Essential oils can alleviate central fatigue

Researchers from the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine and Dali University in China were able to formulate a compound essential oil with beneficial effects against central fatigue. Their study, which was published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, was the first to show that essential oils can be used to alleviate this condition.

  • Central fatigue refers to a condition wherein the affected individual is unable to complete mental and physical tasks due to the dysfunction of the central nervous system.
  • Typically, people with central fatigue don’t have apparent cognitive failure or motor weakness. The signs and symptoms that they often exhibit include fatigue sensation, weakness of physical function, low efficiency during mental tasks, and negative emotions.
  • Aromatherapy has long been proven to have physical and mental benefits. However, the benefits of essential oil on central fatigue still remains unclear.
  • In this study, the researchers formulated a compound essential oil from Indian sandalwood (Santalum album), bitter orange (Citrus aurantium), lemon (Citrus limonum), gum benjamin (Styrax benzoin), grapefruit (Citrus paradisi), peppermint (Mentha piperata), Acori tatarinowii, Rhodiola crenulata, and tea plant (Camellia sinensis). They then tested its effects on rats with chronic sleep deprivation-induced central fatigue.
  • To determine the essential oil’s effects on physical performance, the researchers conducted a weight-loaded forced swimming test. Meanwhile, they used an open field test and the elevated plus maze to evaluate anxiety and cognitive performance.
  • The results show that inhalation of the essential oil caused improvements in physical endurance, as well as depression- and anxiety-like behavior.

Overall, these results suggest that the compound essential oil from nine different plants can be used to improve central fatigue. This is because of its physical and mental health benefits.

The full text of the study is available at this link.

If you’d like to read more news articles on the health benefits of different essential oils, visit

Journal Reference:

Han C, Li F, Tian S, Liu Y, Xiao H, Wu X, Zhang W, Zhang W, Mao M. BENEFICIAL EFFECT OF COMPOUND ESSENTIAL OIL INHALATION ON CENTRAL FATIGUE. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 26 November 2018;18(309). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-018-2375-6

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