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Complement Ther Med. 2000 Mar;8(1):2-7.

The effect of foot-bath with or without the essential oil of lavender on the autonomic nervous system: a randomized trial.

Author information

1
Department of Anatomy and Physiology, Nagano College of Nursing, Japan.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study was designed to investigate the effect of foot-bath with or without the essential oil of lavender on the autonomic nervous system.

DESIGN:

Randomized crossover controlled study.

SETTING:

Nursing college, Nagano, Japan.

INTERVENTION:

Young women sat with their feet soaked in hot water for 10 minutes with and without the essential oil.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

An electrocardiogram, finger tip blood flow and respiratory rate were recorded. Autonomic function was evaluated using spectral analysis of heart rate variability.

RESULTS:

The foot-bath caused no changes in heart or respiratory rates, but produced a significant increase in blood flow. Using spectral analysis, the parasympathetic nerve activity increased significantly during the both types of foot-bath. In the case of the foot-bath with the addition of essential oil of lavender, there were delayed changes to the balance of autonomic activity in the direction associated with relaxation.

CONCLUSION:

A hot foot-bath and oil of lavender appear to be associated with small but significant changes in autonomic activity.

PMID:
10812753
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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