Ever given a thought why the nose is also a part of six sense organs? Nose has olfactory properties and smell is the strongest of the senses and is best able to influence brain activity. Aromatherapy or aromatic therapy is a healing therapy or treatment that uses aromatic essential oils extracted from plants for improving health and other ailments.
Olfactory bulbs are part of the brain’s limbic system and directly connect to the areas of the brain that operate emotions and learning. This is one of the major reasons why so often something that we smell will trigger a memory or remind us of something or someone.
Why is aromatherapy good?
Essential oils not only help improve performance but boosts overall health too. These oils have the following benefits:
- Contains anti-viral, antibacterial and antifungal properties
- Using them in an electric diffuser in an environment where there are a lot of people can help to keep germs at bay.
- Enhances the immune system, affecting blood pressure and stimulating digestion.
Inhaling essential oils activates the hypothalamus gland (the area of the brain which sends messages to other parts of the body). A simple inhalation of an aroma can cause production of many happy hormones in the body.
How effective is essential oil for our brain?
When we breathe in an essential oil’s aroma, the molecules of the essential oil are carried through the nose, to bind with olfactory receptor neurons. Signals of nerve impulses are sent to the olfactory bulb and to the brain’s limbic system, which is responsible for regulation and emotion. The limbic system then responds well as it releases neurochemicals which the nervous system distributes throughout the body, boosting mood and well-being.
Let’s sink in the capturing aroma of few oils to know which of them are most effective:
- Lavender – A clear to pale yellow in colour, lavender has a sweet, gentle, floral scent with a relaxing effect. It is a hassle-free herb to grow at home. It is one of the most useful and versatile essential oils for aromatherapy. It is steam distilled from the flowers and leaves of the lavender plant. It can be mixed with many other essential oils and helps with a wide variety of ailments and conditions. Lavender is widely grown in the Mediterranean area with the largest producers currently being France and Bulgaria.
- Thyme – Thyme is perhaps one of the ancient medicinal plants in the world and is still popular to this day for its health benefits. Thyme essential oil is obtained through steam distillation of the flowers and leaves of the herb thyme. Thyme essential oil is incredibly popular with aromatherapy professionals because of the wide variety of conditions it helps you deal with. Thyme originates from the Mediterranean region. Having a thin to medium consistency, thyme essential oil is clear to pale yellow in color with a fresh, medicinal, and herbaceous fragrance.
- Dill – Dill is a fragrant herb and a key ingredient in a variety of culinary favorites, but it can also be used in essential oil form to ease emotions when you are feeling overwhelmed. Dill automatically connects you to the earth with its grassy-pungent aroma and has proven to be beneficial for relieving muscle tension. Dill’s calmative properties release tension in the neck and shoulders when inhaled. So the next time you know you’ll land in a worrisome or stressful situation, carry along some dill!
Aromatherapy at your office desk
You can enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy in a shared workspace without offending others. Just place a drop or two of an essential oil on a cotton ball and whiffing a bit can give you an energy boost.
In case you have a private office, add 5 to 6 drops to an electric diffuser or create a mister by adding a few drops of essential oils to a spray bottle filled with distilled water. If utilising a large group, put a bowl of hot water with a few drops of essential oils in the middle of the table for your next successful brainstorming sessions.
Over to you
Aromatherapy is a proven mood enhancer and its benefits are praise worthy! Place scented candles at home or just add a few drops of electric diffuser at work, everything works well as aromatherapy.