Does aromatherapy with rose essential oil reduce chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting? Original paper

The results of this randomized controlled trial suggested that aromatherapy with rose essential oil can reduce nausea and vomiting following chemotherapy, but the lack of a placebo control limits confidence in the results.

This Study Summary was published on February 9, 2024.

Quick Summary

The results of this randomized controlled trial suggested that aromatherapy with rose essential oil can reduce nausea and vomiting following chemotherapy, but the lack of a placebo control limits confidence in the results.

What was studied?

The effect of aromatherapy with rose essential oil on nausea and vomiting in participants with cancerwho were receiving chemotherapy.

Who was studied?

64 participants (average age of 53; 39 women, 25 men) with cancer who were receiving chemotherapy in Northern Iran.

How was it studied?

In this randomized controlled trial, the participants were assigned to an aromatherapy group or a control group. In the aromatherapy group, the participants attached a piece of gauze containing 3 drops of rose essential oil (40% concentration) to their collar 5 minutes before receiving chemotherapy, and as many times as needed up to 18 hours after chemotherapy. There was no intervention in the control group. Both groups received the standard treatments for nausea and vomiting.

Nausea and vomiting were assessed using a Visual Analog Scale (VAS; participants reported their level of nausea and vomiting on a scale of 0 to 10)1 hour before receiving chemotherapy, as well as 6, 12, and 18 hours after receiving chemotherapy.

What were the results?

At all time points, scores for nausea and vomiting were lower (better) in the aromatherapy group, and the effect size at each time point was large.

Anything else I need to know?

One limitation that reduces confidence in the results is the lack of a placebo control group. The researchers and the participants were not blinded to the intervention, and so the results could have been influenced by the participants’ beliefs or expectations.

This Study Summary was published on February 9, 2024.