Effect of lemongrass aroma on experimental anxiety in humans

This study aimed to see if the smell of lemongrass could help reduce anxiety in people facing a stressful situation. They had 40 male volunteers who were split into groups. Some inhaled lemongrass oil, some inhaled tea tree oil (which was used as a comparison), and some just inhaled plain water. Right after, they were put through a test that usually makes people anxious, called the Stroop Color-Word Test.

The researchers looked at both how the volunteers felt (like their level of anxiety and tension) and their physical responses (like heart rate and muscle tension) before, during, and after the test.

What they found was that those who smelled the lemongrass oil had lower levels of anxiety and tension right after they smelled it compared to the other groups. Even though they still felt anxious during the test, they seemed to bounce back from it faster than the others. Interestingly, none of the treatments seemed to prevent the physical changes that happen when you're anxious, like changes in heart rate and muscle tension.

Overall, this suggests that even a short exposure to the scent of lemongrass might help ease feelings of anxiety. However, more research is needed to understand exactly how helpful it could be as a treatment for anxiety.


Effect of lemongrass aroma on experimental anxiety in humans


Goes TC et al.


Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Vol. 21, No.12, 2015