Effect of sweet orange aroma on experimental anxiety in humans


J Altern Complement Med.

2012 Aug;18(8):798-804. doi: 10.1089/acm.2011.0551. Epub 2012 Jul 31.

Goes TC1, Antunes FD, Alves PB, Teixeira-Silva F.

OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential anxiolytic effect of sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) aroma in healthy volunteers submitted to an anxiogenic situation.

RESULTS: Unlike the control groups, the individuals exposed to the test aroma (2.5 and 10 drops) presented a lack of significant alterations (p>0.05) in state-anxiety, subjective tension and tranquillity levels throughout the anxiogenic situation, revealing an anxiolytic activity of sweet orange essential oil. Physiologic alterations along the test were not prevented in any treatment group, as has previously been observed for diazepam.

CONCLUSIONS: The present results indicate an acute anxiolytic activity of sweet orange aroma, giving scientific support to its use as a tranquilizer by aromatherapists.