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Neuropsychopharmacology. 2004 Oct;29(10):1925-32.

Transdermal absorption of (-)-linalool induces autonomic deactivation but has no impact on ratings of well-being in humans.

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  • 1Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Center of Pharmacy, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.


Essential lavender oil has a long tradition as a mild sedative in herbal medicine. Relaxing effects after inhalation have also been demonstrated for one of its main constituents, (-)-linalool. The aim of the present investigation was to determine the effects of this monoterpenoid alcohol on human physiological parameters (blood oxygen saturation, breathing rate, eye-blink rate, pulse rate, skin conductance, skin temperature, surface electromyogram as well as systolic and diastolic blood pressure) and assessments of subjective well-being. (-)-Linalool was applied to 14 healthy subjects by percutaneous administration. Inhalation of the fragrance was prevented by means of breathing masks. (-)-Linalool induced deactivation with respect to physiology, that is, a decrease of systolic blood pressure and a smaller decrease of skin temperature, compared to a corresponding control group receiving a placebo, but had no effects on subjective evaluation of well-being.

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