Smelling This May Decrease Anxiety

Research suggests that smelling lavender can relieve feelings of anxiety.

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How You Can Take Control of Your Anxiety (2:43)

For centuries, people have claimed that smelling certain plants can calm your nerves. Recent research might, in fact, prove those claims to be true. A study conducted in Japan at Kagoshima University has shown that smelling lavender may assist in lessening feelings of anxiety. The positive results are due to an alcohol-based compound found in lavender called linalool, which seems to have a calming effect on the brain.

The study was performed on mice and researchers found that simply inhaling linalool would cause the calming effects to take place -- there was no need for the substance to directly enter their bloodstream. The idea that solely smelling lavender could be beneficial to the brain is interesting because many current treatments for anxiety, like a prescribed drug, have to be more directly involved with the body.

While further research is needed in order to verify both the safety and overall effectiveness of linalool, this research provides a potential non-drug related solution to anxiety. Anxiety affects 6.3 percent of Americans, many of whom find their anxiety to be so crippling it's registered as a disorder. If you are going through a stressful time or feel yourself needing to calm down, try taking a sniff of this essential oil to soothe your nerves and your brain.  

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