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Effects of Ylang-Ylang aroma on blood pressure and heart rate in healthy men

Da-Jung Jung,1Jun-Youl Cha,2Sung-Eun Kim,3Il-Gyu Ko,3 and  Yong-Seok Jee4,*Author informationArticle notesCopyright and License informationDisclaimerThis article has been cited by other articles in PMC.Go to:


Regardless of the lack of sufficient scientific evidence to elucidate the effects of aromas’ and their corresponding mechanisms, some extracted aromas are widely adopted into modern society and have reportedly generated specific effects (Lahlou, 2004Su et al., 2007). As in the European Patent, the odorants, i.e. nutmeg oil, neroli oil, valerian oil, mace extract, myristicin, elemicin and isoelemcin, were investigated (Hongratanaworakit, 2004). When these odorants were used in a perfume compound at appropriate levels, a significant decrease of systolic blood pressure (SBP) was found. Warren et al. (1987)also reported that a nutmeg-based aroma reduced stress in humans as measured by the reduction in blood pressure (BP) and self-ratings. According to their study, subjects were stressed by mental arithmetic and sentence completion tasks under an aroma with and without nutmeg oil. Their study revealed that nutmeg oil reduced SBP, anxiety, anger and embarrassment whereas it increased calmness and happiness. Meanwhile, Yamaguchi (1990) reported that the changes in heart rate (HR) for the measurement regarding the effects of lemon and rose aromas. According to his research, lemon aroma led to an increase of HR whereas rose aroma led to a decrease of it. This finding may indicate that lemon aroma possesses a stimulating effect; in contrast rose aroma has a sedative effect. Kikuchi et al. (1991) also reported that lemon aroma enhanced the deceleration of HR; on the other hand, rose aroma suppressed it. Nagai et al. (1991) showed that sweet fennel oil suppressed the deceleration of HR as well. Furthermore, Hongratanaworakit et al. (2003a) investigated the effects of sweet orange aroma on human behavior and detected changes of HR in response to olfactory stimulation. They revealed that sweet orange aroma caused significant increases of HR and subjective alertness after inhalation.

Recently, an interest in the usage of Ylang-Ylang oil (Cananga odorata, Annonaceae) as a therapeutically active agent has grown considerably with regards to medicine (2006). The Ylang-Ylang oil has been used as an antidepressant in cases of depression and nervousness as well as used for reducing BP in the case of hyper-tension. According to Hongratanaworakit et al. (2002), inhalation of the Ylang-Ylang oil led to a decrease of BP and an increase of subjective attention.