每日英語跟讀 Ep.K116: 薰衣草香讓人鎮靜的功效不只是民俗療法
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K116: Lavender's Soothing ScentCould Be More Than Just Folk Medicine
Lavender bath bombs; lavender candles; deodorizing lavender sachets for your shoes, car or underwear drawer; lavender diffusers; lavender essential oils; even lavender chill pills for humans and dogs. And from Pinterest: 370 recipes for lavender desserts.
Take a deep breath. Release.
People like lavender. We have been using this violet-capped herb since at least medieval times. It smells nice. But Google “lavender” and results hint at perhaps the real fuel for our obsession: “tranquility,” “calm,” “relaxation,” “soothing” and “serenity.” Lavender has purported healing powers for reducing stress and anxiety. But are these effects more than just folk medicine?
Yes, said Hideki Kashiwadani, a physiologist and neuroscientist at Kagoshima University in Japan — at least in mice.
“Many people take the effects of ‘odor’ with a grain of salt,” he said in an email. “But among the stories, some are true based on science.”
In a study published Tuesday in the journal Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, he and his colleagues found that sniffing linalool, an alcohol component of lavender odor, was kind of like popping a Valium. It worked on the same parts of a mouse’s brain, but without all the dizzying side effects. And it did not target parts of the brain directly from the bloodstream, as was thought. Relief from anxiety could be triggered just by inhaling through a healthy nose.
Their findings add to a growing body of research demonstrating anxiety-reducing qualities of lavender odors and suggest a new mechanism for how they work in the body. Kashiwadani believes this new insight is a key step in developing lavender-derived compounds like linalool for clinical use in humans.
Kashiwadani and his colleagues became interested in learning how linalool might work for anti-anxiety while testing its effects on pain relief in mice. In this earlier study, they noticed that the presence of linalool seemed to calm mice.
In this study, they exposed mice to linalool vapor, wafting from filter paper inside a specially made chamber to see if the odor triggered relaxation. Mice on linalool were more open to exploring, indicating they were less anxious than normal mice. And they did notbehave like they were drunk, as mice on benzodiazepines, a drug used to treat anxiety, or injected with linalool did.
But the linalool did not work when they blocked the mice’s ability to smell, or when they gave the mice a drug that blocks certain receptors in the brain. This suggested that to work, linalool tickled odor-sensitive neurons in the nose that send signals to just the right spots in the brain — the same ones triggered by Valium.
但當研究人員阻斷老鼠的嗅覺能力，或給老鼠一種阻斷腦部某些受體的藥物時，芳樟醇就不起作用。這顯示，芳樟醇的作用方式是逗弄鼻子中對氣味敏感的神經元，再由神經元將信號發送到腦部正確位置，跟煩寧錠觸發的位置一模一樣。Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/333494/web/
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