The calming powers of many essential oils have been used throughout history and across different cultures. An experiment in 2012 studied the effects of sweet orange aromatherapy oil on healthy people when placed in a stress inducing situation. The 40 volunteers were required to perform a complicated test called the the Stroop test. I recall doing these when studying psychology at university and I can confirm they certainly do raise anxiety levels.
During the study a number of outcomes were measured to determine anxiety including heart rate. The volunteers who had inhaled sweet orange oil presented no significant increase in anxiety levels. The volunteers in the control group did display an increase in anxiety.
This research suggests that the use of appropriate aromatherapy oils can help to prevent anxiety in stress inducing situations. This would be very beneficial for many individuals. The study was small and more research is required but the results support the calming powers of certain essential oils.
Find out more about aromatherapy treatments at Breathe Holistic therapy Kidderminster: Aromatherapy.