Aromatherapy with Coffee

Most coffee drinkers would agree that coffee has very beneficial qualities. It wakes you up, it makes you feel less groggy, and it can even taste good. But coffee can also work as aromatherapy.

In a Japanese study, the researchers first deprived lab rats of sleep. They then gave rats the scent of coffee and found that just the scent altered the activity of over a dozen genes in the brains of rodents when deprived of sleep.

Just a whiff of roasted coffee alleviated some of the stress of missing sleep. So does this mean we should start smelling our morning coffee? It clearly helped for rats.

Joyride Coffee, Coffee as Aroma Therapy
Joyride Coffee, Coffee as Aroma Therapy

Did I mention that rats like Colombian coffee the best? Well, now I did. Just shows their fine taste for artisanal coffees.

Just a whiff of roasted coffee can alleviate some of the stress of missing sleep, at least for rats.

Just the scent altered the activity of over a dozen genes in the brains of rodents when deprived of sleep.

Joyride Coffee, Coffee as Aroma Therapy
Joyride Coffee, Coffee as Aroma Therapy

Should we start smelling our morning coffee? We already know that the taste of coffee affects our brain functioning, but little is known about the actual smell. But smell has a strong correlation with taste, so it would be interesting to test the effect of scent on humans as well.

It's also interesting that this study was conducted in a Japanese lab, as Westerners often think of the Japanese as tea drinkers. But actually, the top three coffee drinking countries are America, Germany, and third Japanese.

Source: Science Friday, segment on coffee

-Kristen Lee