The season of comforting and nostalgia-inducing scents is upon us. Holiday scents have the ability to make you want to curl up in a blanket and huddle by a fireplace. A mere whiff instantly warms the heart and can evoke childhood memories. The smell of the holidays is not only a treat to the nose but studies are now showing that they can do wonders for our state-of mind and overall health.
We have made a list of the top four scents for this holiday season.
Gingerbread – Ginger is an appetite stimulant and cinnamon has also been shown to sharpen the mind. Research has shown that the smell of cinnamon can help boost brain function. According to a Wheeling Jesuit University study, those who were given the sweet spice improved in cognitive activities such as visual-motor response, working memory and attention span.
Pumpkin Spice – The smell of pumpkin spice has been shown to work wonders for the libido! A study by neurologist Alan Hirsch, M.D., and other researchers at the Smell and Taste Treatment Research Foundation in Chicago, that pumpkin pie’s aroma was found to produce a 40% increase of sexual arousal in men. It also scored in a high percentage with women!
Apple Cinnamon – In addition to being the main ingredient in fall favorites like apple pie, this super fruit's scent can mitigate a migraine. A 2008 study showed that those who found the scent appealing also had a noticeable ease in their headache symptoms and a shortened migraine episode. Previous research using the green apple's odor has also found the scent can help reduce stress and anxiety.
Pine – Great for relieving stress, anxiety and nervous tension. In one study, researchers at the Japan's Kyoto University sent 498 healthy volunteers on two 15-minute forest strolls one day, compared to a control day when they didn't walk. The study showed hostility and depression scores decreased significantly after walking. What's more, the more stressed-out the volunteers were to begin with, the greater the relaxation they experienced.