Testing the Effects of Exposure to Eucalyptus Oil Upon Cognitive Performance
Journal of Advanced Student Sciences (JASS)
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This study investigates the effects of eucalyptus oil on focus and relaxation during a cognitive stressor. While prior studies focused on the healing and antimicrobial properties of eucalyptus, few have gone further to study the physiological effects of the oil on regular mental stressors, or daily situations that elevate the mental load experienced by the body. Mental stress, regardless of the initial stressor, exhibits similar physiological effects such as elevated heart rate, respiration rate, and EEG measurements (i.e. beta waves). Due to these similarities across conditions it is likely that the introduction of eucalyptus oil has the capability to reduce these physiological values, signaling a decrease in overall stress. It was hypothesized that exposing subjects to eucalyptus oil while performing a cognitive task would decrease the change in physiological vitals such as heart rate, respiration, and beta wave frequency, compared to control subjects not exposed to eucalyptus oil. To test this hypothesis, the average changes in heart rate, respiration rate, and beta wave frequency from baseline measurements to experimental conditions were compared between the two treatment groups. From the results, no significant data was observed, therefore, it can be concluded that exposure to eucalyptus oil does not have any drastic effect on altering heart rate, respiration rate, or beta wave frequency while faced with a cognitive stressor, which the study used to indicate mental stress.