Olfactory influences on mood and autonomic, endocrine, and immune function

Janice K. Kiecolt-Glaser, Jennifer Elis Graham-Engeland, William B. Malarkey, Kyle Porter, Stanley Lemeshow, Ronald Glaser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

72 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Despite aromatherapy's popularity, efficacy data are scant, and potential mechanisms are controversial. This randomized controlled trial examined the psychological, autonomic, endocrine, and immune consequences of one purported relaxant odor (lavender), one stimulant odor (lemon), and a no-odor control (water), before and after a stressor (cold pressor); 56 healthy men and women were exposed to each of the odors during three separate visits. To assess the effects of expectancies, participants randomized to the "blind" condition were given no information about the odors they would smell; "primed" individuals were told what odors they would smell during the session, and what changes to expect. Experimenters were blind. Self-report and unobtrusive mood measures provided robust evidence that lemon oil reliably enhances positive mood compared to water and lavender regardless of expectancies or previous use of aromatherapy. Moreover, norepinephrine levels following the cold pressor remained elevated when subjects smelled lemon, compared to water or lavender. DTH responses to Candida were larger following inhalation of water than lemon or lavender. Odors did not reliably alter IL-6 and IL-10 production, salivary cortisol, heart rate or blood pressure, skin barrier repair following tape stripping, or pain ratings following the cold pressor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)328-339
Number of pages12
JournalPsychoneuroendocrinology
Volume33
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2008

Fingerprint

Lavandula
Aromatherapy
Water
Smell
Odorants
Candida
Interleukin-10
Self Report
Inhalation
Hydrocortisone
Interleukin-6
Norepinephrine
Randomized Controlled Trials
Heart Rate
Psychology
Blood Pressure
Pain
Skin

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

Cite this

Kiecolt-Glaser, Janice K. ; Graham-Engeland, Jennifer Elis ; Malarkey, William B. ; Porter, Kyle ; Lemeshow, Stanley ; Glaser, Ronald. / Olfactory influences on mood and autonomic, endocrine, and immune function. In: Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2008 ; Vol. 33, No. 3. pp. 328-339.
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Kiecolt-Glaser, JK, Graham-Engeland, JE, Malarkey, WB, Porter, K, Lemeshow, S & Glaser, R 2008, 'Olfactory influences on mood and autonomic, endocrine, and immune function', Psychoneuroendocrinology, vol. 33, no. 3, pp. 328-339. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2007.11.015

Olfactory influences on mood and autonomic, endocrine, and immune function. / Kiecolt-Glaser, Janice K.; Graham-Engeland, Jennifer Elis; Malarkey, William B.; Porter, Kyle; Lemeshow, Stanley; Glaser, Ronald.

In: Psychoneuroendocrinology, Vol. 33, No. 3, 01.04.2008, p. 328-339.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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