Many essential oils have been touted for their ability to reduce anxious feelings and promote a greater sense of peace and relaxation. Many have suggested that the grounding effects of essential oils make them ideal for alleviating normal anxious feelings in healthcare settings. Healthcare institutions, however, often seek for scientific validation of such claims before starting new interventions (such as the use of essential oils in managing anxious feelings).
A recent study performed by a cohort of Iranian researchers sought to provide such validation by performing a triple-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial to investigate the effects of geranium essential oil on anxious feelings in the healthcare setting. (Triple-blind studies are similar to double-blind studies in that neither the study subjects or researchers know which subjects are receiving the experimental intervention, but triple-blind studies add further validity by ensuring that the statisticians analyzing the results do not know which subjects received the experimental intervention either. This reduces the risk of bias.) Absorbent patches with three drops of geranium oil were placed inside of patients’ oxygen masks for 20 minutes daily. The scientists found that geranium oil did significantly decrease normal anxious feelings in patients who received it.
This study adds validity to the aromatic use of essential oils as a low-cost, low-risk method to help manage normal anxious feelings.