Uncontrolled pain due to postherpetic neuralgia can cause anxiety, depression and ultimately reduce quality of life. Previous studies reported that lavender essential oil has antiinflammatory, antioxidant, and analgesic effects. Linalool and linalyl acetate also have analgesic effects. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the effects of inhalation of lavender essential oil, linalool, or linalyl acetate on the quality, severity and intensity of pain in patients with postherpetic neuralgia.
This randomized, controlled study examined 58 patients who had postherpetic neuralgia. Patients were randomized to a control group (almond oil vehicle) or one of three experimental groups: 1% lavender essential oil, 1% linalool, or 1% linalyl acetate. Each substance was applied to a piece of gauze, the patients then inhaled the aroma using natural breathing for 5 min, and then rested for 15 min. The quality, severity, and intensity of pain were measured before and after inhalation.
Posttreatment sensory pain was significantly lower in the 1% lavender oil group, the 1% linalool group, and the 1% linalyl acetate group than in the control group. Posttreatment affective pain was significantly lower in the 1% lavender group and the 1% linalool group than in the control group. The posttreatment severity and intensity of pain were significantly lower in all three intervention groups than in the control group.
These results showed that inhalation of lavender essential oil, linalool, or linalyl acetate effectively alleviated the quality, severity, and intensity of pain in patients with postherpetic neuralgia. Healthcare workers should consider this simple and safe intervention for patients suffering from postherpetic neuralgia. This study was based on academic journal paper submitted as an author and described with the consent of related researchers.