Neuroscientists Confirm Folk Medicine Claims of Lavender’s Healing Powers

(p. D2) Lavender has purported healing powers for reducing stress and anxiety. But are these effects more than just folk medicine?

Yes, said Hideki Kashiwadani, a physiologist and neuroscientist at Kagoshima University in Japan — at least in mice.

. . .

In a study published Tuesday [Oct. 23, 2018 [sic]] in the journal Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, he and his colleagues found that sniffing linalool, an alcohol component of lavender odor, was kind of like popping a Valium. It worked on the same parts of a mouse’s brain, but without all the dizzying side effects.

. . .

Their findings add to a growing body of research demonstrating anxiety-reducing qualities of lavender odors and suggest a new mechanism for how they work in the body.

For the full story see:

JoAnna Klein. “Purple Reigns: Folk Wisdom Hails Lavender’s Powers. Now Researchers Are Pinning Down Why.” The New York Times (Tuesday, October 30, 2018 [sic]): D2.

(Note: ellipses and bracketed date added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date Oct. 23, 2018 [sic], and has the title “Lavender’s Soothing Scent Could Be More Than Just Folk Medicine.” Where there is a small difference in wording between the versions, the passages quoted above follow the online version.)

The article co-authored by Kashiwadani and mentioned above is:

Harada, Hiroki, Hideki Kashiwadani, Yuichi Kanmura, and Tomoyuki Kuwaki. “Linalool Odor-Induced Anxiolytic Effects in Mice.” Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 12 (Oct. 23, 2018).

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