Your car died. Your kid had a meltdown at the grocery store. Your boss gave you an earful. Rather than self-medicating away your stress with hours of Andy Cohen-produced television, you can reach for your favorite cooking herb instead: Basil.
That's right—this delicious pizza accoutrement doubles as a remarkably effective stress reliever. Why? Because it contains high amounts of an organic compound called linalool (which is commonly used in aromatherapy). Several recent studies have vouched for its potency—most famously, in 2009, when a team of Japanese scientists conducted a lab rat study and found that exposure to linalool reduces the activity of hundreds of genes that typically go into overdrive during stressful situations.
Nifty, no? Stop and smell the basil next time it's pesto night.