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Aromatherapy: It’s Effect on Brain Signal, Math Computation

,
Blood Pressure and Heart Rate
S.F. Khyasudeen, and M. Abu Bakar
Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Abstract— The effect of aromatherapy on the brain signal is information to the rest of the body. An odor is perceived
investigated to find the correlation with the heart rate, blood through thousands of olfactory nerves in the nostrils, which
pressure and mathematical computation. First the experiment contain bundles of highly sensitive nerve cells. Unlike other
is conducted to find the effect of aromatherapy on heart rate, nerve cells, these cells regenerate every 30 to 40 days. Spe-
blood pressure and mathematical computation and the result
is then been correlated to brain signal obtained. Thus the study
cific aromatic molecules of essential oils react with specific
of effect of aromatherapy covers the physiology and psycho- nerve receptors, which in turn trigger electrochemical im-
logically effects which are important to be identified to know pulses that are conducted directly into the brain. Aromas are
the significant effect of aromatherapy to physiology and psy- transmitted to the limbic system, a part of the brain which
chological as well as to determine the correlation between perceives and responds to memory, pleasure and emotions.
physiology and psychological of the human body. In this study, Odor triggers the limbic system to release brain-affecting
Rose has been chosen as the aroma for the study of the effect of chemicals known as neurochemicals. Encephalin reduces
aromatherapy. pain and creates a feeling of well-being. Because the olfac-
tory nerves are a direct extension of the brain's limbic sys-
Keywords—aromatherapy, brain signal, signal processing
tem, recognition of smell is relayed immediately, whereas
recognition of taste, sound and touch is not as immediate.
I. INTRODUCTION Alpha is one of the four basic brain waves [Delta, Theta,
Alpha, and Beta], which make up the electroencephalogram
Aromatherapy can be defined as therapy using the aroma. signal (EEG). These are all oscillating electrical voltages in
To be more precise, aromatherapy is the entire branch of the brain, but they are very tiny voltages, just a few mil-
botanical medicine using volatile aromatic plants com- lionths of a volt. The Alpha waves oscillate about 10 times
pounds that believe can be as a treatment of various condi- per second, and the range is 8-13 cycles per second. Alpha
tions. The aromatherapy use essential oil as the main com- appears and disappears. It is not always present. For exam-
ponents. Essential oil is making from a concentrated volatile ple, in deep sleep there is no Alpha, and if someone is very
aromatic compound that is produced by plants. Each plant highly aroused as in fear or anger, again there is virtually no
species originates in certain countries of the world because Alpha. Delta is seen only in the deepest stages of sleep
particular country has particular environment conditions and (Stages 3 and 4). Theta is seen in light sleep and drowsiness
neighboring fauna and flora. Essential oil can be extracted (sleep stages 1 and 2). Alpha is seen in wakefulness where
from oil ‘sacs’ in flower, leaves, stems, roots, seeds, wood there is a relaxed and effortless alertness. Beta is seen in
and bark.There are plenty of essential oils that are believed
can give certain effects to the person who inhaled it. Rose
for instance is believed to give effects of various sensations
basically for promoting relaxing state. The scientific name
for Rose is Rosa Damascena.
The Olfactory System is basically the body's system of
smell as illustrated in Figure 1. Tiny molecules of aroma are
inhaled by the nose. These aroma molecules are trapped in
the nose by hair like nerve endings that pass the aroma on to
receptors that then carry the molecules to the Olfactory
Bulb. From the Olfactory Bulb, the aroma molecules are
transported to the limbic system in the brain. Amygdala
plays a very important role in storing emotional trauma and
that odor triggers a profound effect from the gland. The
Olfactory nerves react as other nerves in the body do, re-
sponding to electrical signals and impulses and dispatching Fig. 1 The Olfactory System

F. Ibrahim, N.A. Abu Osman, J. Usman and N.A. Kadri (Eds.): Biomed 06, IFMBE Proceedings 15, pp. 447-450, 2007
www.springerlink.com © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

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biopac. Abu Bakar highly stressful situations.Changes in amplitude for alpha exposure to Rose as well. the heart rate and blood pressure of the subject is taken again. For each of the subject. especially the short-lived evoked potentials that is been focused as it is most associated to the sense of smell.F. Second Part: For recording and acquiring the EEG signal. scalp surface. Usman and N. Ibrahim.com. The second part involved the collection of brain signal from the same subjects and were recorded for both pre and post Output. the four F4 and F7-F8. six different readings were Processing-transform the signal into PSD recorded namely heart rate. for each and every subject.A. pp. However. 06/05/2006] F. There are many other kinds of electrical activity in bipolar technique. Bipolar technique refers to the tech- cycles per second). the subject is given five dif- ferent mathematical questions and told to finish the question as fast as they can while time is recorded. Alpha waves oscillate 8-13 times per nique of measuring the impedance between two active electrodes second. Each of the four types of waves is steps taken can be seen from Figure 2 below. Theta waves oscillate somewhat faster (4-7 trodes is bipolar technique. and Beta consti. The impedance is waited to reach al least 3kOhms Each of the four basic EEG waves is linked to a different before the recording of the brain signal is started. 15 --------------------------------------------------------------- . The montage used is the standard Delta waves are the slowest oscillating waves (0-4 cycles montage of 10-20 system and the technique of placing the elec- per second). the first part involved the collection of data from 30 subjects. three different readings 150 system-using band pass filter have been taken which are the heart rate. good for something different [4]. So. or a touch. After completed the questions.): Biomed 06. blood pressure and time taken to complete five basics mathematical questions. 447-450. sure. tal concentration and focus [4]. Then. Kadri (Eds. IFMBE Proceedings 15. In this study only the frontal part of the brain the brain. The occur when the brain responds to sensory input (like a signal is acquired from six channels comprised of Fp1-Fp2. 15 males and 15 Pre-processing using BIOPAC MP females. Beta waves oscillate still faster (13-40 cycles per and it is chosen as BIOPAC MP 150 is only compatible with the second). All the data obtained from the experi- ment conducted is plotted using the SPSS V13.A. blood pressure and heart rate of the subject is taken.448 S. 2007 www. onto the scalp in order to reduce the impedance exists in the tute the standard lineup of EEG activity. he or she will be asked to take a rest for about 15 minutes in order to ensure they are in rest- ing condition. and beta waves First Part: For measuring the heart rate and blood pres. Theta. Abu Osman. and where there is difficult men. Fig 2 Summaries of the Steps Taken to Process Brain Signal. digital non-invasive blood pressure is used.com © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007 ---------------------------------------------------------------. Example of Signal Acquired. the gel is spread basic EEG waves of Delta. The flow of the state of consciousness. BIOPAC MP150 is used. Before placing the electrode. Khyasudeen and M. Subsequently.springerlink. Alpha. METHODS The method consists of two parts. Immediately after that. five mathematical questions are given and time taken to complete the questions is recorded. or a flash of light).The type of data presentation that is used to analyze and interpret the data is the simple error bar graph. Similarly. N. EEG signal-Using BIOPAC MP150 system II. J. When the subject arrived to the lab. blood pressure and time taken to using MATLAB by applying Burg method solve mathematical questions for pre and post exposure. Fig 3 User Interface of Hardware BIOPAC MP 150. F3- sound. The procedure is re- peated for each and every subject to ensure the consistency of the date obtained. The data is recorded during pre and post exposure to Rose. [www.IFMBE Proceedings Vol. subjects is asked to sniff dental swap con- tained three drops of diluted Rose for the duration of three minutes continuously.

IFMBE Proceedings Vol.A. Kadri (Eds. Figure 5 shows a significant drop in the blood pressure which is about five percent after the exposure to the Rose. 15 ---------------------------------------------------------------- . 0 represents before exposure and 1 represents after exposure and the sample subject taken is within the 95% confidence interval for both pre exposure and post exposure.springerlink. 447-450. J. From Figure 6. pp.Aromatherapy: It’s Effect on Brain Signal. Fig 6 Effect of Rose on Time Taken on Solving Mathematical Questions jects take 35 percent less time to complete the mathematical questions after exposing to the aroma. N.): Biomed 06.com © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007 ----------------------------------------------------------------. Math Computation. blue represents before and red represents after exposure. there is slight difference between pre and post exposure for the heart rate in which the mean heart rate is dropped about 2. EEG Signal Obtained After Exposing to Rose For all the Power Spectral Density (PSD) graphs shown (Fig 7 and Fig 8). From Figure 4.5 percent. Blood Pressure and Time Taken to Solve Mathematical Questions For all the figures presented below. Usman and N. IFMBE Proceedings 15. it shows that sub. Effect of Rose on Heart Rate. About 29 percent of the subjects show an increase of alpha power and the rest shows the decrease of alpha power. which is about 57 percent show the decrease in beta power. Blood Pressure and Heart Rate 449 III. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION A. About 43 per- cent of the subjects show an increase in beta power and the rest. Abu Osman. B. 2007 www.A. Increase in alpha magnitude indicates that the subject feels more relaxed after the expo- sure whereby the decrease of alpha magnitude shows that Fig 4 Effect of Rose on Heart Rate Fig 5 Effect of Rose on Blood Pressure Fig 7 PSD obtained for Alpha Wave for Subject 1 F. From the Table 1 it shows that there are subjects who re- corded to have higher magnitude of alpha power and also subjects shows lower magnitude of alpha power. Hypotheses make is that Rose makes subject feel more relax and drowsy [4]. Ibrahim.

However the results from the first part is Street: Lembah Pantai. pp 76-105 (1960) 2. University Malaya hypothesis. http://members. IFMBE Proceedings 15. feels tense after exposure.essortment. Khyasudeen and M. Usman and N.drwardbond. 50603 found to be a bit contradict from the second part as the City: Kuala Lumpur Country: Malaysia first part of the experiments shows that Rose makes most F.com 4. The best thing to conclude is that psychological effect sometimes does not indicate the physiological effect.A. This shows that most of the subjects feel relaxed after been exposed to the Rose which is contradict from the result of the brain signals obtained which shows minority of the subjects experienced relaxing state indicated by the increase in alpha power. IV.F. 15 --------------------------------------------------------------- .450 S. Ibrahim.htm 3. Japanese. http://www. pp. Increase in beta asp 6.com magnitude indicates that subject feels more alert after the 7.com exposure and decrease of beta magnitude indicate that sub- ject feels drowsy or less alert [7]. REFERENCES 1. Author: S. The result does not support the hypothesis that alpha makes subject feel relaxed.com/storefront/Aromatherapy/oils/Rose. Address of the corresponding author: Nevertheless the founding that more half of the sub. www.aol.com/networktcp/research/freq. Kadri (Eds. Electroencephalogram Study of Zen Meditation. Psychiatrist Neurologist.com © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007 ---------------------------------------------------------------.springerlink. However there is subject who said Table 1 Comparison of Alpha and Beta Waves for Pre and Post Exposure that he likes the aroma but the brain signals show that he for Six Subjects Respectively. Khyasudeen jects feel drowsy after the exposure likely supports the Institute: Department of Biomedical Engineering.htm 5. Abu Osman. www. One might said he feels relaxed after the exposure but the brain signal shows that he feel tense indeed. T.biopac.com/aromatherapyoil_rtds. There are subjects who feel relaxed after the exposure and so did subjects feel tense after the inhalation.IFMBE Proceedings Vol.): Biomed 06. 62. subject becomes tense or less relaxed [1]. 2007 www. Rose does not make all the sub- Figure 8 PSD Obtained for Beta Wave for Subject 1 jects feel drowsy or less alert because there are subjects feel alert after the inhalation.Hirai.A. Abu Bakar the subjects to experienced lower heart rate after the ex- posure.madison_avenue. J. http://vava. www. Relaxed state will decrease the heart rate (or at least the heart rate is not changed) and vice versa [7].F. 447-450. N. CONCLUSION Rose affects subject in various way. biocybernaut.