Essential oils are some of nature’s most powerful therapeutic substances available. They are most definitely nature’s gift to us for the support of all of our body systems and for our emotional health. According to the Essential Oils Desk Reference (6th edition), the fragrance of an essential oil can directly affect everything from your emotional state to your life span. One of the fastest ways to experience the benefits of essential oil is inhalation, more commonly known as aromatherapy.
The aromatherapy industry has really stepped into the limelight in the last decade.
The olfactory nerve/bulb is associated with the sense of smell and is connected to the limbic region of the brain. Inhaling essential oils stimulates the nerve to activate the emotional center in the brain. The desk reference states that when an essential oil is inhaled, the airborne molecules travel up the nostrils to the olfactory region and directly affect the limbic system. Because the limbic system is directly connected to those parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels, and hormone balance, essential oils can have profound physiological and psychological effects. The sense of smell is the only one of the five senses directly linked to the limbic lobe of the brain, the emotional control center. Anxiety, depression, fear, anger, and joy all emanate from this region. The scent of a special fragrance can evoke memories and emotions before we are even consciously aware of it. When smells are concerned, we first react then think later. All other senses (touch, taste, hearing and sight) are routed through the thalamus, which acts as the switchboard for the brain, passing stimuli on to the cerebral cortex and other parts of the brain.
Essential oils, through their fragrance and unique molecular structure, can directly stimulate the limbic lobe and the hypothalamus, which is responsive to olfactory stimuli. The inhalation of essential oils can be used to combat stress and emotional trauma. I have witnessed the amazing effects of inhaling essential oils because we use essential oils and aromatherapy techniques at the private practice counseling center I work at. My therapy clients often have very fast and very favorable experiences in session when we diffuse the oils.
I personally use oils every single day. I use them aromatically, internally and topically. I use them for my own emotional health. I use them for all of my DIY products so that I can live as chemical free as possible. We make our own deodorant, hand soap, room sprays, lip balms, bath salts and scrubs, moisturizers, and lotions (to name a few). I hope that this article has provided you with a basic understanding of how you can utilize your essential oils for physical and emotional health. I am more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Please feel free to contact me!