Aromas Influencing the GABAergic System

Neville Hartley, Craig S. McLachlan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Aromas have a powerful influence in our everyday life and are known to exhibit an array of pharmacological properties, including anxiolytic, anti-stress, relaxing, and sedative effects. Numerous animal and human studies support the use of aromas and their constituents to reduce anxiety-related symptoms and/or behaviours. Although the exact mechanism of how these aromas exert their anxiolytic effects is not fully understood, the GABAergic system is thought to be primarily involved. The fragrance emitted from a number of plant essential oils has shown promise in recent studies in modulating GABAergic neurotransmission, with GABAA receptors being the primary therapeutic target. This review will explore the anxiolytic and sedative properties of aromas found in common beverages, such as coffee, tea, and whisky as well aromas found in food, spices, volatile organic compounds, and popular botanicals and their constituents. In doing so, this review will focus on these aromas and their influence on the GABAergic system and provide greater insight into viable anxiety treatment options.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2414
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022


  • anxiolytic
  • aromas
  • constituents
  • essential oils
  • GABA receptor
  • GABAergic
  • sedative
  • volatile chemicals


Dive into the research topics of 'Aromas Influencing the GABAergic System'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this