Heart attack patients can reduce their anxiety by smelling geraniums
10/12/2018 // Michelle Simmons // Views

The key to reducing anxiety among heart attack survivors lies in this species of flowering plant that is popular among gardeners. In a study published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, researchers from Lorestan University of Medical Sciences in Khorramabad, Iran discovered that smelling geraniums helps reduce the anxiety of heart attack patients.

The researchers carried out the study in order to assess the effects of the aroma of geranium on anxiety among patients who had experienced a heart attack. For the study, the researchers recruited 80 heart attack survivors who were then randomly divided into two groups: the geranium and placebo groups.

The researchers poured three drops of geranium essential oil and a placebo oil on absorbing patches that were attached inside the oxygen masks of the heart attack patients. The heart attack patients inhaled the geranium or placebo aroma for 20 minutes on two consecutive days.

Based on the results of the study, breathing in the aroma of geranium essential oil resulted in greater reductions in the anxiety scores of the geranium group.

In conclusion, the findings of the study suggested that aromatherapy, or inhaling the aroma of geranium essential oil can an easy-to-use natural treatment for reducing anxiety among heart attack survivors.

Other essential oils that reduce anxiety

Anxiety and stress are not only experienced by heart attack patients. In fact, anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults in the U.S., making it the most common mental illness in the country. Fortunately, anxiety is treatable and there are many natural ways available to treat this mental illness. One of these is to treat it with essential oils. (Related: 10 Ways to Use Essential Oils to Improve Your Life.)


As soon as you inhale the scent of an essential oil, it stimulates the body into action as its molecules travel to the olfactory system in the brain. From the brain, it directly affects many body reactions and systems, such as emotions, memory, blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, hormones, and stress. Inhaling the aroma of an essential oil also triggers the body to produce feel-good neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine. Here are some essential oils that can help relieve anxiety:

  1. Bergamot: Bergamot essential oil, which comes from bergamot oranges, has a strong citrus scent. Research has shown that it helps relieve anxiety and enhance mood.
  2. Chamomile: Chamomile is best known for its relaxing and calming effects and intoxicating scent. Although there aren't many studies on chamomile essential oil for anxiety, research has shown that in supplement form, chamomile can help people with mild to moderate generalized anxiety. You can use diluted chamomile essential oil to massage into your skin or add it to a warm bath.
  3. Clary sage: This essential oil has a woody, herbal odor that keeps you calm. A 2015 systematic review found that it can relieve tension and help regulate the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in women.
  4. Frankincense: Obtained from the resin of the Boswellia tree, frankincense oil has a musky, sweet scent that is believed to relieve anxiety. A 2008 study suggested that aromatherapy hand massage using a mixture of frankincense, lavender, and bergamot eased anxiety, depression, and pain in people with terminal cancer.
  5. Lavender: Lavender, a well-known aromatherapy oil, can relieve anxiety by affecting the limbic system, the brain area that regulates emotions.
  6. Valerian: Valerian, a herb that has been used for centuries, contains compounds that promote sleep and calm nerves. Valerian oil can be used with an aromatherapy diffuser to make you feel relaxed.
  7. Ylang-ylang: Ylang-ylang is used in aromatherapy to promote relaxation. Inhaling a mixture of ylang-ylang, lavender, and bergamot reduced stress and anxiety levels, blood pressure, heart rate, and serum cortisol, according to a 2006 study on nurses.

Read more news stories and studies on the healing effects of essential oils on anxiety by going to EssentialOils.news.

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