The researchers at King's College London used questionnaires
to measure the anxiety levels of 340 patients while they appeared for a
scheduled dental check-up.
Researchers exposed half of the participants to a scent
given off by a candle warmer, which activated five drops of lavender oil in
water. This procedure was repeated during a four-week period. The rest of the
patients did not receive such therapy.
The researchers found that anxiety level of those not
exposed to lavender was 10.7 compared with 7.4 among those who sniffed the
"Our findings suggest that lavender could certainly be
used as an effective 'on-the-spot' anxiety reduction in dentists' waiting
rooms," lead researcher Koula Asimakopoulou said. the details of the study were presented at
the British Psychological Society's health psychology conference.