Physiological and Psychological Effects of Volatile Organic Compounds from Dried Common Rush (Juncus effusus L. var. decipiens Buchen.) on Humans

Minkai Sun, Taisuke Nakashima, Yuri Yoshimura, Akiyoshi Honden, Toshinori Nakagawa, Yu Nakashima, Makoto Kawaguchi, Yukimitsu Takamori, Yoshitaka Koshi, Rimpei Sawada, Shinsuke Nishida, Koichiro Ohnuki, Kuniyoshi Shimizu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study compared the participants’ physiological responses and subjective evaluations of air scented with different concentrations of common rush (Juncus effusus L. var. decipiens Buchen.) (30 g and 15 g, with fresh air as a control). We asked 20 participants to complete a series of visual discrimination tasks while inhaling two different air samples. We evaluated (1) brain activity, (2) autonomic nervous activity, and (3) blood pressure and pulse rate, (4) in combination with self-evaluation. In addition, we quantified the concentrations of volatile organic compounds. The participants reported the scent to be sour, pungent, and smelly; this impression was likely caused by hexanal and acetic acid. Although the self-evaluations showed that participants did not enjoy the scent, their alpha amplitudes of electroencephalogram and parasympathetic nervous activity were increased, suggesting that participants were relaxed in this atmosphere. Moreover, a lower concentration resulted in a greater induction of relaxation. While the air was not pleasant-smelling, the volatile organic compounds present had a positive psychophysiological impact.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1856
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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