Study Finds That Certain Scents Can Help With Depression?

(VitalNews.org) – Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh have done a recent study that showed that scents have more of an effect on people than we think they do. In fact, they’ve found that scents can trigger positive thoughts, which could help people with depression to combat negative thoughts.

The research included a study that exposed 32 people between the ages of 18 and 55 who are suffering from major depressive episodes to 12 different scents to see how they reacted to them. The scents included coffee, Vicks Vaporub, coconut oil, cumin, red wine, vanilla extract, clove bulbs, shoe polish, orange essential oil, and more.

The study found that people who smelled a certain scent had more of a memory of it than they remembered. They also found that smell-evoked memories were more “vivid, immersive, and real.”

Kimberly Young, the senior author of the study, said “It was surprising to me that nobody thought to look at memory recall in depressed individuals using scent cues before.”

The study itself was triggering the amygdala which is the part of your brain that triggers your fight or flight response. It can also be triggered by smell, which in this case helped to trigger memories associated with those smells.

Young said that improving memory in people who are suffering from depression can help to heal them faster. She said, “If we improve memory, we can improve problem-solving, emotion regulation, and other functional problems that depressed individuals often experience.” She expects to use a brain scanner to help prove her theory that the smell does in fact trigger the amygdala.

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