Smelling lavender and rosemary essential oils stimulates free radical scavenging activity, protecting cells
A breakthrough study on essential oils, led by Dr. Mahmoud A. Saleh, reveals an elaborate list of herbs that possess powerful antioxidant properties. Using high tech gas chromatography/mass spectrometry technology, Saleh was able to isolate a very powerful group of essential oils that exhibit strong free radical scavenging activity at concentrations of just 5mg /mL.
Natural News science also confirms that essential oils of rosemary and lavender reduce stress and stimulate free radical scavenging activity just by smelling them.
This means that just by sniffing lavender or rosemary, the body can increase its disease fighting potential tremendously, helping the body protect cells from free radical damage.
This is great news for the natural product industry, which typically uses essential oils to enhance product effectiveness. This is also good news for the future of food science. Essential oils would be great replacements for synthetic food additives like artificial flavorings and preservatives.
Uncontrolled levels of free radicals destroy human cells
At the cellular level, the uncontrolled production of oxygen-derived free radicals is capable of oxidizing bio-molecules, eliciting cell death and tissue damage. Free radical damage shows up in people as inflammation, aging, and carcinogenesis.
Free radical damage is countered by the presence of antioxidant activity. Antioxidants such as superoxide dismutase, catalase, polyphenols and glutathione protect against oxidative stress at the cellular level. When the body is overrun by free radicals, disease manifests.
17 essential oils that exhibit the highest free radical scavenging activity
In his study, Dr. Saleh studied the antioxidant properties of 248 medicinal, herbal essential oils.
Saleh's process began by adding .5 mL methanolic solution of each oil to 2.0 mL of a .02 mM methanolic DPPH solution. Three final concentrations were studied: 100 mg, 25 mg and 5mg. The results: 60 of the oils expressed high antioxidant levels at concentrations of 100 mg/mL. Twenty-seven of the oils were active at 25 mg/mL. A very powerful group of 17 oils were active at 5 mg/mL These oils included common ones like basil, oregano, thyme, catnip, cinnamon leaf, and clove bud. Other powerful oils included blue tansy, vetiver, rose, chili pepper, allspice, wild bay, Buddha wood, laurel leaf, and Peru balsam. Saleh's study emphasizes the importance of using essential oils in one's daily life to help fight free radical damage.
Free radical scavenging activity obtained from breathing in lavender and rosemary
To prevent oxidative stress, the human body employs many antioxidant systems that scavenge free radicals. Human saliva itself exhibits this activity. In fact, changes in saliva cortisol levels can be observed by aromatherapy.
Natural News Science documents a publication involving 22 healthy volunteers who breathed in rosemary and lavender aroma for five minutes. After collecting the volunteer's saliva samples, free radical scavenging activity was measured using 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl.
The results showed that free radical scavenging activity values increase by aroma-induced stimulation at low concentrations for lavender (1000 times dilution) and at high concentration for rosemary (10 times dilution) Both aromas decreased cortisol levels. No significant changes were observed in sIgA or alpha-amylase but the findings do reveal that both lavender and rosemary decrease the release of stress hormone cortisol and enhance free radical scavenging activity.
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Just the sight of a pink rose blossom can change a person’s outlook. The invigorating scent of peppermint alone can uplift one’s spirit. The magnificent colors, intricate designs, and enticing scents of certain plants indicate that something even more valuable lies beneath the surface.
Plants are loaded with active compounds, nutritive elements, tannins, terpenes, antioxidants, and volatile essential oils that communicate medicinally with the cells of the human body. This is the science mankind should be studying and aligning with. Interacting with plants and observing the benefits can drastically improve the quality of one’s life and stimulate a deeper connection with self and the universe.
Today it’s easy to stay closed off in an indoor bubble, disconnected from the natural environment, but these comfortable bubbles only hinder the body’s adaptive abilities and deprive the blood of fresh oxygen. Stale, indoor winter air becomes overburdened with the wastes of human respiration cycles and the byproducts of synthetic household products.
Indoor plants bring the natural environment inside, filtering the air and restoring the breath that connects all. Simple indoor growing methods such as the Mini Farm Grow Box, can bring these plants to life inside the home, with little hassle and great results. A revolutionary home distiller can turn those plants into essential oils and hydrosols.
Here are just 10 plants, among hundreds, that are great to have in the home. On top of filtering the air, these plants deliver therapeutic compounds that restore equilibrium in the human body.
The rose is a symbol of love, but more importantly, the properties of the rose petal are an act of love to the cells inside the body. Roses contain monoterpenes, natural antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds that promote healthy function of human cells.
The brain’s serotonin and dopamine levels can be altered due to various factors and experiences, but the properties of the Rhodiola rosea plant can balance neurotransmitter levels, improving one’s mood and outlook.
In the presence of lavender, anxiety dissipates. In aromatherapy, lavender relieves headaches and depression. In clinical studies, lavender effectively treats infection and reverses degenerative inflammatory diseases. The oil is often used in natural body care products.
In the shuffle of modern life, it’s important to stay organized, efficient, and focused. Rosemary clears the mind, stimulates memory and increases focus. The scent alone has a powerful, positive effect.
The active ingredients in peony are anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial by nature. A unique compound called paeonol also has anti-convulsive properties and restores strained nervous systems. (RELATED: For more on medicinal plants, visit Herbs.News)
When it comes to air purification, the peace lilly goes above and beyond. These plants take in the moisture and pollutants from the air. Peace lillies absorb benzene, formaldehyde and trichlorethylene. Household chemicals such as paints, inks, rubber, dyes, detergents, plastics, gasoline, and pharmaceuticals release toxins in the air, but peace lilies filter the chemicals from the air.
Feng Shui practitioners are skilled at maximizing the flow of positive energy in the home. One of their favorite plants to incorporate in homes is orchids. These gorgeous plants have a beautiful vein-like pattern on their petals that resembles a cardiovascular system. It’s no wonder why this plant’s properties relax the blood vessels, decrease stress, and improve cardiovascular health of humans.
Basil is an important plant used in Ayurvedic medicine. It contains compounds that alleviate headaches, colds, and digestive issues. Harvested fresh in the home, basil can be added to soups, pastas, and pizza.
The Boston fern is a natural air filter that can eliminate approximately 1,900 toxins per hour, including formaldehyde. This plant acts as a humidifier, restoring moisture in the air to weaken the mobility of pathogens.
The antibacterial compounds found in eucalyptus efficiently treat infections in the sinuses, reducing inflammation and reopening the passageways. Antibacterial tannins from eucalyptus can be hydrolyzed and consumed to stop and prevent sickness. Affordable, counter top distillation technology can help turn simple plants into consumable hydrosols and essential oils. Plants such as eucalyptus, lavender, basil, thyme, oregano, and peppermint could all be used in these machines to make pure, aromatic essential oils right at home.
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Lance D. Johnson, founder of Live Pure Body Care, is also the managing editor for all studies represented on this site. Lance has published hundreds of articles for top health news site NaturalNews.com and dozens of other syndicated publications.