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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 796518, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/796518
Research Article

Effects of Inhalation of Essential Oil of Citrus aurantium L. var. amara on Menopausal Symptoms, Stress, and Estrogen in Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Department of Basic Nursing Science, School of Nursing, Korea University, 145 Anam-ro, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 136-701, Republic of Korea

Received 29 April 2014; Revised 20 May 2014; Accepted 30 May 2014; Published 12 June 2014

Academic Editor: Ping Liu

Copyright © 2014 Seo Yeon Choi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This study aimed to investigate the effects of inhalation of the essential oil of Citrus aurantium L. var. amara (neroli oil) on menopausal symptoms, stress, and estrogen in postmenopausal women. Sixty-three healthy postmenopausal women were randomized to inhale 0.1% or 0.5% neroli oil or almond oil (control) for 5 minutes twice daily for 5 days. Menopause-related symptoms, as determined by the Menopause-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire (MENQOL); sexual desire visual analog scale (VAS); serum cortisol and estrogen concentrations, blood pressure, pulse, and stress VAS, were measured before and after inhalation. Compared with the control group, the two neroli oil groups showed significant improvements in the physical domain score of the MENQOL and in sexual desire. Systolic blood pressure was significantly lower in the group inhaling 0.5% neroli oil than in the control group. Compared with the control group, the two neroli oil groups showed significantly lower diastolic blood pressure and tended to improve pulse rate and serum cortisol and estrogen concentrations. These findings indicate that inhalation of neroli oil helps relieve menopausal symptoms, increase sexual desire, and reduce blood pressure in postmenopausal women. Neroli oil may have potential as an effective intervention to reduce stress and improve the endocrine system.