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Jasmine Scent Works Like Sleeping Pills

That's the word from German researchers who found that the scent of jasmine is as effective as valium and similar drugs for relieving anxiety and promoting sleep. In fact, they reported that two jasmine fragrances have the same neurochemical mechanism of action as barbiturates.

The investigators from Ruhr Universität in Bochum, Germany tested hundreds of fragrances to determine their effects in humans and mice on the neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which helps control nervous system activity. The two jasmine fragrances that were strongest increased the GABA effect by more than five times, making the scents as powerful as some pharmaceutical drugs. One of the investigators noted that the results could be seen as supportive evidence of a scientific basis for aromatherapy. The researchers have been granted a patent for their discovery. The study was published online in May by the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Learn more about treating insomnia here.

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Reader Comments (2)

Are there any types and/or amounts of jasmine recommended for something like this? For example, would incense be the best? Or some kind of oil?

August 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDan K

Here are some tips though we don't have the amounts of jasmine that works best: you should test that yourself:

Try tucking a jasmine sachet under your pillow
Spray your bedroom with a light fragrance containing jasmine or a few minutes before bedtime
Add a few drops of jasmine scent to the rinse water when you're washing your bed linens, or use detergents and fabric treatments containing these scents.
After your evening shower or bath apply a soothing body lotion containing a sleep enhancing scent--jasmine

Aromatherapy is relatively safe, but improper use of essential oils can cause burns, allergic reactions, headaches and nausea, and some are toxic if ingested.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

August 26, 2010 | Unregistered
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