Aromatherapy can make colonoscopy easy-er!
No medical examination is exactly a pleasure, but colonoscopy for sure ranks among the least enjoyable ones. A just-published Japanese research study examined the effects of aromatherapy on anxiety and abdominal discomfort during this often painful procedure.
The double-blind, randomized clinical trial was published in August 2017 and it compared five groups of 71-74 male patients in each: no intervention, clear vapor, Lavender essential oil, Grapefruit essential oil and Osmanthus absolute. A water diffuser was placed on a table next to the patient’s head during colonoscopy. For Lavender and Osmanthus, 0.05ml (approx. 1.5 drops) was used, while 0.3 ml (9 drops) of Grapefruit was used. Levels of anxiety and abdominal discomfort were then assessed on a 0 to 10 scale.
Unfortunately, the researchers didn’t share the raw data, but these are the results they report: the Osmanthus group experienced significantly lower levels of anxiety than any other group. For those with high anxiety, Grapefruit and Osmanthus exposure resulted in lower abdominal discomfort. Interestingly, the results for the Lavender group were not statistically significant.
The study concluded that aromatherapy can serve as an effective complementary treatment for making colonoscopy procedures more tolerable.