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24 Feb

Sniffing a lemon can make people feel slimmer, according to researchers. The aroma of lemon can boost body image and improve self-esteem, say scientists at Sussex University.

New findings offer hope that lemon could be used to combat mental disorders.

The odour could be worked into ‘smart clothes’ or turned into therapies for eating disorders lead author Giada Brianza, a Phd student, said: ‘Our brain holds several mental models of one’s own body appearance which are necessary for successful interactions with the environment.

“These body perceptions are continuously updated in response to sensory inputs received from outside and inside the body. Our study shows how the sense of smell can influence the image we have in our mind of our body and on the feelings and emotions towards it.”

The study at the University of Sussex found that participants felt thinner and lighter when they experienced the scent of a lemon.

But the pungent smell of vanilla had the opposite effect – making them feel heavier.

Miss Brianza added: “It could lead to more effective therapies for people with body perception disorders.”

Lemon Introvert Test

Lemon juice can help determine whether you are an introvert or an extrovert.

A unique test was developed in the 1960s by a German psychologist called Hans Eysenck and his wife Sybil. Since introverts are more sensitive to external stimuli than extroverts Eysenck guessed they should produce more saliva after drinking acidic, tangy lemon juice.

Participants in his study drank a few drops of lemon juice and the amount of resulting saliva was measured using a ball of cotton wool – the heavier the ball, the more saliva had been produced.
But there’s a simpler approach – using a sheet of A4 paper and a lemon.

Lick the paper continuously, lengthways, from one end of the paper to the other, until you run out of saliva and your tongue starts to stick. Stop and mark this point using a pen.

Next, squeeze three to four drops of lemon juice on to your tongue and repeat the licking exercise on another sheet of paper.

How far can you go before you tongue dries out?

For an introvert, it will take three times longer after applying the lemon juice, while an extrovert will only be twice as far.

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