Last week I shared some information on Neroli and this week I am looking at some research done on this oil.  Being able to back up our claims that Neroli is effective for anxiety is  helpful. We know how the oil makes us and others feel, but it is nice to sometimes have a bit of science to share with those who are more skeptic about the effectiveness of essential oils.

Study 1 Published: Iran Red Crescent Med J, 2014 Jun; 16(6): e18371.

Aromatherapy With Citrus Aurantium Oil and Anxiety During the First Stage of Labor
Masoumeh Namazi, Seddigheh Amir Ali Akbari, Faraz Mojab, Atefe Talebi, Hamid Alavi Majd, and Sharareh Jannesari

The present study tried to determine the efficacy of aromatherapy with Citrus aurantium oil in reducing anxiety during the first stage of labor.
The results of this study confirmed aromatherapy with C. aurantium blossom oil as a simple, inexpensive, noninvasive, and effective intervention to reduce anxiety during labor.

Study 2 Published: Hindawi Research Article, Open Access, Volume 2014, Article ID 796518

Effects of Inhalation of Essential Oil of Citrus aurantium L. var. amara on Menopausal Symptoms, Stress, and Estrogen in Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Seo Yeon Choi, Purum Kang, Hui Su Lee, and Geun Hee Seol

This study aimed to investigate the effects of inhalation of the essential oil of Citrus aurantium L. var. amara (neroli oil) on menopausal symptoms, stress, and estrogen in postmenopausal women. Sixty-three healthy postmenopausal women were randomized to inhale 0.1% or 0.5% neroli oil or almond oil (control) for 5 minutes twice daily for 5 days. Menopause-related symptoms, as determined by the Menopause-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire (MENQOL); sexual desire visual analog scale (VAS); serum cortisol and estrogen concentrations, blood pressure, pulse, and stress VAS, were measured before and after inhalation. Compared with the control group, the two neroli oil groups showed significant improvements in the physical domain score of the MENQOL and in sexual desire. Systolic blood pressure was significantly lower in the group inhaling 0.5% neroli oil than in the control group. Compared with the control group, the two neroli oil groups showed significantly lower diastolic blood pressure and tended to improve pulse rate and serum cortisol and estrogen concentrations. These findings indicate that inhalation of neroli oil helps relieve menopausal symptoms, increase sexual desire, and reduce blood pressure in postmenopausal women. Neroli oil may have potential as an effective intervention to reduce stress and improve the endocrine system.
In summary, the present randomized controlled trial showed that inhalation of neroli oil by postmenopausal women improved their quality of life related to menopausal symptoms, increased sexual desire, and reduced blood pressure. In addition, inhalation of neroli oil may reduce stress levels and stimulate the endocrine system. These findings indicate that neroli oil can be used to relieve various symptoms related to menopause.

Study 3 Published: Hindawi Research Article, Open Access, Volume 2012, Article ID 984203

Essential Oil Inhalation on Blood Pressure and Salivary Cortisol Levels in Prehypertensive and Hypertensive Subjects
In-Hee Kim, Chan Kim,2 Kayeon Seong, Myung-Haeng Hur, Heon Man Lim,and Myeong Soo Lee

The purpose of this study was to identify the effects of essential oil inhalation on the 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure (BP) and salivary cortisol level in 83 prehypertensive and hypertensive subjects. The experimental group (n=28) was asked to inhale an essential oil blended with lavender, ylang-ylang, marjoram, and neroli (20 : 15 : 10 : 2), whereas the placebo group (n=27) was asked to inhale an artificial fragrance for 24 hours and the control group received no treatment (n=28). The SBP (P<.001) and DBP (P=.009) measured at home in the experimental group were significantly decreased compared with the placebo group and the control group after treatment. The daytime SBP during the 24-hour ambulatory BP measurement of the experimental group presented with significant decreases in comparison with the measurements of the placebo group and the control group (P<.001). There was no statistically significant difference in the nighttime SBPs. The daytime DBPs during the 24-hour ambulatory BP measurements of the experimental group presented with significant decreases in comparison with the measurements of the placebo group and the control group (P=.002). There was no significant difference in the night time DBPs. The experimental group showed significant decreases in the concentration of salivary cortisol in comparison with the concentrations of the placebo group and the control group (P=.012). In conclusion, the inhalation of an essential oil had immediate and continuous effects on the home SBP, daytime BP, and the stress reduction. Essential oils may have relaxation effects for controlling hypertension.
This work is a quasi-experimental study using a nonequivalent control group, a nonsynchronised design to identify the effects of essential oil inhalation on home BP, a 24-hour ambulatory BP, and salivary cortisol levels. Both immediate and long-term effects were identified from this study. Although a 24-hour ambulatory daytime BP was decreased significantly, no differences were found in night time BPs. In addition, decrease in salivary cortisol concentration was noted. A relaxation therapy using essential oils for BP control to prevent the progression of hypertension is strongly recommended, in particular, in the simple and convenient form of a necklace. The essential oil therapy is also believed to function as a promising nursing intervention.

Study 4 Published: Elsevier Complementary Therapies in Medicine Volume 51, Issue 2, March – April 2006

The Psychological Effects of Aromatherapy-Massage in Healthy Postpartum Mothers
MasumiImura CNM, MSN HanakoMisao CNM, PhD HiroshiUshijima MD, PhD

This study examined the effect of aromatherapy-massage in healthy postpartum mothers. A quasi-experimental between-groups design was used. Mothers who received aromatherapy-massage were compared with a control group who received standard postpartum care. Thirty-six healthy, first-time mothers with vaginal delivery of a full-term, healthy infant participated in this study. Sixteen mothers received a 30-minute aromatherapy-massage on the second postpartum day; 20 mothers were in the control group. All mothers completed the following four standardized questionnaires before and after the intervention: 1) Maternity Blues Scale; 2) State-Trait Anxiety Inventory; 3) Profile of Mood States (POMS); and 4) Feeling toward Baby Scale. In the aromatherapy-massage group, post treatment scores significantly decreased for the Maternity Blues Scale, the State-Anxiety Inventory, and all but one of the Profile of Mood States subscales. Post treatment scores in the intervention group significantly increased in Profile of Mood States-Vigor subscale and the Approach Feeling toward Baby subscale. Scores in the intervention group significantly decreased in Conflict Index of Avoidance/Approach Feeling toward Baby subscale. Our results suggest that aromatherapy-massage might be an effective intervention for postpartum mothers to improve physical and mental status and to facilitate mother-infant interaction.

Study 5 Published: Elsevier Complementary Therapies in Medicine Volume 2, Issue 1, January 1994

The psychophysiological effects of aromatherapy massage following cardiac surgery
Caroline Stevensen BA (Hons), RGN, MRSS, IFA

Aromatherapy and massage have gained wide popularity amongst nurses in their clinical practice in recent years. The intensive care setting offers a challenge to nurses to meet the psychological and physical needs of the patient within a highly technological environment. A randomised controlled trial was conducted to assess the effects of aromatherapy and massage on post-cardiac surgery patients. Foot massage given over 20 min, with or without the essential oil of neroli, on day 1 postoperatively showed that a statistically significant psychological benefit was derived from both the groups receiving massage, compared to controls; however, significant physiological differences were limited to respiratory rate as an immediate effect of massage with or without the essential oil. A further follow-up questionnaire on day 5 post surgery indicated a trend towards greater and more lasting psychological benefit from the massage with the neroli oil compared to the plain vegetable oil.

I would suggest that this backs up what I said last week about Neroli’s calming, relaxing, euphoric and uplifting properties making it a great choice for anxiety, fear, unrest, depression, despair, irritability, anger and nervous tension.