Those of us who love flowers have enjoyed their fragrance as a great way to relieve personal stress. The good news is that science has finally proven what we have known all along.
Scientists in Japan reported the first scientific evidence that inhaling certain fragrances (such as scent of lemon, mango, lavender, or other fragrant plants) alters gene activity and blood chemistry in ways that can reduce stress levels.
In a study which appeared in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a bi-weekly publication, Akio Nakamura and colleagues noted that people have inhaled the scent of certain plants since ancient times to help reduce stress, fight inflammation and depression, and induce sleep. Aromatherapy, the use of fragrant plant oils to improve mood and health, has become a form of alternative medicine practiced by many in todays world. And linalool is one of the most widely used substances to soothe away emotional stress. However prior to this report, linalool’s exact effects on the body have been a deep mystery.
The scientists exposed lab rats to stressful conditions while inhaling and not inhaling linalool. Linalool returned stress-elevated levels of neutrophils and lymphocytes – key parts of the immune system – to near-normal levels. Inhaling linalool also reduced the activity of more than 100 genes that go into overdrive in stressful situations. The findings could form the basis of new blood tests for identifying fragrances that can soothe stress, the researchers say.
Or maybe the simpler solution is to just ask us flower lovers on Fun Flower Facts