Lately I’ve been hearing a lot about essential oils. I’ve used essential oils in the past. When I was going through the worst of my depression and anxiety and was having more frequent panic attacks I had decided to look into aromatherapy. I didn’t study it extensively but I did start using essential oils to help lift my mood and I did find it very calming.
Hearing more about it lately piqued my interest so, as I do with everything that I’m curious about, I decided to do a bit of research to learn a bit more. First of all, I wanted to know exactly how scent affects our brain.
How Scent Affects Our Brain
Here’s the super simple explanation: When you smell something the scent gets routed through your olfactory bulb which is closely connected with the area of the brain that handles memory and emotion This is why a certain smell can transport you back in time or just make you feel a certain emotion for no particular reason. If you’re feeling stressed or anxious certain scents can help calm you and give you a feeling of well-being. This could be because your brain associates it with a time and place where you felt calm and safe although there are certain scents such as lavender that naturally have this calming effect. Scientists have discovered that scents can actually influence the biochemistry of your nervous system.
The Amazing Essential Oil
Essential oils are naturally occurring volatile aromatic compounds found in plants. (volatile just means they turn quickly from a solid or liquid to a gas at room temperature). Research shows that they can be particularly beneficial in such things as improving mood, alleviating stress, improving sleep, relieving nausea, relieving pain, improving your memory and increasing your energy. At the start of my spin classes I always ask how people are feeling and pretty much always at least one person says ‘tired’. By the end of the class everyone feels energized and great. Imagine if they could get that feeling of energy as they walked into my studio due to a few drops of some essential oils on a diffuser!
How To Use Essential Oils
Here are a few ways you can use essential oils:
- Put some drops on a diffuser.
- Massage into your skin. Massage onto pulse points for an alternative to perfume.
- Put a few drops in your bath water.
- Dietary supplement NOTE***only consume essential oils that are of clinical grade. Most are therapeutic grade and should not be ingested ***
Some Other Creative Uses For Essential Oils:
There are many other uses for essential oils that are worth looking at. Here are a few:
- Cleaning spray.
- Room deodorizer.
- Home-made soaps and lotions.
- Skin care – tea tree oil is great for pimples.
- Insect repellants – bugs hate citrus 😉
Worth Looking Into!
Essential oils have the power to enhance your physical and mental health in a natural, chemical-free way and are a great addition to your other healthy habits. Make sure you use high quality essential oils otherwise you could be using something that might be toxic. Look for a statement of purity – you want 100% essential oil meaning it hasn’t been diluted or mixed with anything. Price can be the big clue – if it’s cheap it’s most likely of poor quality.
If you want more information leave a comment below.