Etudes originales

Treating stress by an essential oil

Treating stress by an essential oil

A clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of aromatherapy product based on Citrus aurantium on anxiety associated with childbirth.

A randomized controlled trial of Iranian Namazi and colleagues, published in Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal in 2014, evaluates the effectiveness of Citrus aurantium oil on anxiety of women during the first stage of labor compared to a placebo group receiving saline. The results show a reduction in the level of anxiety for the group of women receiving aromatherapy compared to placebo.


The Study Rationale

Anxiety is the most common psychological response in women during the first contractions before a childbirth. Indeed, 80% of women experience anxiety during childbirth. There is a relationship between the pain of contractions and psychological response such as anxiety. Thus, women with low anxiety experience less pain during childbirth. In other words, anxiety would cause severe spasm of the pelvic floor and perineal muscles causing increased pain associated with childbirth. Furthermore, anxiety during childbirth can reduce the amplitude and frequency of uterine contractions. Therefore, the working time and the probability of an assisted delivery are increased.

Aromatherapy could influence stress and induce a calming feeling by stimulating the olfactory system through the use of an essential oil dedicated, bitter orange or Citrus aurantium.

The non-pharmacological Interventions (NPIs) have a place increasingly important in preparation for childbirth. What about aromatherapy?

The Question

The Citrus aurantium essential oil, it reduces the anxiety of women during the first contractions before birth?

The Protocol

The randomized controlled Namazi and colleagues, evaluated the effectiveness of an essential oil based on Citrus aurantium anxiety women before delivery. The study focused on 126 women between 18 and 35 years. The study included Iranian women giving birth for the first time and arrived at the end of their pregnancy. Participants were randomly placed in either the group receiving essential oil of Citrus aurantium or in the placebo group receiving saline. The main measure concerned the level of anxiety (Questionnaire Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety). Anxiety levels were recorded before the start of the intervention in aromatherapy and when the cervix was dilated 3-4 cm and 6-8 cm.

The tested Non-Pharmacological Intervention (NPI)

Gauze resting on the collar women were impregnated with 4 mL of Citrus aurantium. The gases were changed every 30 minutes.

Main Results

Results showed significantly lower anxiety levels in the group with aromatherapy from placebo group when the cervix is dilated 3-4 cm and 6-8 cm.

4 mL of Citrus aurantium renewed every 30 minutes decreases anxiety of women during contractions before delivery.


What it means for Patients

Aromatherapy based Citrus aurantium (bitter orange) as gauze resting on the collar reduces anxiety levels during contractions before delivery.

What it means for Healthcare Professionals

4 ml of essential oil-based Citrus aurantium placed in the form of gauze on the neck of women during contractions to reduce their anxiety level.

What it means for Researchers

Given the limited number of studies evaluating the efficacy of aromatherapy based on Citrus aurantium anxiety, future studies are recommended to check the results observed in this study and understand the potential mechanisms involved.

What it means for Policymakers

This test demonstrates that aromatherapy based Citrus aurantium is a simple operation, inexpensive and noninvasive which reduces women’s anxiety state during contractions before delivery.


The reference

Namazi M, Akbari SAA, Mojab F, Talebi A, Majd HA, Jannesari S (2014). Aromatherapy With Citrus Aurantium Oil and Anxiety During the First Stage of Labor. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, 16(6), e18371.


Related articles on Blog en Sante ©

Same topic

Same population

Same non-pharmacological intervention


To reference this Blog en Sante © article.

Ninot G (2016). Treating stress by an essential oil. Blog en Sante, A86.

© Copyright 2016 Grégory Ninot. All rights reserved.

3 thoughts on “Treating stress by an essential oil
  1. alexandre SantADom says:

    Oui c’est vrai qu’avant d’utiliser des médicaments puissants qui peuvent provoquer dépendance et accoutumance, il est nécéssaire d’essayer d’autres solutions. Pour ma part je ne connaissais pas les huiles mais l’homéopathie fonctionne très bien en période de stress.
    Bonne journée

  2. devis-defibril.fr says:

    Merci pour cette information, si je peux me le permettre, il y a également les extraits de fleurs de Bach qui apportent un bon équilibre émotionnel. Excellents pour se tenir loin du stress.

  3. nelson says:

    elle a l’air superbe cette huile essentielle de citrus ! Bel article très instructif. Enfin un blog sur la médecine alternative avec de vrais résultats scientifiques. bravo !

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