A new research paper looked into a very specific use of an essential oil: whether orange essential oil can make a positive difference when workers are taking a break at work. Does it help them to relax and make the most of their break?
The paper, titled Potential benefits of short-term indoor exposure to sweet orange essential oil for relaxation during mental work breaks, was published in the Journal of Building Engineering (Volume 78, 1 November 2023, 107602). The majority of the authors come from the Beijing Key Laboratory of Indoor Air Quality Evaluation and Control.
The goal when you take a break at work: relaxation, so you can go back with renewed energy.
The importance of our sense of smell (or olfactory sense) is coming more and more into focus over the last decade or so. A growing body of research adds to the notion that the odors we smell can change our mood, and have other physical effects.
The study looked to examine the effect of exposure to orange essential oil in an environment where air pollution (ozone and particulate matter) was minimized. The limited study used ten trained volunteers between the ages of 23 and 30. They looked at the physical effects on:
- Heart rate;
- Blood pressure;
- Variability of heart rate.
They also measured cognitive performance, as well as the mood and indoor air quality as reported by the test subjects. Results were compared from an environment without orange essential oil, and one with.
- The heart rate of test subjects showed increased variability when exposed to the essential oil;
- Subjects reported stress at work, and diastolic blood pressure rates increased;
- When exposed to orange oil, the diastolic blood pressure decreased.
The researchers noted that, in industrialized countries, we spend about 80% of our time indoors. They stressed that controlling indoor air pollution was crucial – ozone, which oxidizes terpenes, in particular – and that dosages should be controlled according to guidelines.
The study aimed to offer practical guidelines on how to use essential oils in a work environment.
Make Your Own
It’s easy to make orange essential oil – you just need a little time.
Read our DIY recipe [HERE].