The Effects of Smell on Mood and Physical Responses

This study has been completed.
Sponsor:
Information provided by:
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
NCT00097253
First received: November 19, 2004
Last updated: February 12, 2010
Last verified: February 2010

November 19, 2004
February 12, 2010
August 2005
March 2006   (final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
  • Cortisol and Catecholamine Production [ Time Frame: 3 Visits with at least 2 weeks between each. Average time to complete all visits was 64.46 days (SD 48.4). Cortisol: 9:05, 10:05, 10:55, 11:45, 12:15, 13:00. Nor/Epi: 9:05, 10:05, 10:55, 11:05, 11:45, 12:15 ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Immune Function [ Time Frame: 3 Visits with at least 2 weeks between each. Average time to complete all visits was 64.46 days (SD 48.4). 9:05, 10:05, 11:45 ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Skin Barrier Repair [ Time Frame: 3 Visits with at least 2 weeks between each. Average time to complete all visits was 64.46 days (SD 48.4).10:05, 11:45, 13:15 ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Immune Function: Delayed Hypersensitivity to Candida(DTH) [ Time Frame: Day 1 11:45, Day 2 (24h) 11:45, Day 3 (48h) 11:45, Day 4 (72h) 11:45. ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Skin barrier repair
  • Cortisol and catecholamine production
  • Immune functioning
Complete list of historical versions of study NCT00097253 on ClinicalTrials.gov Archive Site
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The Effects of Smell on Mood and Physical Responses
Psychoneuroimmunology and Mind-Body Medicine: Olfaction, Mood, and Physiological Responses

The purpose of this study is to examine the body's response to relaxing and stimulating fragrances commonly used in aromatherapy.

Despite aromatherapy's popularity, efficacy data are scant, and potential mechanisms are controversial. This randomized controlled trial examined the psychological, autonomic, endocrine, and immune consequences of one purported relaxant odor (lavender), one stimulant odor (lemon), and a no-odor control (water), before and after a stressor (cold pressor); 56 healthy men and women were exposed to each of the odors during three separate visits. To assess the effects of expectancies, participants randomized to the "blind" condition were given no information about the odors they would smell; "primed" individuals were told what odors they would smell during the session, and what changes to expect. Experimenters were blind.

In each case we measured several different aspects of the cellular immune response, as well as skin barrier repair following tape stripping. This design allowed us to examine the ability of the odors to modulate endocrine and immune function, and health-relevant cutaneous responses.

Interventional
Phase 1
Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
Behavioral: Exposure to relaxant and stimulant odors
A yellow-tinted cotton ball containing 100 ml of the essential oil or distilled water was taped between the nose and upper lip on top of a piece of surgical tape; use of the barrier tape avoided percutaneous absorption . This method provided continuous and uniform exposure across subjects that would not have been possible with ambient room inhalation, and helped maintain experimenter blindness.
Other Name: Citrus: lemon.
  • Experimental: Lavender
    Intervention: Behavioral: Exposure to relaxant and stimulant odors
  • Experimental: Citrus
    Intervention: Behavioral: Exposure to relaxant and stimulant odors
  • Placebo Comparator: Water
    Intervention: Behavioral: Exposure to relaxant and stimulant odors
Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Graham JE, Malarkey WB, Porter K, Lemeshow S, Glaser R. Olfactory influences on mood and autonomic, endocrine, and immune function. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2008 Apr;33(3):328-39.

*   Includes publications given by the data provider as well as publications identified by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number) in Medline.
 
Completed
56
March 2006
March 2006   (final data collection date for primary outcome measure)

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Healthy adults with a normal sense of smell

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Treatment with medication that has immunological or endocrinological consequences
  • Chronic health problems that affect immune or endocrine systems
  • Allergy to perfume or cosmetics
  • Problems with sense of smell
  • Respiratory problems
  • Smoker
  • Current active asthma
  • Use of psychoactive drugs or mood-altering medication
  • History of anxiety disorder, major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or other psychotic disorders
  • History of chest pain or ventricular fibrillation
Both
18 Years to 44 Years
Yes
Contact information is only displayed when the study is recruiting subjects
United States
 
NCT00097253
R21 AT002122-01
Yes
Janice K. Kiecolt-Glaser, PhD, The Ohio State University, Department of Psychiatry
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
Not Provided
Principal Investigator: Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, PhD Ohio State University Institute for Biobehavioral Medicine Research
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
February 2010

ICMJE     Data element required by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the World Health Organization ICTRP