August 31, 2022
Cardiovascular disease is a major cause of mortality in all countries. Extreme emotional stress situations such as anxiety or depression are linked to increased cardiovascular health risk. Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS) patients who are admitted to the cardiac care units (CCU) frequently suffer from depression and anxiety. Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) describes a range of conditions caused by reduced blood flow in the coronary arteries to the heart. The decreased blood flow makes part of the heart muscle unable to function properly and may even cause permanent heart tissue damage. Anxiety while experiencing ACS contributes to poor recovery outcomes and increases the risk of mortality making managing stress and anxiety during ACS critical.
Aromatherapy is the use of essential volatile oils or aromas extracted from plants for therapeutic purposes. One of the most widely used essential oils in aromatherapy is lavender. Lavender has long been used as traditional medicine. Lavender is an incredible herb with antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties. A decrease in anxiety or depression has been reported in different studies following lavender prescription. Also, aromatherapy with lavender has been studied in episiotomy, ’Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and cancer patients due to its sedative, hypnotic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects.
A randomized, controlled clinical trial investigated the effects of inhaling lavender essential oil on anxiety and depression among people with ACS. In the intervention group, two drops of lavender essential oil were placed on an absorbent pad attached to the participant’s collar for 20 minutes, morning and evening, for three total days. The control group inhaled sweet almond oil in the same manner. Anxiety and depression levels were measured 7 times during the three days. Remarkably, the lavender group experienced significant reductions in anxiety and depression during the first day of intervention at 1- and 9-hours post intervention. Improvements were maintained through the three days of the study, suggesting that lavender could improve ACS patient outcomes because of its effects on anxiety and depression. Thus this study confirms the effectiveness of lavender aromatherapy in reducing anxiety and depression in ACS patients.