Ambient Odor of Orange in a Dental Office Reduces Anxiety and Improves Mood in Female Patients

Physiol Behav. 2000 Oct 1-15;71(1-2):83-6.

Lehrner J(1), Eckersberger C, Walla P, Pötsch G, Deecke L.

Author information:
(1)Neurological Clinic, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Essential oils have been used as remedies for a long time in different cultures across the world. However, scientific proof of such application is scarce. We included 72 patients between the ages of 22 and 57 while waiting for dental treatment in our study. The participants were assigned to either a control group(14 men, 23 women) or to an odor group (18 men and 17 women). Ambient odor of orange was diffused in the waiting room through an electrical dispenser in the odor group whereas in the control group no odor was in the air. We assessed by means of self-report demographic and cognitive variables, trait and state anxiety, and current pain, mood, alertness, and calmness. In this study, we report that exposure to ambient odor of orange has a relaxant effect. Specifically, compared to the controls, women who were exposed to orange odor had a lower level of state anxiety, a more positive mood, and a higher level of calmness.

Conclusion: Our data support the previous notion of sedative properties of the natural essential oil of orange (Citrus sinensis).

PMID: 11134689  [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]