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Spices help ‘recreate the neural pathway’ of smell

Spices help ‘recreate the neural pathway’ of smell

Spices help ‘recreate the neural pathway’ of smell

The loss of smell and taste is one of the possible effects of a long infection with Covid-19. This can even last several weeks or even months. “There are 10 to 20% of patients who consult for a loss of smell and taste because they do not find these senses spontaneously”, observes Doctor Emmanuelle Albert, from the ophthalmological service of the public assistance of Marseille hospitals. , which published last January Small practical manual to rediscover the sense of smell and taste, a book for olfactory rehabilitation. In this case, it is “a partial destruction of the olfactory neurons, which can lead to hypometabolism [une sous-activité] in regions that process olfactory memory,” she explains.

A consequence of Covid-19 experienced by Ludivine Hubert, HRD of Cepasco, a Provençal company that has been working in the spice trade for more than 100 years. In consultation with Dr. Emmanuelle Albert, who has already identified the “madeleine of Proust” effect of spices, a reminiscence of deep memories, Ludivine said to herself “there is probably something to be done”.

“The sense of smell is the oldest memory”

“We then developed a few exercises together,” continues the doctor. “Spices are familiar smells, very evocative, which are easily linked to emotions. “So ideal for recreating the olfactory neural pathway damaged by Covid-19. This is how the company founded in 1876 in Algeria, then installed in Marseilles from 1962 and finally Gémenos, which imports 2,500 tons of spices per year and employs 80 people, decided to develop a box at the service of this rehabilitation. olfactory, the profits of which are donated to the AP-HM. Five easily identifiable spices: thyme, fennel, clove, curry and vanilla, all used to awaken the memory of smells. The simple exercises consist of smelling and eating these spices to train your brain in smells and tastes.

Coupled with speech therapy, “we are getting very good results,” says Emmanuelle Albert. In particular because “smell is the oldest memory and is the one that lasts the longest”. A study by Inserm noted that one participant in five of the 3,100 patients who responded declared that they had recovered all of their olfactory abilities in an average of 16 days. For the rest, the disorder could last up to 10 months.

Source: 20minutes

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