For many years, aromatherapy has been on the fringe of alternative medicine. And yet, many people (including the late Princess Diana) strongly believe that aromatherapy has a therapeutic value.
Recently, an open-label, single-blind controlled study was conducted in Japan to example volunteer patients who were undergoing an aromatherapy session. The subjects were healthy males ranging in age from 24 to 40 years, and they were evaluated on two separate evenings. They were put in a quiet, dark room and told to relax for 30 minutes. Then, their blood was tested in order to determine their level of serum cortisol (one measure of stress hormones). After getting that baseline measurement, the researchers administered the lavender aromatherapy for 30 minutes.
The blood was tested again after the aromatherapy. The following night, they had all the same procedures, but this time without the aromatherapy.
Scientists conducting this study found that mean serum cortisol was significantly lower after the aromatherapy than before. Coronary circulation was also improved after aromatherapy. Of course, this study only shows us the effect after a single aromatherapy session, but it does appear to confirm the traditional view of lavender, as a relaxing aromatherapy agent.