difference in systolic blood pressure between the groups (p=.001), however the difference in diastolic blood pressure between the two groups was not significant. There was a notable difference in sympathetic nerve system activity of heart rate variability (p=.047). However, the differences in aortic pulse wave velocity or the aortic augmentation index were not significant.
Aromatherapy is effective in lowering systolic blood pressure and sympathetic nerve system activity.


Aromatherapy; Hypertension; Autonomic nervous system

MeSH Terms

Autonomic Nervous System/drug effects
Blood Pressure/drug effects
Heart Rate/drug effects
Middle Aged
Oils, Volatile
Plant Oils


  • Figure 1 Research design.

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