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Orange oil aromatherapy may speed recovery from PTSD
People with post-traumatic stress disorder [PTSD] may recover faster with orange oil aromatherapy. That's what researchers at George Washington University in the US hope after experimenting with mice. The researchers found that mice with an animal variant of PTSD return to normal function more quickly if they inhale orange oil.
Cassandra Moshfegh told the annual meeting of the American Physiological Society that she exposed mice to an experiment that scientists suspect mimics PTSD. Her research was funded by the US government.
The researcher gave her mice 2 stimuli at the same time - a neutral one [in this case a sound] and a negative one - for example an electric shock]. When the animals have learned to associate both stimuli with each other, when they are exposed to the neutral stimulus, they behave as if they were receiving a negative stimulus. In mice, this means that they 'freeze' - they no longer move. Mice 'freeze' when they are scared.
In another experiment, Moshfegh injected lipopolysaccharide into the intestines of her mice. Lipopolysaccharide causes inflammation. As a result, the amount of CD45+CD11b+ immune cells decreased by 68.7 percent in traumatized mice. If those mice also inhaled orange oil for 2 hours, the decrease was 54.2 percent.
"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."