Orange essential oil is a potential treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, new research suggests.
The oil — derived from the skin of an orange — could provide a better option than drugs, which generally have unwanted side effects.
Ms Cassandra Moshfegh, the study’s first author, said:
“Relative to pharmaceuticals, essential oils are much more economical and do not have adverse side effects.
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.”
People already use many different essential oils for therapeutic purposes.
Sometime they are diffused in to the air, sometimes applied to the skin and they can also be consumed in foods.
This study on mice tested the effects of the essential oil on their fear response.
The results showed that the mice exposed to orange essential oil were psychologically protected against a traumatic experience.
Genetic analysis also suggested a potential mechanism for this effect.
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was published in The FASEB Journal (Moshfegh et al., 2016).