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Free radical scavenging

Smelling lavender and rosemary essential oils stimulates free radical scavenging activity, protecting cells

Monday, August 19, 2013 by: Lance Johnson
Tags: free radical scavenging, essential oils, lavender

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(NaturalNews) A breakthrough study on essential oils, led by Dr. Mahmoud A. Saleh, reveals an elaborate list of herbs that possess powerful antioxidant properties. Using high tech gas chromatography/mass spectrometry technology, Saleh was able to isolate a very powerful group of essential oils that exhibit strong free radical scavenging activity at concentrations of just 5mg /mL.

Natural News science also confirms that essential oils of rosemary and lavender reduce stress and stimulate free radical scavenging activity just by smelling them.

This means that just by sniffing lavender or rosemary, the body can increase its disease fighting potential tremendously, helping the body protect cells from free radical damage.

This is great news for the natural product industry, which typically uses essential oils to enliven their products. This is also good news for the future of food science. Essential oils are a disease prevention powerhouse and would be great replacements for food additives like artificial flavorings and chemical sweeteners.

Uncontrolled levels of free radicals destroy human cells

At the cellular level, the uncontrolled production of oxygen-derived free radicals is capable of oxidizing bio-molecules, eliciting cell death and tissue damage. Free radical damage shows up in people as inflammation, aging, and carcinogenesis.

Free radical damage is countered by the presence of antioxidant activity. Antioxidants like superoxide dismutase, catalase, polyphenols and glutathione are oxidative enzymes that protect against oxidative stress at the cellular level. When these antioxidant protectors are unbalanced, diseases can easily set in.

17 essential oils that exhibit the highest free radical scavenging activity

In his study, Dr. Saleh studied the antioxidant properties of 248 medicinal, herbal essential oils.
Saleh's process began with adding .5 mL methanolic solution of each of oil to 2.0 mL of a .02 mM methanolic DPPH solution. Three final concentrations were studied: 100 mg, 25 mg and 5mg. The results revealed that 60 of the oils expressed high antioxidant levels at concentrations of 100 mg/mL. 27 of the oils were active at 25 mg/mL, and a very powerful group of 17 oils were active at 5 mg/mL These oils included common ones like basil, oregano, thyme, catnip, cinnamon leaf, and clove bud. Other powerful oils included blue tansy, vetiver, rose, chili pepper, allspice, wild bay, Buddha wood, laurel leaf, and Peru balsam. Saleh's study emphasizes the importance of using essential oils in one's daily life to help fight free radical damage.

Free radical scavenging activity obtained from breathing in lavender and rosemary

To prevent oxidative stress, the human body employs many antioxidant systems that scavenge free radicals. Human saliva itself exhibits this activity. In fact, changes in saliva cortisol levels can be observed by aromatherapy.

Natural News Science documents a publication involving 22 healthy volunteers who breathed in rosemary and lavender aroma for five minutes. After collecting the volunteer's saliva samples, free radical scavenging activity was measured using 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl.

The results showed that free radical scavenging activity values increase by aroma-induced stimulation at low concentrations for lavender (1000 times dilution) and at high concentration for rosemary (10 times dilution) Both aromas decreased cortisol levels. No significant changes were observed in sIgA or alpha-amylase but the findings do reveal that both lavender and rosemary decrease the release of stress hormone cortisol and enhance free radical scavenging activity.

The natural product industry should be excited with these discoveries, as well as food scientists. Adding essential oils to foods and products is the future and will promote disease prevention in the years to come.

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About the author:
Passionate about holistic wellness, Lance Johnson and his wife invite you to www.allnaturalfreespirit.com, where you can buy clean, chemical-free body care products.

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