Aromatherapy positively affects mood, EEG patterns of alertness and math computations

Miguel A. Diego, Nancy Aaron Jones, Tiffany Field, Maria Hernandez-Reif, Saul Schanberg, Cynthia Kuhn, Virginia Mcadam, Robert Galamaga, Mary Galamaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

263 Scopus citations


EEG activity, alertness, and mood were assessed in 40 adults given 3 minutes of aromatherapy using two aromas, lavender (considered a relaxing odor) or rosemary (considered a stimulating odor). Participants were also given simple math computations before and after the therapy. The lavender group showed increased beta power, suggesting increased drowsiness, they had less depressed mood (POMS) and reported feeling more relaxed and performed the math computations faster and more accurately following aromatherapy. The rosemary group, on the other hand, showed decreased frontal alpha and beta power, suggesting increased alertness. They also had lower state anxiety scores, reported feeling more relaxed and alert and they were only faster, not more accurate, at completing the math computations after the aromatherapy session.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-224
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Neuroscience
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1998


  • Aromatherapy
  • Cognition
  • EEG
  • Lavender
  • Mood
  • Rosemary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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