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  1. #1

    Default Intoxicating fragrance: Jasmine as valium substitute

    Even if the claim of jasmine = valium is too strong, I love this development. (Would that I liked the jasmine note more.) If scent takes a beeline to the limbic system (including the hippocampus and amygdala), scent can be a modifier of mood. Every day, I seek mood enhancement with my SotD.

    Intoxicating fragrance: Jasmine as valium substitute

    ScienceDaily (July 9, 2010) — Instead of a sleeping pill or a mood enhancer, a nose full of jasmine from Gardenia jasminoides could also help.

    In collaboration with Dr. Olga Sergeeva and Prof. Helmut Hass from the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf, researchers from Bochum led by Prof. Hanns Hatt have discovered that the two fragrances Vertacetal-coeur (VC) and the chemical variation (PI24513) have the same molecular mechanism of action and are as strong as the commonly prescribed barbiturates or propofol. They soothe, relieve anxiety and promote sleep.

    The researchers have now been granted a patent for their discovery. They report in the current issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry (online).

    Every fifth German takes a sedative once a year

    Sedatives, sleeping pills and relaxants are the most frequently prescribed psychotropic drugs. The difference between calming and hypnotic effect depends solely on the dosage. The classes of substances that exert a calming effect include alcohol, barbiturates, opiates, and since the 1950s, the benzodiazepines, which are now among the world's most widely prescribed drugs. In the course of a year, about 20 percent of all Germans take such drugs or are treated with them for anaesthetic purposes. However, benzodiazepines are not only potentially addictive, but can also cause serious side effects, e.g. depression, dizziness, hypotension, muscle weakness and impaired coordination.

    Drugs enhance the effect of the neurotransmitter GABA

    Benzodiazepines, barbiturates and anaesthetics such as propofol act via specific adhesion sites on receptors that lie at contact points of nerve cells (synapses) in the brain and increase the effect of the inhibiting endogenous neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). In order to act like GABA itself, the medication would have to be highly dosed, but even lower doses are sufficient to increase the effect of endogenous GABA two to threefold.

    Fragrances instead of tablets

    The RUB researchers have now performed a large screening study in which they tested hundreds of fragrances to determine their effect on GABA receptors in humans and mice. The two fragrances vertacetal-coeur (VC) and the chemical variation (PI24513) were the strongest: they were able to increase the GABA effect by more than five times and thus act as strongly as the known drugs. The "cross check" with genetically modified GABA receptors in transgenic mice which no longer responded to propofol confirmed that the mechanism of action is the same: the altered receptor also no longer responded to the fragrances.

    Fragrances for sleep disorders and stress

    Behavioural tests with mice in Prof. Lübbert's laboratory in the Department of Animal Physiology at the RUB then eliminated the last doubts concerning the qualities of fragrance as a sedative. Injected or inhaled, the fragrances generated a calming effect: in a Plexiglas cage whose air contained a high concentration of the fragrance, the mice ceased all activity and sat quietly in the corner. Via the air breathed in, the scent molecules go from the lungs into the blood and then transmitted from there to the brain. Electrophysiological measurements of neurons in the brain areas responsible for the sleep-wake cycle showed that the GABA-effect on those nerve cells active in sleep was enhanced by the fragrances.

    "We have discovered a new class of GABA receptor modulator which can be administered parentally and through the respiratory air," says Prof. Hatt. "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." By changing the chemical structure of the scent molecules, the researchers hope to achieve even stronger effects

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    Story Source:
    The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by Ruhr-Universitaet-Bochum, via AlphaGalileo.

    Journal Reference:
    O. A. Sergeeva, O. Kletke, A. Kragler, A. Poppek, W. Fleischer, S. R. Schubring, B. Goerg, H. L. Haas, X.-R. Zhu, H. Luebbert, G. Gisselmann, H. Hatt. Fragrant dioxane derivatives identify 1 subunit-containing GABAA receptors.. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2010; DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M110.103309

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    Ruhr-Universitaet-Bochum (2010, July 9). Intoxicating fragrance: Jasmine as valium substitute. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 10, 2010, from /releases/2010/07/100708104320.htm

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Intoxicating fragrance: Jasmine as valium substitute

    Thanks for sharing this, Tim. No real surprise for people who understand aromatherapy.

    Jasmine is a powerful aphrodisiac and considered to be a very masculine scent, as opposed to the more feminine rose.

    Many cultures see this in flowers.
    Last edited by Primrose; 18th July 2010 at 05:40 PM.
    "The sunset is deeper and longer. The scent of the jasmine is stronger." Miracles. Pet Shop Boys

    "Thick dome of jasmine
    (Under the dense canopy where the white jasmine),
    Blends with the rose,
    (That blends with the rose),"
    "The Flower Duet," Lakme by Leo Delibes, 1881
    <div class="bnsotd"><b>Currently wearing:</b> <a href="ID10211707.html"><img src=""> Amazone (new) by Hermès</a></div>

  3. #3

    Default Re: Intoxicating fragrance: Jasmine as valium substitute

    That's especially interesting when you consider that jasmine is what we think of as exciting the senses, more of a mood elevator than a tranquilizer, and something like lavender, for example, that is traditionally suggested as the thing to put on your pillow to help you sleep!

    How many people are being prescribed tranquilizers just to make them feel better?
    One man's conspiracy is another man's business plan

  4. #4
    mtgprox05's Avatar
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    Dec 2007

    Default Re: Intoxicating fragrance: Jasmine as valium substitute

    My brother has extreme anger issues, violent aggression, all coupled with his Tourette's syndrome. I've always been interested in the true effects of scent and aromatherapy. Thanks for sharing this, it's very interesting.
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    Granted, we've known each other for some time. It don't take a whole day to recognize sunshine. ~ Common Sense

  5. #5

    Default Re: Intoxicating fragrance: Jasmine as valium substitute

    REAL jasmine, sniffed straight off the living plant, is beyond any jasmine essential oil or perfume I've experienced. Processing the natural essence changes it radically. Heat, chemicals, etc. destroy the delicate complex volatile molecules that give it the natural quality.

    I'm most familiar with the fragrance of the Jasminum sambac variety. Definitely calming, comforting, and heavenly; in the right atmosphere, aphrodisiacal. No wonder it has been used as an offering.
    Last edited by Sensual; 23rd July 2010 at 03:03 AM.

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