The sense of smell has the ability to transport you and recall long lost memories. Smells have a strong link to memory and emotion, more so than any other sense. The olfactory bulb processes smells in the brain that are directly connected to memories and and emotion. The scent of baked apples and cinnamon could remind you of a time when you were at an orchard with your family. They also have the ability to recall some not so great memories, triggering post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The smell of fuel or discharged gunpowder may bring a person back to a time of combat. Aroma is a powerful tool and can be used to your advantage.
Essential oils may be used to entice you into feeling fine. They are used in aromatherapy, which is a form of alternative medicine. Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts that retain the essence, the smell and flavor of it’s source. One of my favorites is rose, it’s also one of the most expensive out there. The reason for this is because there are 30 rose buds for every drop of this oil. They are highly concentrated. In order to wear them they must be diluted with a carrier oil so they don’t irritate the skin. Fragrances can also be put into a diffuser to fill a room with awesomeness. Oils may be mixed together to create a powerful synergy of aromas. The perfume industry is built around this concept. Fragrances were everywhere is the ancient world, from scented oils used to adorn the body to incense burnt in homes and temples. Each aroma has unique properties. Some of my favorites include:
Rose- It fights depression, reduces inflammation, has astringent properties, eliminates bacteria and relieves anxiety, just to name a few. It is an aphrodisiac and can soften the hardest hearts. Rose can be used to stop excessive bleeding and relieve menstrual cramps. Great for the skin.
Eucalyptus- One of the best for stimulating immunity, improving respiratory circulation and fighting infections and coughs. Highly antimicrobial. Works great for keeping bugs and pests at bay. Can be used for cleaning and deodorizing.
Rosemary- Enhances memory and concentrating, a must have while studying or creating. Rich in antioxidants and has been said to help fight cancer.
Jasmine- Relieves anxiety, it has a pleasing and uplifting effect on the mind. Stimulates sexual desires. Treats insomnia, it has a sedative effect which helps with anger, stress, annoyance and depression. Supports breast milk secretion, reduces symptoms of menopause and can induce labor by stimulating uterine contractions.
Frankincense- The king of essential oils. Relieves joint and muscle pain by boosting circulation and decreasing pain. Helps calm, uplift and balance moods. Speeds up healing for cuts, acne, burns, rashes and sores.
As you can see, adding essential oils in your everyday life should be a no brainer. So many of us today struggle with an overactive mind and depression. Essential oils are there for you to use as a tool to handle the day to day stresses. To purify, cleanse and ground yourself, choose more woodsy or plant based scents. If you need some energizing and uplifting, choose citrus or spice aromas. More importantly, choose something that resonates with you, chances are, that is just what you need in that moment. I carry a few blends with me, one to help dissipate the heaviness of work and another to get motivated to do things I don’t want to do (like grocery shopping). Diffuse some in the bedroom to set the mood or to boost the immune system during flu season. Start experimenting and uncover the power of plant medicine.