By Lara Evans Bracciante
Originally published in Massage & Bodywork
magazine, April/May 2003.
Copyright 2003. Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals. All rights reserved.
Breathing in aromas rich in antioxidants -- the agents in fruits and vegetables, as well as vitamins C and E -- may be an option for good health, according to Kwang-Guen Lee, a researcher at the University of California at Davis. Lee distilled and extracted 30 chemicals to produce aromas from 10 plants, including soybeans, kidney beans, eucalyptus leaves and several types of spices, including basil, thyme, rosemary and cinnamon. Lee then tested the extracts for antioxidant levels and found them to be similar to those in vitamin E. This may be good news especially for people who are regularly exposed to toxic substances. Inhaling antioxidant aromatherapy may potentially counteract the damage caused from smoking. More research is needed, however, to fully determine health benefits.