Senior Thesis: The Effects of Aromatherapy



    Aromatherapy Machine
    Davicon MEDAC System

    Aromatherapy is not considered as a cureall, but rather as an alternative way of healing.  The most common exercise of Aromatherapy is for relaxation.  Other oils promote stress reduction, stimulation, and sensory awareness.  Despite the current attention to Aromatherapy, there is little known about its effects on people.  Previous research is limited to examining the effects of only one fragrance, usually a relaxant.  this study investigated two fragrances: lavender, a relaxant, and rosemary, a stimulant.  A repeated-measures analysis of variance showed significant differences in lavender between the groups.  There was no significance found for rosemary.  These results suggest that with this particular experiment, lavender does create a state of relaxation among people.


Mood Inducer

 Subjects will be asked to complete a packet of tasks.  Each packet consists of four tasks.  The first task was a word find followed by two impossible tasks.  The last task was to draw thirty 3-d boxes.  While subjects attempt to finish the packet given to them, the psychophysiological machine will monitor and record their EEG and SCR.

Odor Detection and Evaluating Forms

 Subjects will be asked if they are familiar with any of the odors that were released into the room and what they felt their reaction was to the aroma.  Subjects will have to indicate whether they are suffering from a cold or other head congestion in order to receive accurate data.


 Each subject will be taken individually into the Psychology Departmentís Demo room.  After being connected to the psychophysiological the subject will be read verbal instructions on how to complete the tasks.
 While carrying out the task at hand, establish base line, four-minutes of lavender, four-minutes return to baseline, vanilla, and four-minutes of rosemary.  Group 2 will have the same five-minutes for baseline, then they will get five-minutes of rosemary, five-minutes of lavender, and the last five-minutes for base line.
 During the twenty-minute sessions, the subjects were asked to learn the information given to them in ten minutes followed by a test on what they have just learned.  While subjects are performing the task, each aroma will be released into the room at separate times.
 The Psychology Departmentís physiological machine was able to indicate if there was a change in the subjectís hear rate and the electrical conduction in the skin and muscle tone.
 After the experiment was completed each subject received a debriefing statement that informed him or her of the true meaning of the experiment.

A repeated-measures analysis of variance revealed significant main effects for skin conductance levels: F(3,27)= 2.168, p,<.019.  Additionally there were no main effects for EMG.  Mean scores are displayed in Table 1.  From this graph, it is evident that once a subject received the first intervention, they were unable to return to baseline or become stimulated from the rosemary.

Table 1.

                    Baseline    Lavender       Return to Baseline           Rosemary
 Baseline       4.051            3.81                    3.67                         3.65


A Wilkís lambda for EMG illustrated that there was no significance: F(1,9)= 3.000, p,>.768.  A lambda of 1.00 occurs when observed group means are equal.  Only significant values can contribute to bivariate information about the differences between means for each variable.  This design showed for SCL no significance: F(3,27)= 3.000, p,>.132.