Valerian inhalation enhances sleep Lemon inhalation lessens sleep.
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: Sleep (Health aspects)
Sleep (Research)
Vegetable oils (Health aspects)
Vegetable oils (Research)
Author: Sarris, Jerome
Pub Date: 03/22/2007
Publication: Name: Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism Publisher: National Herbalists Association of Australia Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2007 National Herbalists Association of Australia ISSN: 1033-8330
Issue: Date: Spring, 2007 Source Volume: 19 Source Issue: 1
Topic: Event Code: 310 Science & research
Product: Product Code: 2070010 Vegetable Oils NAICS Code: 31122 Starch and Vegetable Fats and Oils Manufacturing SIC Code: 2070 Fats and Oils
Geographic: Geographic Scope: Australia Geographic Code: 8AUST Australia
Accession Number: 174818463
Full Text: Komori, T, Matsumoto, T, Motomura, Shiroyama, T, 2006. The Sleep-Enhancing Effect of Valerian Inhalation and Sleep-Shortening Effect of Lemon Inhalation. Chemistry Senses 31:731-737.

Although aromatherapy has evolved into a distinct art, the inhalation of plant oils or volatile oil rich galenic extracts is an undervalued aspect of modern phytotherapy. A study was conducted using an animal model to assess the effects of 10 types of essential oils on the sleep/wake cycle: Citrus limonum (lemon), Jasminum officinale var. grandiflorum (jasmine), Eugenia caryophyllata (cloves), Mentha piperita (peppermint), Lavandula officinalis (lavender), Canaga odorata (ylang-ylang), Santalum album (sandalwood), Pinus palustris (pine), Rosa damacena (rose), Valeriana officinalis (valerian).

Sleep was induced in rats with pentobartial and the effects of the 10 odorants were assessed via ECG, sleep latency and length.

The results of the study revealed that valerian oil significantly reduced sleep latency and prolonged the length of the animals sleep 46% longer than the control (p<0.05). Rose oil also demonstrated a soporific effect although not as pronounced as valerian. In contrast lemon oil significantly reduced sleep latency and length compared to control (p<0.05), indicating a stimulating activity.

To determine whether olfaction was necessary for the sleep modulating of action the odorants, a group of rats had their olfactory sensitivity reduced via a peripheral anosmia technique. The results revealed that little or no effect on the sleep-wake cycle occurred in rats that could not smell. This indicates that olfaction is crucial in the therapeutic action of herbal odorants. To further support this, no change in GABA transaminase (a sedative marker) occurred in anosmic rats, while modulation occurred in rats with olfaction intact.

Jerome Sarris

3 Widgee Place, Chapel Hill Qld 4069
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.