Apparently, sniffing the sweat of another person could be a useful way to give your mental health a boost, says a team of Swedish researchers and probably some other people who I'd prefer not to meet.
The scientists have been conducting experiments on people's armpit sweat to test the theory that the smell can activate pathways in the brain linked to emotions that offer a calming outcome.
However, before you start bottling up your own supply and attempting to market it as a wellness product, do be aware that these studies are in their very early stages and they haven't yet reached a conclusion.
According to the BBC, some of the team's early findings are going to be presented at a medical conference in Paris this week, so it sound like they've made some sort of progress.
Anything that can provide a positive boost to people's mental health is worth exploring but I would want to wait for a few more studies and a bit more conclusive proof before I started sniffing other people's armpits to feel better, though perhaps that's just me.
This team of Swedish scientists are working on the hypothesis that the scent of a person's sweat might help communicate their emotional state, and wonder if other people sniffing it could help put them in that same mood.
Before we start harvesting happy people for their sweat there's lots more tests to get through, but the researchers have been making some moves on that front.
They started by asking people to donate sweat from their armpits given off after watching either a scary movie or a happy one.
After that they got in 48 women who had social anxiety and were willing to give the sweaty samples a big old sniff, as well as receive some more conventional forms of therapy in case the whole sniffing sweat thing didn't work out.
Some of the women were given actual samples of people's sweat to huff, whereas others got the 'placebo effect' from sniffing clean air.
The experiment appears to have been something of a success, as the results showed that the socially anxious women who sniffed genuine human sweat responded better to therapy.
Elisa Vigna, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, is the lead researcher on this vital study and she explained that there was more sweat-related testing to come.
She said: "Sweat produced while someone was happy had the same effect as someone who had been scared by a movie clip.
"So there may be something about human chemo-signals in sweat generally which affects the response to treatment."
"It may be that simply being exposed to the presence of someone else has this effect, but we need to confirm this. In fact, that is what we are testing now in a follow-up study with a similar design, but where we are also including sweat from individuals watching emotionally neutral documentaries."
Featured Image Credit: tommaso altamura / Minerva Studio / Alamy Stock Photo
Topics: Science, Mental Health, Weird