Holistic Health School Research

Train to be a
Holistic Health Research List

1. GLA Reduces Weight Regain in Formerly Obese Humans

2. Massage Therapy Effective for Low Back Pain

3. Multivitamins Decrease Risk of Heart Attack in Women

4. Reflexology Treatment Relieves Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

5. Aromatherapy Decreases the Severity of Menstrual Cramps

6. Maca Herb Reduces Postmenopausal Blues and Sexual Dysfunction

7. Reiki Boosts Immune System and Lowers Blood Pressure

8. Orange Scent in Dental Office Reduces Anxiety in Female Patients

9. Shiatsu Relieves Lower Back Pain

10. Creatine Plus Whey Protein Increases Strength & Muscle Mass

11. Irvingia Gabonensis Herb Significantly Decreases Bodyweight

12. Swedish Massage Boosts Immunity & Decreases Inflammation

13. Lavender and Rosemary Essential Oils Reduce Testing Anxiety

14. Detoxification Enzymes Increased by Broccoli

15. Topical Retinol (Vitamin A) Improves Fine Lines & Wrinkles

16. Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets

17. Antioxidants and EFA’s Significantly Increase Longevity of Cats

18. Curcumin Herb Down-Regulates Breast Cancer Gene Expression

19. Chair Massage Effective for Female Office Workers

20. Fragrance Administration Reduces Anxiety During MRI Imaging

21. Frankincense and Myrrh Essential Oils are Antimicrobial

22. Chamomile Herb Relieves Skin Lesion Inflammation and Itching

23. Quercetin Increases VO2max and Endurance Capacity

24. Shiatsu Improves Muscular Symptoms, Stress & Tension

25. Reiki Decreases Pain and Anxiety in Cancer Patients

26. Topical B3 as Effective as Clindamycin Gel for Acne

27. Effect of Aromatherapy Massage on Menopausal Symptoms

1. GLA Reduces Weight Regain in Formerly Obese Humans

Source Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.


The purpose of this study was to determine whether gamma-linolenate (GLA) supplementation would suppress weight regain following major weight loss.

Fifty formerly obese humans were randomized into a double-blind study and given either 890 mg/d of GLA (5 g/d borage oil) or 5 g/d olive oil (controls) for 1 y. Body weight and composition and adipose fatty acids of fasting subjects were assessed at 0, 3, 12, and 33 mo. After 12 subjects in each group had completed 1 y of supplementation, weight regain differed between the GLA (2.17 +/- 1.78 kg) and control (8.78 +/- 2.78 kg) groups (P < 0.03).

The initial study was terminated, and all remaining subjects were assessed over a 6-wk period. Unblinding revealed weight regains of 1.8 +/- 1.6 kg in the GLA group and 7.6 +/- 2.1 kg in controls for the 13 and 17 subjects, respectively, who completed a minimum of 50 wk in the study. Weight regain did not differ in the remaining 10 GLA and 5 control subjects who completed <50 wk in the study. In a follow-up study, a subgroup from both the original GLA (GLA-GLA, n = 9) and the original control (Control-GLA, n = 14) populations either continued or crossed over to GLA supplementation for an additional 21 mo. Interim weight regains between 15 and 33 mo were 6.48 +/- 1.79 kg and 6.04 +/- 2.52 kg for the GLA-GLA and Control-GLA groups, respectively. Adipose triglyceride GLA levels increased 152% (P < 0.0001) in the GLA group at 12 mo, but did not increase further after 33 mo of GLA administration.

In conclusion, GLA reduced weight regain in humans following major weight loss, suggesting a role for essential fatty acids in fuel partitioning in humans prone to obesity.

2. Massage Therapy Effective for Low Back Pain

Ann Intern Med. 2011 Jul 5;155(1):1-9.

Source Group Health Research Institute, Seattle, Washington 98101, USA.


OBJECTIVE: To compare the effectiveness of 2 types of massage and usual care for chronic back pain.

DESIGN: Parallel-group randomized, controlled trial. Randomization was computer-generated, with centralized allocation concealment. Participants were blinded to massage type but not to assignment to massage versus usual care. Massage therapists were unblinded. The study personnel who assessed outcomes were blinded to treatment assignment. (ClinicalTrials.gov registration number: NCT00371384)

SETTING: An integrated health care delivery system in the Seattle area.

PATIENTS: 401 persons 20 to 65 years of age with nonspecific chronic low back pain.

INTERVENTION: Structural massage (n = 132), relaxation massage (n = 136), or usual care (n = 133).

MEASUREMENTS: Roland Disability Questionnaire (RDQ) and symptom bothersomeness scores at 10 weeks (primary outcome) and at 26 and 52 weeks (secondary outcomes). Mean group differences of at least 2 points on the RDQ and at least 1.5 points on the symptom bothersomeness scale were considered clinically meaningful.

RESULTS: The massage groups had similar functional outcomes at 10 weeks. The adjusted mean RDQ score was 2.9 points (95% CI, 1.8 to 4.0 points) lower in the relaxation group and 2.5 points (CI, 1.4 to 3.5 points) lower in the structural massage group than in the usual care group, and adjusted mean symptom bothersomeness scores were 1.7 points (CI, 1.2 to 2.2 points) lower with relaxation massage and 1.4 points (CI, 0.8 to 1.9 points) lower with structural massage. The beneficial effects of relaxation massage on function (but not on symptom reduction) persisted at 52 weeks but were small.

LIMITATION: Participants were not blinded to treatment.

CONCLUSION: Massage therapy may be effective for treatment of chronic back pain, with benefits lasting at least 6 months. No clinically meaningful difference between relaxation and structural massage was observed in terms of relieving disability or symptoms.

3. Multivitamins Decrease Risk of Heart Attack in Women

Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Nov;92(5):1251-6. Epub 2010 Sep 22.

Source Division of Nutritional Epidemiology, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. susanne.rautiainen@ki.se


OBJECTIVE: The objective was to examine the association between multivitamin use and myocardial infarction (MI) in a prospective, population-based cohort of women.

DESIGN: The study included 31,671 women with no history of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and 2262 women with a history of CVD aged 49-83 y from Sweden. Women completed a self-administered questionnaire in 1997 regarding dietary supplement use, diet, and lifestyle factors. Multivitamins were estimated to contain nutrients close to recommended daily allowances: vitamin A (0.9 mg), vitamin C (60 mg), vitamin D (5 μg), vitamin E (9 mg), thiamine (1.2 mg), riboflavin (1.4 mg), vitamin B-6 (1.8 mg), vitamin B-12 (3 μg), and folic acid (400 μg).

RESULTS: During an average of 10.2 y of follow-up, 932 MI cases were identified in the CVD-free group and 269 cases in the CVD group. In the CVD-free group, use of multivitamins only, compared with no use of supplements, was associated with a multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio (HR) of 0.73 (95% CI: 0.57, 0.93). The HR for multivitamin use together with other supplements was 0.70 (95% CI: 0.57, 0.87). The HR for use of supplements other than multivitamins was 0.93 (95% CI: 0.81, 1.08). The use of multivitamins for ≥5 y was associated with an HR of 0.59 (95% CI: 0.44, 0.80). In the CVD group, use of multivitamins alone or together with other supplements was not associated with MI.

CONCLUSIONS: The use of multivitamins was inversely associated with MI, especially long-term use among women with no CVD. Further prospective studies with detailed information on the content of preparations and the duration of use are needed to confirm or refute our findings.Reflexology treatment relieves symptoms of multiple sclerosis: a randomized controlled study.

4. Reflexology Treatment Relieves Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

A randomized controlled study.

Mult Scler. 2003 Aug;9(4):356-61.

Source Complementary Medicine Clinic, Department of Orthopedic Rehabilitation, Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer, Israel.


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of reflexology on symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) in a randomized, sham-controlled clinical trial.

METHODS: Seventy-one MS patients were randomized to either study or control group, to receive an 11-week treatment. Reflexology treatment included manual pressure on specific points in the feet and massage of the calf area. The control group received nonspecific massage of the calf area. The intensity of paresthesias, urinary symptoms, muscle strength and spasticity was assessed in a masked fashion at the beginning of the study, after 1.5 months of treatment, end of study and at three months of follow-up.

RESULTS: Fifty-three patients completed this study. Significant improvement in the differences in mean scores of paresthesias (P = 0.01), urinary symptoms (P = 0.03) and spasticity (P = 0.03) was detected in the reflexology group. Improvement with borderline significance was observed in the differences in mean scores of muscle strength between the reflexology group and the controls (P = 0.06). The improvement in the intensity of paresthesias remained significant at three months of follow-up (P = 0.04).

CONCLUSIONS: Specific reflexology treatment was of benefit in alleviating motor; sensory and urinary sy00mptoms in MS patients.

5. Aromatherapy Decreases the Severity of Menstrual Cramps

A randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial

        Han SH, Hur MH, Buckle J, Choi J, Lee MS.

J Altern Complement Med. 2006 Jul-Aug;12(6):535-41.

Source School of Nursing, Wonkwang Public Health College, Iksan, Korea.


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to explore the effect of aromatherapy on menstrual cramps and symptoms of dysmenorrhea.

DESIGN: The study was a randomized placebo-controlled trial.

SUBJECTS: The subjects were 67 female college students who rated their menstrual cramps to be greater than 6 on a 10-point visual analogue scale, who had no systemic or reproductive diseases, and who did not use contraceptive drugs.

INTERVENTION: Subjects were randomized into three groups: (1) an experimental group (n = 25) who received aromatherapy, (2) a placebo group (n = 20), and (3) a control group (n = 22). Aromatherapy was applied topically to the experimental group in the form of an abdominal massage using two drops of lavender (Lavandula officinalis), one drop of clary sage (Salvia sclarea), and one drop of rose (Rosa centifolia) in 5 cc of almond oil. The placebo group received the same treatment but with almond oil only, and the control group received no treatment.

OUTCOME MEASURES: The menstrual cramps levels was assessed using a visual analogue scale and severity of dysmenorrhea was measured with a verbal multidimensional scoring system.

RESULTS: The menstrual cramps were significantly lowered in the aromatherapy group than in the other two groups at both post-test time points (first and second day of menstruation after treatment). From the multiple regression aromatherapy was found to be associated with the changes in menstrual cramp levels (first day: Beta = -2.48, 95% CI: -3.68 to -1.29, p < 0.001; second day: Beta = -1.97, 95% CI: -3.66 to -0.29, p = 0.02 and the severity of dysmenorrhea (first day: Beta = 0.31, 95% CI: 0.05 to 0.57, p = 0.02; second day: Beta = 0.33, 95% CI: 0.10 to 0.56, p = 0.006) than that found in the other two groups.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that aromatherapy using topically applied lavender, clary sage, and rose is effective in decreasing the severity of menstrual cramps. Aromatherapy can be offered as part of the nursing care to women experiencing menstrual cramps or dysmenorrhea.

6. Maca Herb Reduces Postmenopausal Blues and Sexual Dysfunction

Menopause. 2008 Nov-Dec;15(6):1157-62.

Beneficial effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on psychological symptoms and measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women are not related to estrogen or androgen content. Brooks NA, Wilcox G, Walker KZ, Ashton JF, Cox MB, Stojanovska L.

Source School of Biomedical and Health Sciences, Victoria University, St. Albans, Victoria, Australia.


OBJECTIVE: To examine the estrogenic and androgenic activity of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) and its effect on the hormonal profile and symptoms in postmenopausal women.

DESIGN: Fourteen postmenopausal women completed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial. They received 3.5 g/day of powered Maca for 6 weeks and matching placebo for 6 weeks, in either order, over a total of 12 weeks. At baseline and weeks 6 and 12 blood samples were collected for the measurement of estradiol, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, and sex hormone-binding globulin, and the women completed the Greene Climacteric Scale to assess the severity of menopausal symptoms. In addition, aqueous and methanolic Maca extracts were tested for androgenic and estrogenic activity using a yeast-based hormone-dependent reporter assay.

RESULTS: No differences were seen in serum concentrations of estradiol, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, and sex hormone-binding globulin between baseline, Maca treatment, and placebo (P > 0.05). The Greene Climacteric Scale revealed a significant reduction in scores in the areas of psychological symptoms, including the subscales for anxiety and depression and sexual dysfunction after Maca consumption compared with both baseline and placebo (P < 0.05). These findings did not correlate with androgenic or alpha-estrogenic activity present in the Maca as no physiologically significant activity was observed in yeast-based assays employing up to 4 mg/mL Maca extract (equivalent to 200 mg/mL Maca).

CONCLUSIONS: Preliminary findings show that Lepidium meyenii (Maca) (3.5 g/d) reduces psychological symptoms, including anxiety and depression, and lowers measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women independent of estrogenic and androgenic activity.

7. Reiki Boosts Immune System and Lowers Blood Pressure

The application of Reiki in nurses diagnosed with Burnout Syndrome has beneficial effects on concentration of salivary IgA and blood pressure. [Article in English, Portuguese, Spanish]

Rev Lat Am Enfermagem. 2011 Sep-Oct;19(5):1132-8.

Source Departamento de Enfermería, Universidad de Granada, Spain. cldiaz@ugr.es


This study aimed to investigate the immediate effects of the secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA - an important immune system constituent), α-amylase activity and blood pressure levels after the application of a Reiki session in nurses with Burnout Syndrome. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover design was conducted to compare the immediate effects of Reiki versus control intervention (Hand-off sham intervention) in nurses with Burnout Syndrome.

Sample was composed of eighteen nurses (aged 34-56 years) with burnout syndrome. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either a Reiki treatment or a placebo (sham Reiki) treatment, according to the established order in two different days. The ANOVA showed a significant interaction time x intervention for diastolic blood pressure (F=4.92, P=0.04) and sIgA concentration (F=4.71, P=0.04).

A Reiki session can produce an immediate and statistically significant improvement in sIgA concentration and diastolic blood pressure in nurses with Burnout Syn00drome.

8. Orange Scent in Dental Office Reduces Anxiety in Female Patients

Physiol Behav. 2000 Oct 1-15;71(1-2):83-6.

Source Neurological Clinic, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria. hannes.lehrner@akh-wien.ac.at


Essential oils have been used as remedies for a long time in different cultures across the world. However, scientific proof of such application is scarce.

We included 72 patients between the ages of 22 and 57 while waiting for dental treatment in our study. The participants were assigned to either a control group (14 men, 23 women) or to an odor group (18 men and 17 women).

Ambient odor of orange was diffused in the waiting room through an electrical dispenser in the odor group whereas in the control group no odor was in the air. We assessed by means of self-report demographic and cognitive variables, trait and state anxiety, and current pain, mood, alertness, and calmness.

In this study, we report that exposure to ambient odor of orange has a relaxant effect. Specifically, compared to the controls, women who were exposed to orange odor had a lower level of state anxiety, a more positive mood, and a higher level of calmness. Our data support the previous notion of sedative properties of the natural essential oil of orange (Citrus sinensis).

9. Shiatsu Relieves Lower Back Pain

J Holist Nurs. 2001 Mar;19(1):57-70.

Source Drake University, USA.


Shiatsu, a specific type of massage, was used as an intervention in this study of 66 individuals complaining of lower back pain. Each individual was measured on state/trait anxiety and pain level before and after four shiatsu treatments. Each subject was then called 2 days following each treatment and asked to quantify the level of pain. Both pain and anxiety decreased significantly over time.

Extraneous variables such as gender, age, gender of therapist, length of history with lower back pain, and medications taken for lower back pain did not alter the significant results. These subjects would recommend shiatsu massage for others suffering from lower back pain and indicated the treatments decreased the major inconveniences they experienced with their lower back pain.

10. Creatine Plus Whey Protein Increases Strength & Muscle Mass

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007 Feb;39(2):298-307.

Effects of whey isolate, creatine, and resistance training on muscle hypertrophy. Cribb PJ, Williams AD, Stathis CG, Carey MF, Hayes A.

Source Exercise Metabolism Unit, Center for Ageing, Rehabilitation, Exercise and Sport and the School of Biomedical Sciences, Victoria University, Victoria, Australia.


PURPOSE: Studies that have attributed gains in lean body mass to dietary supplementation during resistance exercise (RE) training have not reported these changes alongside adaptations at the cellular and subcellular levels. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the effects of two popular supplements--whey protein (WP) and creatine monohydrate (CrM) (both separately and in combination)--on body composition, muscle strength, fiber-specific hypertrophy (i.e., type I, IIa, IIx), and contractile protein accrual during RE training.

METHODS: In a double-blind randomized protocol, resistance-trained males were matched for strength and placed into one of four groups: creatine/carbohydrate (CrCHO), creatine/whey protein (CrWP), WP only, or carbohydrate only (CHO) (1.5 g x kg(-1) body weight per day). All assessments were completed the week before and after an 11-wk structured, supervised RE program. Assessments included strength (1RM, three exercises), body composition (DEXA), and vastus lateralis muscle biopsies for determination of muscle fiber type (I, IIa, IIx), cross-sectional area (CSA), contractile protein, and creatine (Cr) content.

RESULTS: Supplementation with CrCHO, WP, and CrWP resulted in significantly greater (P < 0.05) 1RM strength improvements (three of three assessments) and muscle hypertrophy compared with CHO. Up to 76% of the strength improvements in the squat could be attributed to hypertrophy of muscle involved in this exercise. However, the hypertrophy responses within these groups varied at the three levels assessed (i.e., changes in lean mass, fiber-specific hypertrophy, and contractile protein content).

CONCLUSIONS: Although WP and/or CrM seem to promote greater strength gains and muscle morphology during RE training, the hypertrophy responses within the groups varied. These differences in skeletal muscle morphology may have important implications for various populations and, therefore, warrant further investigation.

11. Irvingia Gabonensis Herb Significantly Decreases Bodyweight

Ngondi JL, Oben JE, Minka SR.

Lipids Health Dis. 2005 May 25;4:12.

Source Nutrition, HIV and Health Research Unit, Department of Biochemistry, P.O. Box 812, Faculty of Science, University of Yaounde I, Cameroon. jngondi@yahoo.com


Dietary fibres are frequently used for the treatment of obesity. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of Irvingia gabonensis seeds in the management of obesity. This was carried out as a double blind randomised study involving 40 subjects (mean age 42.4 years).

Twenty-eight subjects received Irvingia gabonensis (IG) (1.05 g three time a day for one month) while 12 were on placebo (P) and the same schedule. During the one-month study period all subjects were on a normocaloric diet evaluated every week by a dietetic record book. At the end, the mean body weight of the IG group was decreased by 5.26 +/- 2.37% (p < 0.0001) and that of the placebo group by 1.32 +/- 0.41% (p < 0.02).

The difference observed between the IG and the placebo groups was significant (p < 0.01). The obese patients under Irvingia gabonensis treatment also had a significant decrease of total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, and an increase of HDL-cholesterol. On the other hand, the placebo group did not manifest any changes in blood lipid components. Irvingia gabonensis seed may find application in weight lose.

12. Swedish Massage Boosts Immunity & Decreases Inflammation

A Preliminary Study of the Effects of a Single Session of Swedish Massage on Hypothalamic–Pituitary–Adrenal and Immune Function in Normal Individuals

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. October 2010, 16(10): 1079-1088. doi:10.1089/acm.2009.0634.

Published in Volume: 16 Issue 10: October 18, 2010

Mark Hyman Rapaport, MD,1,2 Pamela Schettler, PhD,1 and Catherine Bresee,


Objectives: Massage therapy is a multi–billion dollar industry in the United States with 8.7% of adults receiving at least one massage within the last year; yet, little is known about the physiologic effects of a single session of massage in healthy individuals. The purpose of this study was to determine effects of a single session of Swedish massage on neuroendocrine and immune function. It was hypothesized that Swedish Massage Therapy would increase oxytocin (OT) levels, which would lead to a decrease in hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) activity and enhanced immune function.

Design: The study design was a head-to-head, single-session comparison of Swedish Massage Therapy with a light touch control condition. Serial measurements were performed to determine OT, arginine-vasopressin (AVP), adrenal corticotropin hormone (ACTH), cortisol (CORT), circulating phenotypic lymphocytes markers, and mitogen-stimulated cytokine production.

Setting: This research was conducted in an outpatient research unit in an academic medical center.

Subjects: Medically and psychiatrically healthy adults, 18–45 years old, participated in this study.

Intervention: 29 healthy adults received a 45 minute Swedish massage and 24 healthy adults received a 45 minute session of light touch massage, a much milder massage that served as a comparison to the more vigorous Swedish massage.

Outcome measures: The standardized mean difference was calculated between Swedish Massage Therapy versus light touch on pre- to postintervention change in levels of OT, AVP, ACTH, CORT, lymphocyte markers, and cytokine levels.

Results: Compared to light touch, Swedish Massage Therapy caused a large effect size decrease in AVP, and a small effect size decrease in CORT, but these findings were not mediated by OT. Massage increased the number of circulating lymphocytes, CD 25+ lymphocytes, CD 56+ lymphocytes, CD4 + lymphocytes, and CD8+ lymphocytes (effect sizes from 0.14 to 0.43). Mitogen-stimulated levels of interleukin (IL)–1ß, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-10, IL-13, and IFN-γ decreased for subjects receiving Swedish Massage Therapy versus light touch (effect sizes from −0.22 to −0.63). Swedish Massage Therapy decreased IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, and IL-13 levels relative to baseline measures.

Conclusions: Preliminary data suggest that a single session of Swedish Massage Therapy produces measurable biologic effects. If replicated, these findings may have implications for managing inflammatory and autoimmune conditions.

13. Lavender and Rosemary Essential Oils Reduce Testing Anxiety

Holist Nurs Pract. 2009 Mar-Apr;23(2):88-93.

Source Christine E Lynn College of Nursing, Florida Atlantic University, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431, USA. rmccaffr@fau.edu


Test taking in nursing school can produce stress that affects the ability of students to realize their goals of graduation. In this study, the use of lavender and rosemary essential oil sachets reduced test-taking stress in graduate nursing students as evidenced by lower scores on test anxiety measure, personal statements, and pulse rates.

Study Details

This open-label pilot study was conducted at the College of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. Forty students in the nurse practitioner program were enrolled in the study. The students completed the 10-item Test Anxiety Scale to record their perceived stress and had their blood pressure and pulse measured before and after taking 3 regularly scheduled exams.

No aromatherapy was used during the first exam, which served as the control period. For the second exam, students were given an inhaler containing a piece of cotton saturated with 3 drops of lavender (Lavandula hybrida) essential oil extracted by steam distillation. They were instructed to use the inhaler before starting the exam, to use it as often as desired during the exam, and to record the number of times they used the inhaler. For the third exam, students were given an inhaler containing a piece of cotton saturated with 3 drops of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) essential oil with a camphor phenotype and given the same instructions about using the inhaler. T

All 40 students completed the 3 study sessions. Mean scores on the Test Anxiety Scale decreased significantly from pre- to post-test after lavender aromatherapy (P = 0.003) and after rosemary aromatherapy (P = 0.01), indicating a decrease in text anxiety. Anxiety test scores decreased more after rosemary aromatherapy than lavender aromatherapy, but this difference was not statistically significant. There were no significant changes in blood pressure after lavender or rosemary aromatherapy. Mean pulse rates were significantly lower after lavender aromatherapy (P < 0.001) and after rosemary aromatherapy (P = 0.033).

14. Detoxification Enzymes Increased by Broccoli

Boddupalli S, Mein JR, Lakkanna S, James DR. Front Genet. 2012;3:7. Epub 2012 Jan 24.

Source Monsanto Vegetable Seeds, Monsanto Company Woodland, CA, USA.


Consumption of fruits and vegetables is recognized as an important part of a healthy diet. Increased consumption of cruciferous vegetables in particular has been associated with a decreased risk of several degenerative and chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.

Members of the cruciferous vegetable family, which includes broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage, accumulate significant concentrations of glucosinolates, which are metabolized in vivo to biologically active isothiocyanates (ITCs). The ITC sulforaphane, which is derived from glucoraphanin, has garnered particular interest as an indirect antioxidant due to its extraordinary ability to induce expression of several enzymes via the KEAP1/Nrf2/ARE pathway. Nrf2/ARE gene products are typically characterized as Phase II detoxification enzymes and/or antioxidant (AO) enzymes. Over the last decade, human clinical studies have begun to provide in vivo evidence of both Phase II and AO enzyme induction by SF. Many AO enzymes are redox cycling enzymes that maintain redox homeostasis and activity of free radical scavengers such as vitamins A, C, and E.

In this review, we present the existing evidence for induction of PII and AO enzymes by SF, the interactions of SF-induced AO enzymes and proposed maintenance of the essential vitamins A, C, and E, and, finally, the current view of genotypic effects on ITC metabolism and AO enzyme induction and function.

15. Topical Retinol (Vitamin A) Improves Fine Lines & Wrinkles
Reza Kafi, MD; Heh Shin R. Kwak, MD; Wendy E. Schumacher, BS; Soyun Cho, MD, PhD; Valerie N. Hanft, MD; Ted A. Hamilton, MS; Anya L. King, MS; Jacqueline D. Neal, BSE; James Varani, PhD; Gary J. Fisher, PhD; John J. Voorhees, MD, FRCP; Sewon Kang, MD

Arch Dermatol. 2007;143:606-612.

Objective To evaluate the effectiveness of topical retinol(vitamin A) in improving the clinical signs of naturally agedskin.

Design Randomized, double-blind, vehicle-controlled, leftand right arm comparison study.

Setting Academic referral center.

Patients The study population comprised 36 elderly subjects(mean age, 87 years), residing in 2 senior citizen facilities.

Intervention Topical 0.4% retinol lotion or its vehiclewas applied at each visit by study personnel to either the rightor the left arm, up to 3 times a week for 24 weeks.

Main Outcome Measures Clinical assessment using a semiquantitativescale (0, none; 9, most severe) and biochemical measurementsfrom skin biopsy specimens obtained from treated areas.

Results After 24 weeks, an intent-to-treat analysis usingthe last-observation-carried-forward method revealed that therewere significant differences between retinol-treated and vehicle-treatedskin for changes in fine wrinkling scores (–1.64 [95%CI, –2.06 to –1.22] vs –0.08 [95% CI, –0.17to 0.01]; P<.001). As measured in a subgroup, retinol treatmentsignificantly increased glycosaminoglycan expression (P = .02[n = 6]) and procollagen I immunostaining (P = .049[n = 4]) compared with vehicle.

Conclusions Topical retinol improves fine wrinkles associatedwith natural aging. Significant induction of glycosaminoglycan,which is known to retain substantial water, and increased collagenproduction are most likely responsible for wrinkle effacement.With greater skin matrix synthesis, retinol-treated aged skinis more likely to withstand skin injury and ulcer formationalong with improved appearance.

16. Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets
Chocolate, Macadamia nuts, avocados…these foods may sound delicious to you, but they’re actually quite dangerous for our animal companions. Our nutrition experts have put together a handy list of the top toxic people foods to avoid feeding your pet. As always, If you suspect your pet has eaten any of the following foods, please note the amount ingested and contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

Chocolate, Coffee, Caffeine

These products all contain substances called methylxanthines, which are found in cacao seeds, the fruit of the plant used to make coffee and in the nuts of an extract used in some sodas. When ingested by pets, methylxanthines can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death. Note that darker chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate. White chocolate has the lowest level of methylxanthines, while baking chocolate contains the highest.


Alcoholic beverages and food products containing alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.


The leaves, fruit, seeds and bark of avocados contain Persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Birds and rodents are especially sensitive to avocado poisoning, and can develop congestion, difficulty breathing and fluid accumulation around the heart. Some ingestion may even be fatal.

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts are commonly used in many cookies and candies. However, they can cause problems for your canine companion. These nuts have caused weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs. Signs usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion and last approximately 12 to 48 hours.

Grapes & Raisins

Although the toxic substance within grapes and raisins is unknown, these fruits can cause kidney failure. In pets who already have certain health problems, signs may be more dramatic.

Yeast Dough

Yeast dough can rise and cause gas to accumulate in your pet’s digestive system. This can be painful and can cause the stomach or intestines to rupture. Because the risk diminishes after the dough is cooked and the yeast has fully risen, pets can have small bits of bread as treats. However, these treats should not constitute more than 5 percent to 10 percent of your pet’s daily caloric intake.

Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs and Bones

Raw meat and raw eggs can contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli that can be harmful to pets. In addition, raw eggs contain an enzyme called avidin that decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin), which can lead to skin and coat problems. Feeding your pet raw bones may seem like a natural and healthy option that might occur if your pet lived in the wild. However, this can be very dangerous for a domestic pet, who might choke on bones, or sustain a grave injury should the bone splinter and become lodged in or puncture your pet’s digestive tract.


Xylitol is used as a sweetener in many products, including gum, candy, baked goods and toothpaste. It can cause insulin release in most species, which can lead to liver failure. The increase in insulin leads to hypoglycemia (lowered sugar levels). Initial signs of toxicosis include vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination. Signs can progress to recumbancy and seizures. Elevated liver enzymes and liver failure can be seen within a few days.

Onions, Garlic, Chives

These vegetables and herbs can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage. Although cats are more susceptible, dogs are also at risk if a large enough amount is consumed. Toxicity is normally diagnosed through history, clinical signs and microscopic confirmation of Heinz bodies. An occasional low dose, such as what might be found in pet foods or treats, likely will not cause a problem, but we recommend that you do NOT give your pets large quantities of these foods.


Because pets do not possess significant amounts of lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk), milk and other milk-based products cause them diarrhea or other digestive upset.


Large amounts of salt can produce excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium ion poisoning in pets. Signs that your pet may have eaten too many salty foods include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death. In other words, keep those salty chips to yourself!

17. Antioxidants and EFA’s Significantly Increase Longevity of Cats

Carolyn J. Cupp, DVM, MS1

Clementine Jean-Philippe, DVM, PhD2

Wendell W. Kerr, MS1

Avinash R. Patil, BVSc, PhD1

Gerardo Perez-Camargo, PhD, MRCVS2

1Nestlé Purina PetCare Research St. Joseph, Missouri 2Nestlé Purina R&D entre, Amiens Aubigny, France


The objective of this study was to evaluate whether antioxidants, alone or in combination with other nutritional supplements, increase health and longevity in a population of older cats.

A group of 90 cats between the ages of 7 and 17 years was blocked into 3 groups by age, body condition score, and gender. Cats were assigned to 1 of 3 diets: control (basal diet of nutritionally complete cat food), basal diet with added antioxidants (vitamin E and β-carotene), and basal diet with added antioxidants, dried whole chicory root (source of prebiotic), and a blend of supplemental n-3 and n-6 fatty acids. The diets were fed exclusively for the remaining lifetime of each cat.

Physical exams, body condition scores, complete blood count, serum chemistries, plasma fatty acids, serum antioxidant status, fecal microflora, rinalysis, and body composition by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry were performed at study initiation and at periodic intervals thereafter.

After 5 years, cats fed the diet with the antioxidants vitamin E and β-carotene, dried chicory root, and a blend of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids lived significantly longer than cats fed the control diet.

Positive indicators of reduced disease incidence and improved intestinal health were also observed.

18. Curcumin Herb Down-Regulates Breast Cancer Gene Expression

Endocrinology. 2012 Feb;153(2):554-63. Epub 2011 Dec 20.

Source School of Dentistry, Yangsan Campus of Pusan National University, Yangsan, 626-870, South Korea. skbae@pusan.ac.kr.


Obesity is frequently associated with breast cancer. Such associations are possibly mediated by adipokines. Visfatin, an adipokine, has recently been shown to be related to the development and progression of breast cancer. Therefore, the down-regulation of visfatin may be a novel strategy for breast cancer therapy.

Curcumin has anticancer activities by modulating multiple signaling pathways and genes. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether visfatin gene expression is affected by curcumin in human breast cancer cells and to characterize the functional role of visfatin in breast cancer.

We found that the mRNA and protein levels of visfatin were down-regulated by curcumin in MDA-MB-231, MDA-MB-468, and MCF-7 breast cancer cells, along with decreased activity of constitutive nuclear factor (NF)-κB. We confirmed the repressive effect of curcumin on visfatin transcription by performing a visfatin promoter-driven reporter assay and identified two putative NF-κB-binding sites on visfatin promoter that are important for this effect. EMSA and chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis indicated the binding of p65 to the visfatin promoter, which was effectively blocked by curcumin. Enforced expression of p65 protein increased visfatin promoter activity, whereas blocking NF-κB signaling suppressed visfatin gene expression. Visfatin could enhance the invasion of MDA-MB-231 cells and also attenuate curcumin-induced inhibition of cell invasion; on the other hand, visfatin knockdown by small interfering RNA led to the reduction of cell invasion.

Our data demonstrate, for the first time, that curcumin down-regulates visfatin gene expression in human breast cancer cells by a mechanism that is, at least in part, NF-κB dependent and suggest that visfatin may contribute to breast cancer cell invasion and link obesity to breast cancer development and progression.

19. Chair Massage Effective for Female Office Workers

J Altern Complement Med. 2011 Jul;17(7):617-22. Epub 2011 Jun 20.

Source Institute of Kinesiology, Faculty of Sport, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia. polona.krsmanc@gmail.com


OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to determine the effects of workplace manual technique interventions for female participants on the degree of joint range of motion and on the level of musculoskeletal ache, pain, or discomfort experienced when performing workplace responsibilities.

DESIGN: Nineteen (19) female volunteers were given chair massages on-site twice per week for 1 month.

SETTINGS/LOCATION: Participants included individuals in administration and management from a company in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

SUBJECTS: A total of 19 female volunteers 40-54 years of age enrolled for this study. Fifteen (15) of them completed all measurements.

INTERVENTIONS: The Cornell Musculoskeletal Discomfort Questionnaire was used, and range-of-motion measurements in degrees were taken.

OUTCOME MEASURES: Subjects completed a series of self-report questionnaires that asked for information concerning musculoskeletal discomfort for the neck, upper back, and lower back in the form of a body diagram. A range-of-motion test (to compare the change in joint angles) was performed with a goniometer to assess cervical lateral flexion, cervical flexion, cervical extension, lumbar flexion, and lumbar extension.

RESULTS: Between the first and the last measurements, a significant difference (p<0.05) was found in increased range of motion for cervical lateral flexion (28.8%). Wilcoxon signed rank test showed a significant increase (p<0.05) in range of motion for cervical lateral flexion (42.4±6.3 to 48.3±7.3), cervical extension (63.2±12.4 to 67.2±12.3), and a significant decrease (p<0.05) in the Cornell Musculoskeletal Discomfort Questionnaire values for the neck (2.7±0.8 to 1.9±0.6) and the upper back (2.7±0.7 to 2.2±0.8) from the phase 2 to 3. Significant reductions were also shown in the Cornell Musculoskeletal Discomfort Questionnaire values for the neck (2.8±0.8 to 1.9±0.6) and the upper back (2.7±0.8 to 2.2±0.8) from the phase 1 to 3.

CONCLUSIONS: On-site massage sessions twice per week for 1 month are the most effective interventions (compared to one session or no massage intervention) for decreasing the duration of musculoskeletal ache, pain, or discomfort and for increasing range of motion.

20. Fragrance Administration Reduces Anxiety During MR Imaging

Redd WH, Manne SL, Peters B, Jacobsen PB, Schmidt H. J Magn Reson Imaging. 1994 Jul-Aug;4(4):623-6.


Psychiatry Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10021.


Fifty-seven outpatients received either heliotropin (a vanillalike scent) with humidified air (n = 20) or humidified air alone (n = 37) via a nasal cannula during magnetic resonance imaging in the diagnostic workup for cancer. Delivery of heliotropin and air was determined by a computer-controlled schedule.

Fragrance administration resulted in a statistically significant reduction in average overall patient-rated anxiety (on a visual analog scale) during imaging in patients who found the fragrance moderately to extremely pleasant.

Administration of fragrance was associated with 63% less anxiety than administration of humidified air alone. Physiologic measures (pulse and heart rate) did not show a statistically significant effect with fragrance administration.

21. Frankincense and Myrrh Essential Oils are Antimicrobial

Lett Appl Microbiol. 2012 Jan 31. doi: 10.1111/j.1472-765X.2012.03216.x. [Epub ahead of print]

Source Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Parktown, South Africa Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Science, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa Department of Chemistry, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


The in vitro antimicrobial activity of three essential oil samples of Aims: frankincense (Boswellia rivae, B. neglecta, B. papyrifera) and two essential oil samples of myrrh and sweet myrrh (Commiphora guidotti and C. myrrha), collected from different regions of Ethiopia, were investigated independently and in combination to determine their anti-infective properties. The microdilution minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) 


Assay was performed, whereby it was noted that generally Cryptococcus neoformans (MIC values in the range of 0.8-1.4 mg ml(-1) ) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (MIC values in the range of 0.5-1.3 mg ml(-1) ) often appeared to be the most susceptible micro-organisms against oils of both Boswellia and Commiphora spp. When assayed in various combinations, the frankincense and myrrh oils displayed synergistic, additive and non-interactive properties, with no antagonism noted.


When investigating different ratio combinations against Bacillus cereus, the most favourable combination was between B. papyrifera and C. myrrha. The composition of the oils were determined by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to document the specific chemotypes used in the study and the chemical profiles were found to be congruent with previously reported data.


The majority of interactions identified synergistic and additive effects, with strong synergism noted between B. papyrifera with C. myrrha.

Significance and Impact of the Study:

Frankincense and myrrh essential oils have been used in combination since 1500 BC, however, no antimicrobial investigations have been undertaken to confirm their effect in combination. This study validates the enhanced efficacy when used in combination against a selection of pathogens.

22. Chamomile Herb Relieves Skin Lesion Inflammation and Itching

Ostomy Wound Manage. 2011 May;57(5):28-36.

Source Islamic Azad University, Abadan, Iran. fcharoosaei@gmail.com


Peristomal skin complications interfere with stoma appliance use and negatively affect patient quality of life. To find an alternative to long-term peristomal skin treatment involving corticosteroid products, a prospective study was conducted to compare the effect of a German chamomile solution to topical steroids on peristomal skin lesions in colostomy patients.

Persons seeking care for the treatment of a peristomal skin lesion were assigned to a treatment regimen of once-a-day hydrocortisone 1% ointment (n = 36) or twice-a-day chamomile compress (n = 36) application. Treatments were assigned by matching patient demographic, history, and skin condition variables.

At baseline, no significant differences between the variables were observed. Forty-two (42) of the 72 patients were female. Most participants had their stoma for more than 1 year (18.14 months in the chamomile and 17.69 months in the steroid group). Lesions were assessed every 3 days for a maximum of 28 days.

Lesions healed significantly faster in the chamomile than in the hydrocortisone group (mean time to healing 8.89 ± 4.89 and 14.53 ± 7.6 days, respectively; P = 0.001). Stoma patient symptoms (pain and itching) also resolved more expediently in the chamomile than in the hydrocortisone group. Because corticosteroids are nonspecific anti-inflammatory agents, herbal extract use can prevent the side effects of long-term topical corticosteroid use.

The results of this study suggest that German chamomile can be recommended to relieve itching and inflammation and that twice-daily application facilitates healing of peristomal skin lesions. Methods to facilitate the application of topical treatments without interfering with appliance adhesion or necessitating frequent appliance removal should be refined. Additional randomized studies are needed to confirm the results of this study.

23. Quercetin Increases VO2max and Endurance Capacity

Source Div. of Applied Physiology, Dept. of Exercise Science, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA.


Quercetin, a natural polyphenolic flavonoid substance present in a variety of food plants, has been shown in vitro and in animal studies to have widespread health and performance benefits resulting from a combination of biological properties, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, as well as the ability to increase mitochondrial biogenesis. Little is known about these effects in humans, however, especially with respect to exercise performance. The authors determined whether quercetin ingestion would enhance maximal aerobic capacity and delay fatigue during prolonged exercise in healthy but untrained participants.

Twelve volunteers were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 treatments: (a) 500 mg of quercetin twice daily dissolved in vitamin-enriched Tang or (b) a non-distinguishable placebo (Tang). Baseline VO2max and bike-ride times to fatigue were established. Treatments were administered for a period of 7 days using a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study design. After treatment both VO2max and ride time to fatigue were determined.

Seven days of quercetin feedings were associated with a modest increase in VO2max (3.9% vs. placebo; p < .05) along with a substantial (13.2%) increase in ride time to fatigue (p < .05).

These data suggest that as little as 7 days of quercetin supplementation can increase endurance without exercise training in untrained participants. These benefits of quercetin may have important implications for enhancement of athletic and military performance. This apparent increase in fitness without exercise training may have implications beyond that of performance enhancement to health promotion and disease prevention.

24. Shiatsu Improves Muscular Symptoms, Stress & Tension

Andrew F. Long.

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. October 2008, 14(8): 921-930. doi:10.1089/acm.2008.0085.


Objective: The objective of this study was to explore client perceptions of the short-term and longer-term effects of shiatsu.

Design: The study design was a prospective, 6-month observational, pragmatic study.

Setting: There were 85 shiatsu practitioners in three countries involved in the study: Austria, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Subjects: There were 948 clients receiving shiatsu from 1 of these practitioners.

Interventions: Shiatsu as delivered by the practitioner in routine practice.

Outcome measures: The outcomes measures were symptom severity, changes in health care use (baseline, 3 and 6 months), shiatsu-specific effects, uptake of advice (3 and 6 months), achieved expectations and occurrence of adverse events (4–6 days after first session, 3 and 6 months).

Results: Six hundred and thirty-three (633) clients provided full follow-up data (a response rate of 67%). A typical shiatsu user was female, in her 40s, in paid employment, and had used shiatsu before. At “first-ever” use, the most typical reason for trying shiatsu was “out of curiosity.” At “today's” session, the dominant reason was health maintenance. The most mentioned symptom groups were problems with “muscles, joints, or body structure,” “tension/stress,” and “low energy/fatigue.” Symptom scores improved significantly over the 6 months (all symptom groups, Austria and the United Kingdom; two symptom groups, Spain), with moderate effect sizes (0.66–0.77) for “tension or stress” and “body structure problems” (Austria, the United Kingdom), and small effect sizes (0.32–0.47) for the other symptom groups (Spain, 0.28–0.43 for four groups). Previous users reported significant symptom improvement from “first ever” to baseline with moderate effect sizes. Across countries, substantial proportions (≥ 60%) agreed or agreed strongly with shiatsu-specific benefits. At 6 months, 77%–80% indicated that they had made changes to their lifestyle as a result of having shiatsu, and reductions in the use of conventional medicine (16%–22%) and medication (15%–34%). Ten (10) adverse events were reported by 9 clients (1.4%); none of these clients ceased shiatsu.

Conclusions: Clients receiving shiatsu reported improvements in symptom severity and changes in their health-related behaviour that they attributed to their treatment, suggestive of a role for shiatsu in maintaining and enhancing health.

25. Reiki Decreases Pain and Anxiety in Cancer Patients

Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2011 Oct 13. [Epub ahead of print]

Source SC Oncologia Medica, San Giovanni Battista Hospital, Torino, Italy.


Reiki is a system of natural healing techniques administered by laying of hands and transferring energy from the Reiki practitioner to the recipient. We investigated the role of Reiki in the management of anxiety, pain and global wellness in cancer patients. Building on the results of a pilot project conducted between 2003 and 2005 by a volunteer association at our hospital, a wider, 3-year study was conducted at the same center. The volunteer Reiki practitioners received 2 years of theory and practical training.

The study population was 118 patients (67 women and 51 men; mean age, 55 years) with cancer at any stage and receiving any kind of chemotherapy. Before each session, the nurses collected the patient's personal data and clinical history. Pain and anxiety were evaluated according to a numeric rating scale by the Reiki practitioners. Each session lasted about 30 min; pain and anxiety scores were recorded using a Visual Analog Scale (VAS), together with a description of the physical feelings the patients perceived during the session. All 118 patients received at least 1 Reiki treatment (total number, 238). In the subgroup of 22 patients who underwent the full cycle of 4 treatments, the mean VAS anxiety score decreased from 6.77 to 2.28 (P <.000001) and the mean VAS pain score from 4.4 to 2.32 (P = .091).

Overall, the sessions were felt helpful in improving well-being, relaxation, pain relief, sleep quality and reducing anxiety. Offering Reiki therapy in hospitals could respond to patients' physical and emotional needs.

26. Topical B3 as Effective as Clindamycin Gel for Acne

1995 Jun;34(6):434-7


Department of Dermatology, State University of New York, College of Medicine, Brooklyn, USA.



Systemic and topical antimicrobials are effective in the treatment of inflammatory acne vulgaris; however, widespread use of these agents is becoming increasingly associated with the emergence of resistant pathogens raising concerns about microorganism resistance and highlighting the need for alternative nonantimicrobial agents for the treatment of acne. Nicotinamide gel provides potent antiinflammatory activity without the risk of inducing bacterial resistance.


In our double-blind investigation, the safety and efficacy of topically applied 4% nicotinamide gel was compared to 1% clindamycin gel for the treatment of moderate inflammatory acne vulgaris. Seventy-six patients were randomly assigned to apply either 4% nicotinamide gel (n = 38) or 1% clindamycin gel (n = 38) twice daily for 8 weeks. Efficacy was evaluated at 4 and 8 weeks using a Physician's Global Evaluation, Acne Lesion Counts, and an Acne Severity Rating.


After 8 weeks, both treatments produced comparable (P = 0.19) beneficial results in the Physician's Global Evaluation of Inflammatory Acne; 82% of the patients treated with nicotinamide gel and 68% treated with clindamycin gel were improved. Both treatments produced statistically similar reductions in acne lesions (papules/pustules; -60%, nicotinamide vs. -43%, clindamycin, P = 0.168), and acne severity (-52% nicotinamide group vs. -38% clindamycin group, P = 0.161).


These data demonstrate that 4% nicotinamide gel is of comparable efficacy to 1% clindamycin gel in the treatment of acne vulgaris. Because topical clindamycin, like other antimicrobials, is associated with emergence of resistant microorganisms, nicotinamide gel is a desirable alternative treatment for acne vulgaris.

27. Effect of Aromatherapy Massage on Menopausal Symptoms

A randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial.

Menopause. 2012 Apr 30. [Epub ahead of print]


From the 1Nursing and Midwifery Faculty, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran; 2Research Institute for Islamic and Complementary Medicine (Tehran University of Medical Sciences), Tehran, Iran; and 3Statistics Department, School of Management and Medical Information and Health Sciences, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.



Menopause is a significant event in most women's lives because it marks the end of a woman's natural reproductive life. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of aromatherapy massage on menopausal symptoms.


A randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted at a menopausal clinic at a gynecology hospital in Tehran. The study population comprised 90 women who were assigned to an aromatherapy massage group, a placebo massage group, or a control group. Each participant in the aromatherapy massage group received 30-minute aromatherapy treatment sessions twice a week for 4 weeks with aroma oil, whereas participants in the placebo massage group received the same treatment with plain oil. No treatment was provided to participants in the control group. The outcome measures in this study were menopausal symptoms, as obtained through the Menopause Rating Scale.


The mean baseline level of the menopausal score did not differ among all groups. However, after eight sessions of intervention, the Menopause Rating Scale score differed significantly among the three groups (P < 0.001). Post hoc analysis revealed that women in both the aromatherapy massage group and the placebo massage group had a lower menopausal score than the control group (P < 0.001). When the aromatherapy massage and the placebo massage groups were compared, the menopausal score for the aromatherapy massage group was found to be significantly lower (P < 0.001) than for the placebo group.


The results of the study demonstrate that both massage and aromatherapy massage were effective in reducing menopausal symptoms. However, aromatherapy massage was more effective than only massage.

Scroll to Top Call Now Button