Can certain scents (aromatherapy) really help me feel less stressed out?

Can certain scents (aromatherapy) really help me feel less stressed out?

Question:
Tanya Edwards, M.D.
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Tanya Edwards, M.D.

A family physician, Dr. Tanya Edwards is passionate about using nutrition for the prevention and treatment of chronic illness.  She... Read more

The scent of lavender has been shown over and over again to be stress-reducing. We don’t have the full picture of what the connection is, but some research has shown that lavender oil decreases the output of chromogranin A, a protein made by our adrenal glands that is a marker for stress.

 

There are a couple of different ways you can use lavender to de-stress: Buy a bottle of essential oil and put a dab on the area above your lip right under your nostrils. (If you’re supersensitive to scents and/or suffer from migraines, don’t do this.) You can also dab it on your wrist or a tissue and take a big whiff whenever you feel the need for some calming.

 

After a long day, I like to take a hot bath with a few drops of lavender essential oil and epsom salts. The warm water allows the relaxing scent of lavender to permeate the air, and the magnesium in the epsom salts reduces muscle pain and fatigue. Lavender candles (made with essential oils, not lavender fragrance) and lavender-scented eye pillows are soothing as well.

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