In the December issue of EatingWell Magazine, they reported on the Seven Natural Stress Busters; Four of which were scent-based. Preliminary studies have shown that scents can change brain waves and behaviors. So whenever you feel overwhelmed with day-to-day stress, breathe in one of these calming and relaxing fragrances: Lavender Lavender gets its name from the Latin word “lavare” or “to wash”. It may have earned its name because lavender was frequently used in baths to help “purify the body and spirit”.
Tiffany Field of the University of Miami, School of Medicine studied the effects of lavender on relaxation and sleep. The scent of lavender was seen “to slow down heart rate, slow blood pressure and put you in a parasympathetic state, which is a relaxed state”. In 2007, Japanese study found that the scent of lavender and rosemary “enhance Free Radical Scavenging Activity and decrease the stress hormone, Cortisol, which protects the body from oxidative stress.” Ylang Ylang This unassuming little flower is widely known and used in perfumery for its sweet delicate aroma.
The famous Chanel No.5 perfume used ylang-ylang as its base notes. A British study found that ylang-ylang decreased alertness but also significantly increased calmness in subjects. Lemon The bright citrus scent of lemon may possess an anti-depressant-type effect on people making it a good choice for relief from stress. In a study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, it showed that lemon, a stimulant, appeared to enhance mood.
Jasmine Another widely used scent in perfumery is Jasmine. The name Jasmine comes from the Persian word ‘Yasmin’ which means “a gift from God”. It gets its name because of its sweet, intoxicating scent. Jasmine has been widely used by the Ancient Greeks and Egyptions. But a recent study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry found that jasmine was as good as Valium at calming nerves without having any of the negative side effects. Vanilla Vanilla is often considered as the most universally pleasant smell.
MRI technicians at New York City’s Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center use vanilla-scented oil to help cancer patients Cheap Oakley cope with the claustrophobic effects of the MRI scans. They found that 63 percent of patients exposed to heliotropin (a vanilla fragrance) reported less anxiety and claustrophobia than those were not exposed. Another study by Tubingen University Cheap Oakleys in Germany also revealed that vanilla “reduced the startle reflex in both humans and animals”.