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Jasmine scent could replace Valium, scientists discover

The Local · 9 Jul 2010, 11:33

Published: 09 Jul 2010 11:33 GMT+02:00

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The surprising effects of the Gardenia jasminoides scent include aiding sleep and anxiety relief, according to the “Journal of Biological Chemistry” report.

The scent molecules, transported into the blood through the lungs, could serve as a potent substitute for psychotropic prescription drugs, the researchers at the Ruhr University Bochum and the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf said.

The researchers tested hundreds of fragrances on humans and mice to see how they effected the function of the neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which is enhanced by conventional drugs like Valium. The two fragrances vertacetal-coeur (VC) and the chemical variation (PI24513), derived from jasmine flowers, were the strongest, amping up GABA response “as strongly as the known drugs,” the study said.

To eliminate their last doubts about the viability of jasmine as a sedative substitute, the researchers performed behavioural tests on mice. The animals showed evidence of the scent’s calming effects through both injection and inhalation.

“We have discovered a new class of GABA receptor modulator which can be administered parentally and through the respiratory air,” Bochum Professor Hanns Hatt said in a statement. “Applications in sedation, anxiety, excitement and aggression relieving treatment and sleep induction therapy are all imaginable. The results can also be seen as evidence of a scientific basis for aromatherapy.”

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Now the scientists plan to experiment with altering the scent’s chemical structure to achieve even stronger effects, the statement said.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

20:24 July 9, 2010 by Red Squirrel
This is very good news.

I was addicted to valium for 28 years! In the seventies it was basically given to anyone who asked for it. I was only 19 and there was northing wrong with me, I just lacked self esteem.

I had no idea of it's addictiveness until it was too late. I finally went 'cold turkey' after witnessing the horror of 9/11 on TV. Then life got better and better for me.

There are many people still addicted I hope that this treatment can help them.
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