When people are down, researchers from the Autoimmune Disease at Tel Aviv University have just the right pick me up, and it doesn’t involve drugs. The researchers, lead by immunologist Yehuda Shoenfeld, PhD, discovered there’s a link between depression and smell.
Depression is a common symptom of lupus. So, to achieve depression symptoms, researchers injected mice with lupus antibodies and found the mice became depressed. This was also first time science has been able to prove a link between depression and a specific antibody. Researchers also discovered lupus antibodies bind with structures in the brain related to smell, which helps explain why psychiatric patients often lose their sense of smell.
Researchers then tested odors to see if they could lift the depressed condition and injected certain mice with Prozac. What they discovered was fresh citrus fragrances, particularly zesty lemons, did more to improve depression than drugs. The citrus scents elevated levels of serotonin and reduced the stress hormone neorepinephrine, and Shoenfeld believes with more studies aromatherapy and smells may become a viable way to improve depression.
You can get the fresh scent of lemons through essential oils, but remember to make sure they’re oils and not fragrances, as fragrances are not good for you. (To ensure you use essential oils safely read, Essential Oil Safety Tips.) This Essential Oil by Aura Cacia is 100% pure lemon and certified organic. To use it, and, to uplift your spirits with lemon scents, here’s some tips.
- Add a few drops of lemon essential oil to a handkerchief, and carry it with you and sniff it throughout the day.
- Add a few drops of lemon essential oil to a tea light-fueled diffuser and burn for an hour or so.
- Burn a citrus or lemon-based candle made with essential oils, such as the 7-ounce Pharmacopia Votive, which is organic citrus soy and featured on NBC’s Today Show and in People Magazine.
- Use lemon bath and shower gels, such as Avalon Organic Botanicals. It’s a 12 ounce size and does not contain artificial colors, synthetic fragrances, parabens, Sodium Lauryl or Laureth Sulfate. It is also vegetarian and hypo-allergenic.
- Use lotions with lemon essential oil scents, such as My Skin Rocks Lemon Nourishing Body Lotion. It’s organic with antioxidants and vitamins.
- Use shampoos and conditioners with lemon scents, such as Avalon Organic’s Lemon Clarifying Shampoo.