Why you need lemon in your Gin & Tonic

August 23, 2009


I have always been a great advocate of aromatherapy – when in the hands of a trained aromatherapist it can have profound health and psychological benefits. It stimulates the immune system, strengthens resistance to disease and helps to combat infections. Aromatherapy can lower blood pressure, reduces stress, combat insomnia and other helps to deal with emotions such as anxiety, mild depression, and grief.

And what has this to do with my G&T I can hear you ask? Well some splendid Japanese researchers at Tokyo University have given aromatherapy a much-needed seal of approval by proving that your favourite drink can calm your nerves after a stressful day – but only if you include a decent slice of lemon in it.

When we get nervous, stressed and anxious our genes go into overdrive and can cause high blood pressure, sleeplessness and depression. These genes are affected by Linalool, a chemical compound found in lemons, lavender and mangos. That also explains why lavender oil is so popular to help people relax and go to sleep more easily.

It is the citrus aroma in that G&T that our bodies that respond to and the researchers have proved that Linalool can reverse the effects of stress simply by us inhaling that aroma. So you don’t even need to drink it, just give it a good sniff!


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