Essential oils are widely used in aromatherapy to improve our mood, and lower anxiety or depression. Inhaled essential oils are immediately taken up into the brain and therefore have a direct influence on brain functioning. However, it wasn’t clear which types or what dose would produce the optimal results. Until now.
A recent study investigated this question. The researchers believe that the interaction of essential oils with the naturally high levels of vitamin C in the brain is responsible for their effect on our mental health as they can produce either anti-oxidant (positive) or pro-oxidant (negative) effects depending on the ratios in this interaction.
For example, lavender and rosemary essential oils have been consistently shown to produce a mood-improving effect, which might be related to their strong anti-oxidant effect in the brain that stimulates the production of dopamine related to our well-being.
To know what ratio of interaction between an essential oil and vitamin C is needed to produce either pro- or anti-oxidant effects, the researchers focused on the mechanistic properties of essential oils and came up with an evaluation method by modeling actual brain chemical ratios in mixture systems.
Now the researchers are working to understand the dose required of certain essential oils to achieve the best results. Once we know that, we can use essential oils more effectively for our (mental) health.
Curious? HERE is the source