Scent of vanilla helps to ease pain: Japanese researchers


The aroma of vanilla extract can help to ease muscle pain and tension and may eventually factor into a treatment for stress headaches, a team of Japanese researchers has concluded.

The team from Kawasaki University of Medical Welfare in Okayama Prefecture, western Japan, recently discovered the pain-relieving effects of vanillin, a key element of vanilla, in an experiment using mice.

Although the scent of vanilla has long been used in aromatherapy to induce relaxation, it had not previously been confirmed through scientific study to affect the nervous system, the team said.

According to the group, the experiment involved administering vanillin to mice and then putting them on a board heated to around 55 C. Mice that had inhaled vanillin took two seconds longer before leaving their forepaws due to the heat than those which had not received a dose of the agent.

The result suggested that inhaling vanillin made the mice less sensitive to pain, said the team led by Hiroshi Ueno, an instructor of neuroscience.

"It would be difficult to look for the same effects (of vanilla scent) in humans, because sense of smell is subjective," Ueno said.

But the nervous systems of humans and mice have many similarities, he said, adding, "We hope smelling (vanilla) may help ease symptoms like shoulder stiffness and nerve pain."


©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

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I use vanilla incense and in pancakes. Love the smell.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

2 seconds longer. Was this 7 secs compared to 5 secs, or 62 secs compared to 60 secs?

Do inform us how significant these 2 seconds were please.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Reaseach sponsored by vanilla essence producers, look for special discounts in a supermarket near you soon.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Well " the team" should have consulted Chinese aroma massues before they subjected mice to burned feet. The Chinese People's Army has used them for decades and confirmed that it is effective on human pain.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Guess what else does a much better job of it.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Vanilla ice cream. Vanilla tea. Vanilla cake. Vanilla, love the stuff, maybe that's why I've never had a headache in my life then

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I just want to know where those mice 'left their forepaws'?  I suspect it should have read... 'before lifting their forepaws'.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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