Sniff to Stop Stress
By Wendy Streater
Scientists in Japan have reported that inhaling scent alters gene activity and blood chemistry to reduce stress levels in lab rats.
Lab rats were exposed to stressful conditions while inhaling, or not inhaling linalool, a chemical found in many flowers and spice plants.
The linalool normalised stress elevated levels of neutrophils and lymphocytes, key parts of the immune system, while also reducing the activity of more than 100 genes relating to stress.
Herbalists and aroma-therapists have known that the scent of lemon, lavender, mango and other fragrant plants are beneficial in reducing stress. Now the scientists are proving it for the rest of us.
Lavender has been used to soothe children off to sleep for generations. A spray bottle filled with water mixed with a couple of drops of lavender oil is a great air freshener, especially in the bedroom as the scent aids a good night's sleep.
Pillows filled with dried lavender, have also been used as a sleep aid for many centuries.
Potpourri with the main ingredients of lemon and lavender has been used in bedrooms to scent the air with its relaxing aroma.
Children have responded to a couple of drops of lavender oil on their pillows to ease them into a restful sleep, free from nightmares.
Anytime you have trouble sleeping, try a couple of drops of lavender on your pillow or on a handkerchief. Sniff the aroma, and lie back and relax. In no time at all, you will drift off into a sound sleep.
If you like the scent of lavender, try a couple of drops in the rinse water for your sheets. They will retain a subtle aroma and you will have peaceful dreams.
Wendy Streater has been interested in natural products for over twenty years. After discovering some disturbing facts about the ingredients in regular household products, Wendy has set up a site http://www.naturallythebest.info devoted to informing everyone about the natural, affordable alternatives available.
There is a lot of things most people take for granted e.g., the government controls the amount of dangerous chemicals in toiletries and make-up. This is not possible, given the amount of new chemicals and combinations of chemicals developed every year. We need to take a proactive approach and look out for ourselves.
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