“Smell is a potent wizard that transports us across thousands of miles and all the years we have lived… odors, instantaneous and fleeting, cause my heart to dilate joyously or contract with remembered grief.” Helen Keller (blind and deaf educator, 1880-1968).
Every fragrance or scent has its own peculiarity and significance. Even a hint or note can prompt an emotion inside or recall a person, place, and memory. Scents are powerful enough to evoke memories and emotions because they are capable of deeply impacting our nervous system.
A nerve named ‘olfactory nerve’ is created to provide us the sense of smell. The smell passes via this nerve from the nose, through the skull and towards the brain. Olfactory nerve instantly transfers signals to several parts of the brain that are responsible for emotions and memory to trigger reflex and response.
The information above was to clarify how and why a scent can play a significant role. It can trigger reflexes and responses, soothe the nervous system and calm the body. A Fragrance can rapidly trigger physical responses with long last effects. Scents are proven to act as anti-anxiety medicines because they can signal our brain’s neuroreceptors.
What is Aromatherapy and how does it work?
Aromatherapy also referred as essential oil therapy is a conventional therapy that uses essential oils and other aromatic and plant-based elements to calm the body. Essential oils are capable of improving human health by calming all bodily systems. And essential oils have been used for this very purpose for about 6000 years.
These botanical extracts, compounds, and oils are aimed to improve physical, psychological and spiritual health. Essential oils can be used internally, topically and aromatically. An essential oil consists of a plant or herbs compounds they are extracted from in concentrated form. This is why only a few drops work like magic. For example, a single drop of peppermint oil is equivalent to 26 cups of peppermint tea. So, these oils should be only be used in diluted forms. Always use a carrier oil like coconut or almond oil for the dilution purpose.
Uses and Benefits of Essential Oils used in Aromatherapy
As humans we cannot thank our planet enough for the diverse and numerous sources plants provide us. Not only they are a mean of oxygen for us but are also used to build the houses we live in and the food we survive onto the plant-based leather.
But right now we are here to outline the abundant uses and benefits offered by the essential oils and the unique nature each one of them possesses.
Enhance bodily function mainly the digestive, nervous and respiratory system.
- Cell growth and functionality.
- Balance hormones.
- Stress reliever.
- Balance emotions.
- Remove harmful toxins.
- Replicate synthetic scents and deodorants.
Commonly Used Essential Oils
Lavender gives a fresh floral scent with a sweet and herb like aroma. This amazingly aromatic oil makes one feel completely intoxicated. Lavender oil is the most versatile oil in terms of its purposes and uses. It offers some excellent therapeutic and medicinal functions.
The anti-anxiety properties of lavender oil deliver a calming effect. The antiseptic nature of lavender oil makes it a potent pain reliever to soothe muscle and joint aches and heal burns, bee stings and insect bites. The scent of lavender is greatly used in the deep breathing practices of yoga to make you euphoric. Lavender’s balancing nature proves very effective in getting rid of insomnia, stress and relieves all bodily pains.
Eucalyptus cleans and opens up the airways with its refreshing aroma. Eucalyptus does wonders because of its plentiful properties. Eucalyptus oil is a natural antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory agent. Eucalyptus has been proven to be remarkably effective as an insect repellant. Its antiseptic and insecticidal qualities make it very useful against bugs, mosquitos, lice and ticks. Eucalyptus shrubs or flowering trees are primarily grown in Australia.
It treats respiratory disorders like colds, coughs, asthma, and chest congestion. In addition to that, it heals wounds, soothes muscular pain, relieves mental fatigue, aids in dental and skin health. Pour some drops into your hot bath to clear your nasal airways in case of congestion. Eucalyptus oil wards off bacteria to soothe congestion due to sinuses and cough and cold.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is touted for its vast medicinal purposes. It is a natural and most potent astringent used to alleviate oil residue of the skin especially for people with oil face and scalp. It can heal wounds without causing irritation. You can add a few drops of tea tree oil to your shampoo to deeply clean the scalp. In addition to that its refreshing summery scent relaxes tired feet. It helps eliminate bad odors and refresh your home linens. It is an excellent anti-acne agent and removes oil glands from deep down and tightens pores if used as a toner. Tea Tree is indigenous to Australia and is commonly cultivated in Africa.
Bergamot is also one of the versatile essential oils with a citrusy and spicy aroma that leaves you with good mood and relieves depression. But the photosensitization in Bergamot limits sun exposure so use a sun-free bergamot oil to avoid any allergic reactions and severe tanning. It can cause reddening, blistering and inflammation when in contact with ultraviolet rays. Bergamot essential oil contains bergaptene, a dominant photosensitizer so look for a bergaptene-free product. It combats anger and anxiety and boosts the metabolism.
Rosemary has a herb like scent and is a rapid pain reliever. It is great for massaging on the skin and relieve soreness in the muscles. Its anti-inflammatory properties overcome fatigue and stimulate the circulation of blood that fastens healing and recovering time.
Peppermint is native to Europe and the Middle East. It smells refreshing and invigorating to the body. The menthol element present inside it is a potent anesthetic that soothes mind and body. These soothing and calming effects in peppermint increase the flow of blood that as a result oxygenates human body organs. Peppermint oil enhances metabolism and cognitive function.
The sweet, tangy and citrusy rich aroma of orange makes it one of the aromatherapy favorites. Its anti-oxidant and antiseptic attributes make it an excellent diuretic. It boosts the immune function by removing free radicals from the body. In addition to that it relieves inflammation. Sweet Orange trees are native to China.
Cinnamon is widely cultivated in Asia and India. It has a warm and spicy smell. It is very helpful in treating cold and flu by eliminating harmful bacteria. It eases the discomfort and fatigue originated by colds and flus by calming the respiratory tract. Cinnamon essential oil is a powerful antiviral, antimicrobial, antioxidant and antiseptic.
Sandalwood’s relaxation qualities make it an excellent anti-anxiety and anti-depressant. It relieves stress, muscle tension and insomnia. Its medicinal properties make it an excellent antiseptic and antibacterial element to cure a number of respiratory issues. Sandalwood oil is also an analgesic that can treat arthritis. In addition to that it can treat dry skin problems and acne. Add sandalwood oil to your diffuser at night for a peaceful sleep. It eases hot flushes caused by menopause.