Mouse research suggests a possible innovation for treating post-traumatic stress disorder-at least in mice. For them, aromatherapy with a whiff of orange seems to make a difference.
How Did a Whiff of Orange Help?
The scientists used essential oil of orange in their experiments. Mice were conditioned to exhibit a fear response to a certain sound. They demonstrate their fear by freezing motionless for a certain period of time.
Exposing them to a whiff of orange essential oil 40 minutes before and 40 minutes after the initial sound exposure reduced this fear behavior significantly compared to mice exposed to water or those who simply were subjected to the sound. Challenging the mice with a bacterial toxin and measuring the immune response led the scientists to conclude that the scent of orange essential oil modulates the neuroimmune response.
Will a Whiff of Orange Help Humans?
Although orange essential oil seems to be beneficial for mice, we have no idea whether it would help humans at all. Still, you might consider peeling an orange and getting a whiff of orange scent as a way to relax at the end of a stressful day.
In this research, the scientists were interested in learning whether inflammatory responses by immune cells contribute to post-traumatic stress disorder. The experiment suppors that hypothesis.