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.