In this study, gerbils were subjected to aromatherapy using inhaled neroli. Forced swimming tasks and locomotor activity were measured to evaluate levels of anxiety. Comparison was made between the duration time of the forced swimming tasks and total distance, and the duration time in the central and peripheral areas, between the control and neroli-inhaled groups. In addition, treatment with Xanax®, an anxiolytic drug, was used as a positive control. The average duration times for swimming were 228 ± 7, 439 ± 23, 386 ± 21, and 427 ± 18 seconds in the control, neroli-inhaled, and two Xanax-treated groups, respectively. The duration times were significantly increased by 65%-91% in neroli-inhaled, and the two Xanax-treated groups (p<0.01) when compared with the control. The total distances traveled during 30 min were 280 ± 25, 189 ± 11, and 168 ±18 m in the control, neroli-inhaled, and Xanax-treated groups, respectively. The duration times in the central area for the 30- min period were 493 ± 54, 476 ± 57, and 1014 ± 70 seconds in the control, neroli-inhaled, and Xanax-treated groups, respectively. In addition, the duration times in the peripheral area for the 30-min period were 1244 ± 66, 1324 ± 57, and 859 ±83 seconds in the control, neroli-inhaled, and Xanax-treated groups, respectively. The inhalation of neroli and the treatment of Xanax® had anxiolytic effects, as shown in both behavior tests. However, the mechanisms of anxiolytic effect responses for neroli and Xanax® were unclear. This study provides evidence-based data on aromatherapy using neroli in the treatment of anxiety.
©2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston