Through their novel method of study, the team was able to identify the oils that had the most impact on boosting mood.
As chemistry professor and lead author of the study Louise Bennett, Ph.D., explains in a news release, “We believe the interaction of essential oils with the naturally high levels of ascorbate (e.g. vitamin C) in the brain can produce either anti-oxidant or pro-oxidant effects. It is the anti-oxidant, but not the pro-oxidant effects, that lead to the mood benefit.”
While the pro-oxidant-supporting essential oils may not improve mood, they still had antimicrobial and antibacterial properties in some cases, the study notes.