By Dr. Deanna Lites

DETROIT (WWJ)- It’s normal for patients to be anxious before surgery. A new study shows that lavender aromatherapy could help calm those per-op nerves.

Lavender has long been known to have many health benefits, including relieving stress and anxiety. Doctors at New York Presbyterian Hospital wanted to see if aromatherapy really could help reduce anxiety in patients who were about to have ear, nose or throat surgery.

The doctors took 100 patients and separated them into two groups. One group received lavender aromatherapy before surgery while the other group received standard nursing care. Patients from both groups reported their anxiety upon arriving to the preoperative waiting area and upon departure to the operating room.

Researchers found that the patients who received the aromatherapy reported less anxiety as they left the pre-op area and headed to surgery than those who did not.

Researchers say since aromatherapy is easy and safe to use, not to mention inexpensive, it should be considered as a way to manage patient anxiety before surgery.

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