After hypnosis, acupuncture, homeopathy… will aromatherapy soon be admitted to the hospital? A recent study, published in The Journal of Surgical Oncology, looked into the potential of lavender essential oil, well known for its relaxing and sedative properties, to reduce the anxiety of patients who were about to enter the operating room.
Fear of the unknown and cold world of hospitals, of not waking up after anesthesia, of having pain … the causes of preoperative stress are multiple and its consequences are not negligible: prolonged hospitalization time, poor understanding of the information received, reduced ability to fight infections … To test the effects of lavender essential oil, American researchers therefore suggested to a group of 50 patients to apply a scented patch thirty minutes before the operation. Another group of 50 patients were offered conventional nursing care. Measuring patient anxiety (on a scale of 1 to 10) has shown conclusive results. Those who had breathed lavender had lowered their stress level by more than one point (4.74 to 3.67) thanks to the patch, while the others had not seen their anxiety level evolved just before d. ” enter the operating room.
These encouraging first results will need to be confirmed by further testing. In the meantime, there is no question of going blind on the famous essential oil the day before an intervention if you have never used it. Like all active products, these oils are not devoid of side effects (read on this subject the file of our colleagues from 60 million consumers, currently on newsstands) and are contraindicated in the case of chronic diseases or respiratory problems.