Printer Friendly

Japan: aromatherapy really works say Japanese scientists.

Cosmetics and natural oils producers will be able to commercially exploit new Japanese research that has suggested that aromatherapy, the use of fragrant oils to promote health and well being, does have scientific credibility in that certain scents really do decrease stress levels. Research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry is the first to find certain fragrances have the power to alter gene activity and blood chemistry in ways that can reduce stress levels in rats.

Akio Nakamura and his colleagues at the Department of Applied Biological Chemistry, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Science, University of Tokyo, along with researchers at Japanese food manufacturing company T. Hasegawa Co. and saw major changes in the blood and gene levels of stressed rodents that inhaled scents such as citrus, mango and lavender. Linalool, a chemical compound with a floral scent found in teas and foods such as oranges, tomatoes and basil, 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 research study's abstract said: "Significant changes on the stress-induced variations were induced by inhalation in 115 gene expression levels. Of those, 109 genes were down-regulated, whereas the remaining 6 were up-regulated."

It said the researchers had wanted to investigate anecdotal wisdom that such scents really did cause positive psychological effects: "It has been empirically known from ancient times that some odorants bring about psychophysiological effects, such as sedative, stimulative, antistress, anti-inflammatory, and anticonvulsant effects; for example, an antidepressant effect is provided by lemon odour and a sleep-enhancing effect by valerian."

monica.dobie@uw-news.com
COPYRIGHT 2009 A long-established global news agency serving specialist publications with foreign news, features, interviews and analysis. See http://www.internationalnewsservices.com for details.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Dobie, Monica
Publication:International News Services.com
Date:Jul 1, 2009
Words:282
Previous Article:Europe: EU to step up agricultural research.
Next Article:USA: Michigan University sells digital titles on Booksurge.
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters