Planta Med 2006; 72(13): 1188-1192
DOI: 10.1055/s-2006-947202
Original Paper
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Chirality Influences the Effects of Linalool on Physiological Parameters of Stress

Martina Höferl1 , Sabine Krist1 , Gerhard Buchbauer1
  • 1Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Diagnostics, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
Further Information

Publication History

Received: February 10, 2006

Accepted: June 22, 2006

Publication Date:
18 September 2006 (online)


The specific physiological responses induced by inhaling R-(-)- as well as S-(+)-linalool in 24 human subjects undergoing experimental stress were investigated in this study. Various physiological parameters of the autonomous nervous system (heart rate, blood pressure, electrodermal activity) as well as the endocrine system (salivary cortisol) were monitored. The study clearly indicated that odorants can modulate salivary cortisol levels, with both linalool enantiomers exerting relaxing effects. Concerning blood pressure and heart rate, S-(+)-linalool acted as an activating agent in contrast to electrodermal activity. R-(-)-linalool proved to be stress-relieving as determined by heart rate. In conclusion, the results revealed that (1) chirality crucially influences the physiological effects of odorants and that (2) odorants may act differently on certain physiological parameters.


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Dr. Martina Höferl

Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Diagnostics

Centre of Pharmacy

University of Vienna

Althanstrasse 14

1090 Wien


Phone: +43-1-4277-555-52

Fax: +43-1-4277-9551