We’ve written before about the power of essential oils like lavender essential oil. Essential oils are the condensed, aromatic compounds that occur naturally in plants. Many, many of them have profound effects on the senses and our emotional state. They can be be inhaled from the hands or in diffusers, used in body care products or applied on the skin if diluted in carrier oils like jojoba oil.
But now, orange essential oil can join the list and even has its own research to back up claims.
There is growing awareness about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As you may know, it is not just confined to the battlefield – but also in the battlefield of life. While researchers offer a conservative estimate of 8% of the population struggling with post-traumatic stress, my estimation as a Self-Referencing practitioner is that it is much, much higher.
Cassandra Moshfegh, research assistant in Paul Marvar’s laboratory at the George Washington University, will present work on orange essential oil and PTSD at the American Physiological Society’s annual meeting this week.
Orange essential oil is made from the peels of the citrus fruit and is one of the most inexpensive essential oils in existence. In fact, a bottle of organic orange essential oil – which is made from many peels – can be cheaper than a couple bags of oranges.
Moshfegh said (emphasis added),
Relative to pharmaceuticals, essential oils are much more economical and do not have adverse side effects.
The orange essential plant oil showed a significant effect on the behavioral response in our study mice. This is promising, because it shows that passively inhaling this essential oil could potentially assuage PTSD symptoms in humans.
Science Daily reports:
The researchers tested the effects of orange essential oil using Pavlovian Fear conditioning, a behavioral mouse model used to study the formation, storage and expression of fear memories as a model for PTSD. Mice were exposed to the orange essential oil by passive inhalation 40 minutes before and after fear conditioning. Typically mice freeze in fear when they hear a certain audial tone later, a response that diminishes gradually over time.
Twelve mice received the tone by itself, 12 mice received water and fear conditioning, and 12 mice received an orange essential oil and fear conditioning. Mice exposed to orange essential oil by passive inhalation showed a significant reduction in freezing behavior and stopped freezing earlier than the water-exposed, fear-conditioned mice. They also showed significant differences in the types of immune cells present after fear conditioning. The immune system contributes to the inflammation associated with chronic stress and fear, so immune cells are a marker of the biochemical pathways involved in PTSD…