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The scent of jasmine as a substitute for valium? Scientists point out the calming effect of the jasmine flower.
In traditional Chinese medicine, jasmine plays an outstanding role as a tea preparation and fragrance. Jasmine is said to have a calming and mood-lifting effect. Scientists at the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf investigated whether an effect can actually be achieved here.
In a study, researchers found that the scent of jasmine flowers can have a calming effect on humans. The effect is similar to that of sleep medication or so-called mood enhancers. The fragrance of the jasmine variety “Gardenia jasminoides” has the same effect as barbiturates (sleeping pills) or propofol (hypnotics).
It is amazing what variety nature has in terms of effective substances. Naturopathy has long known temporary medicinal plants that have a calming effect on the human organism. Well-known examples are St. John's wort or valerian. Scientists from Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf and the University of Bochum have used a study to demonstrate that certain jasmine flower scents have a calming and mood-enhancing effect on people. The researchers led by Helmut Hass and Hanns Hatt compared the effect with drugs that have a sleep-promoting effect.
In the course of the study it was found that the scents of the jasmine variety “Gardenia jasminoides” show the same molecular mechanism of action on animals as barbiturates (sleeping pills) and propofol (hypnotics). These drugs are often prescribed to patients and are considered strong psychiatric drugs. These drugs in turn cause side effects and can therefore be harmful to the health of the patient. For example, propofol can lead to unwanted muscle cramps, a drop in blood pressure, allergic reactions and nightmares. In severe but rare cases, some patients even suffered metabolic derangement with cardiovascular disorders and muscle breakdown.
The difference in the effect between conventional medication and the jasmine flower is, according to scientists, only in the dosage. Adequate effectiveness cannot be achieved if patients place a bouquet of jasmine flowers in the room.
For this reason, the scientists at the two universities would be working flat out to change the chemical structure of the fragrance molecules so that the effect of the jasmine flower is enhanced. So far, it is unknown whether the jasmine plant can cause side effects and requires further research. However, the discovery of its effectiveness is already considered scientific evidence of the basics of natural aromatherapy. Both researchers have already applied for a patent for their discovery. (sb)