This scent cuts stress by 70%
The aroma of lavender can buffer the body’s response to tough situations, according to a study of stressed hospital patients. When they breathed in the scent for 20 minutes, blood samples revealed a 70 percent reduction in levels of the stress hormone cortisol, plus an 11 percent reduction in anxiety scores, compared with those who didn’t inhale the scent. The researchers explain that lavender has musclerelaxing and mood-lifting properties that minimize cortisol production when inhaled. To get the benefits, try adding a few drops of lavender oil (like Mountain Rose Herbs Lavender Essential Oil, $13 for 15 ml, MountainRoseHerbs.com) to a bath or shower daily.