In a RCT, exposure to lavender aromatherapy during breaks resulted In significantly higher concentration levels during the afternoon period when concentration was found to be lowest In a control group (Sakamoto et al 2005). Lavender oil aromatherapy has also been found to reduce mental stress and Increase arousal rate (Motomura et al 2001), elicit a subjective sense of 'happiness' (Vernet-Maury et al 1999) and to produce Increased relaxation, less depressed mood and faster and more accurate mathematical computations (Field et al 2005). In a RCT, lavender aromatherapy tended to enhance calculating speed and calculating accuracy In female but not male subjects (Liu et al 2004), but results from another study suggest © 2007 Elsevier Australia
that lavender reduced working memory and Impaired reaction times for both memory and attention-based tasks compared with controls (Moss et al 2003).
A controlled study of dementia patients found that a blend of lavender, sweet marjoram, patchouli and vetiver essential oils in a cream massaged 5 times/day for 4 weeks onto the bodies and limbs of 56 aged care facility residents with moderate to severe dementia produced a small but significant improvement in Mini Mental State Examination associated with increased mental alertness and awareness and resistance to nursing care procedures compared with massage with cream alone (Bowles et al 2002).
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