Cortisol has been in the news often lately. It is considered the primary stress hormone. It increases blood sugar, suppresses the immune system, and suppresses the digestive system. Importantly, it also suppresses the reproductive system.
When we work and live in a continual state of high stress, this stress hormone can wreak havoc on our health. Resulting serious health issue include:
In a 2014 study, inhalation of clary sage oil reduced cortisol levels significantly while 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HTP) concentration was significantly increased. (study link below)
So we know why we want reduced cortisol, but why do we want increased 5-HTP?
Well, 5-HTP is a naturally occurring amino acid helping the body to produce serotonin and melatonin. Decreased serotonin has been been linked to mood disorders. Interestingly, it is thought that serotonin can affect mood, behavior, appetite and digestion, sleep, memory and sexual desire and function. Melatonin is known to help greatly with sleep.
So the next time you are struggling with a stressful day, reach for a bottle of Clary Sage. An excellent way to enjoy the benefits is to diffuse. Doing so on a regular basis will reduce your risk of suffering the results of a stressful lifestyle - naturally. I wear mine in our Essential Oils Necklace when participating in a stressful event. Be well!!
Ninette Jackson, C.C.A.
Sharon Cross, R.N. (consulting)
8 Meadow Lane
Lancaster, PA 17601