Making Sense of Scents.
Humans have multiple sensors. Sight (vision), hearing (audition), taste (gustation), smell (olfaction), and touch (somatosensation) are the five traditional senses which we all possess. However, we don’t need a biology lesson today.
So, for now, our concentration is on “Smell” and how we can benefit naturally and improve our health and well being naturally as well, with our sense of Smell.
How can our sense of smell improve our health naturally you ask?
Ok, here is a quick little biology note in order to understand the real benefits of improving our health naturally with our sense of ‘smell’.
How the sense of smell functions in collaboration with our health and well being.
The sense of smell functions the same as the sense of taste, it is a chemical sense. These senses are referred to as chemical senses because they detect chemicals in our environment.
The only difference is that our sense of smell functions from a larger distance than that of taste.
Smelling works in essence like this:
Vaporized odor molecules (chemicals) floating in our air reach the nostrils and particulate or breakdown into the mucous membrane, which is on the roof of each nostril.
Within the ‘olfactory epithelium’, which is beneath the mucous membrane, there are specialized receptor cells called olfactory receptor neurons, which detect the odor. These neurons are capable of detecting thousands of different odors simultaneously.
These olfactory receptor neurons transmit the information to the olfactory bulbs, located at the back of the nostril. The olfactory bulbs have sensory receptors that are neurologically connected to the brains messaging system. Once these messages are received and interpreted within our brain centers (limbic system structures), where they directly influence our emotions and memories and our ‘higher’ center (neo-cortex), where they modify conscious thoughts.
These brain centers perceive odors and access memories to subconsciously recall life events, people and places associated with these olfactory sensations.
Our sense of smell is thousands of times more sensitive than any of our other senses and recognition of smell is immediate. Other senses like touch and taste must travel through the body via neurons, as well as the spinal cord before reaching the brain where the olfactory response is immediate, extending directly to the brain. Our nose is the only place where our central nervous system is directly exposed to the environment.
What Are Herbal Oils?
Did you know that scents can have a powerful influence on our senses and can neurologically, influence direct benefit to your well-being?
There is a specific practice dedicated to this healing therapy.
It is called Aromatherapy.
The practice of Aromatherapy involves the use of concentrated essences of various botanicals (plants), which allows you to harness the olfactory power of these plants for healing on many levels.
There are hundreds of essential oils available, or if you consider the numerous combinations, even thousands. Each oil has its own potential health benefits, mainly due to the biologically active volatile compounds that the oil contains.
Herbal oils often work synergistically, and using a combination of oils can create a more powerful effect than any one individual oil.
It is important to remember that quality is of the essence. If you’re seeking to gain the true and natural benefits of the Aromatherapy treatments, then you need to be certain that you are using pure, natural therapeutic grade essential oils from plants – NOT synthetic and potentially toxic and allergy-inducing fragrance oils or unnatural perfumes.
What’s the Difference Between Essential Oils and Infused Oils?
Essential oils require a large quantity of plant material, which makes it necessary to dilute before using them because they are in a concentrated form.
Infused oils, on the other hand, use only a small amount of plant material and are used full strength.
Essential oils can be used in different ways, as well as Aromatherapy. Essential oils can be used in the practice of skin massage, or you can add them to your bathwater. Other therapeutic ways to use Essential oils are, in a compress, or burning them in a diffuser.
HOW TO USE ESSENTIAL OILS
We can all lose our motivational energy from time to time. Maintaining your vitality through the cold winter months can be especially difficult for some and creates a low drained feeling.
Are you feeling stressed out, exhausted, as though your spirit has been drained? While there are many ways to raise your inner spirit, essential oils are a safe, effective means for bringing you back to life.
Essential oils are the natural oils extracted from plants that can treat your fatigue from the inside out. They work by igniting your olfactory system. Essential oils can be used in many ways; diffusers fill your room with the comforting scents of your choice, as well as adding a drop or two to your bath water is an equally effective treatment.
Some personal benefits from the use of essential oils, It is a mobile therapy treatment that can be administered anywhere.
A small dab of an essential oil blend under the nose and on the temples will leave you feeling refreshed and energized.
While essential oils are extremely concentrated and not intended for ingestion, the therapeutic benefit of using essential oils over other means of creating energy, such as caffeine or sugar, are immeasurable. Essential oils are also non-toxic to our air, naturally safe for the environment and amazingly effective.
Although this is a topic of further research for a future article.
**An Important Note on Personal Home Use of Herbal Oils**
Using too much of any food or health product can carry certain health risks. So it is important to remember that herbal oils
should be used in moderation. They are NOT a substitute for a nutritious, balanced diet or a healthy lifestyle.
There are also herbal oils that are NOT recommended for people dealing with certain health problems and may interfere with certain medications.
Consult with your physician prior to using herbal oils for any purposes.
Pregnant women especially need to consult their physician before consuming or using essential oils. Some
oils may not be recommended for very young children or people dealing with certain health conditions.
Whichever of these oils you choose, it is recommended to educate and understand what you are using and why. It is advised you to take extra precaution.
**While essential oils are safe for people, animals react very differently to them. Cats, in particular, which are missing an essential enzyme (glucuronosyltransferase) in their liver which processes and digests certain oils.
*Oils high in Phenols (such as Cassia, Clove, and Cinnamon) and Monoterpene Hydrocarbons (such as Citrus oils, Spruce and Fir) should never be diffused while cats are present.
*Keep essential oils safely locked up in a location that is not accessible to small children, as well as, your feline friends.
So now you’re a bit more familiar with some aspects of essential oil use, let’s take a look at a few of the most beneficial oils for restoring your energy and relieving stress.
Lemon oil contains many natural healing properties, such as cleansing aspects that rid your system of toxins, as well as antimicrobial, purifying benefits.
It can enhance digestion, improve bad breath and aid in relieving congestion. Lemon oil is also known for its stimulating properties.
**It takes approximately 1,000 lemons to produce 1 lb of lemon oil. The oil is extracted from the lemon peels, which have many volatile oil glands in their fibrous pits.
Tips for using Lemon Oil:
– Adding 2 to 3 drops of lemon oil to tea or warm water helps to relieve a sore throat.
– Soak your dishcloths overnight in water with a drop of lemon oil to disinfect them. Sterilize countertops and other kitchen surfaces with Lemon Oil as well.
– Applying a few diluted drops of lemon oil to your nails can strengthen them, and even kill nail fungus.
– Soak a cotton ball with a few diluted drops and use to cleanse your skin. (perfect face-cleanser)
– Put 2 to 3 drops of diluted lemon oil to cold sores, calluses or blisters daily can help remove them.
– Use 1 to 2 drops of lemon oil to remove stains caused by oily foods such as mayonnaise, grease and crayon marks.
All it takes is One good sniff of Lemon Oil to leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated as well as put some bounce back into your step.
**Eucalyptus oil is an essential oil that has been traditionally used as a medicine to treat a variety of common diseases and conditions such as, asthma and common colds.
Tips for using Eucalyptus Oil:
– Diluted eucalyptus oil may also be applied to the skin as a remedy for health issues such as arthritis and skin ulcers.
– Eucalyptus Oil can also be used as a tick repellant.
– Use 2-3 drops in a diffuser for a relaxing, rejuvenating and focused environment to regain mental clarity
Eucalyptus oil contains a considerable amount of healing properties. It acts as an anti-inflammatory as well as an antioxidant in the system.
It is supportive to the immune system, by stimulating its functions and is a highly energetic, stress reliever as well as providing relief from allergies.
**Grapefruit oil is popularly known as a detoxification agent, as it helps activate your lymphatic system.
Tips for using Grapefruit Oil:
– Use 2 to 3 diluted drops as a massage oil to relieve menstrual cramps. This can also help in relieving headache, muscle pain, and arthritis.
– Ease symptoms of depression by using 2 to 3 drops in a diffuser. You may also apply 2 to 3 drops on a cloth and gently inhale the refreshing vapors.
– Mix 1 to 2 drops with a carrier oil and massage on your cellulite areas, use a kneading pattern, to help reduce their appearance.
– Stimulate your lymph nodes by applying a few diluted drops directly on your skin in these areas.
– Adding a few drops to your water or smoothie can help support your liver and kidney health.
Grapefruit oil has a sweet yet slightly bitter fragrance and is useful for its unlimited benefits.
Grapefruit oil can assist you in curbing sugar cravings, as well as boost weight loss. It cleanses the body and the mind, acting as an antidepressant, as well as providing a boost for your immune system.
The energizing, herbal aroma of Rosemary essential oil is like a crisp mountain breeze that sweeps away mental fog, negativity, and fatigue while instilling a renewed and refreshed sense of energized clarity.
Tips for using Rosemary Oil:
– it can be used to effectively treat chronic fatigue syndrome.
-It can also act as a disinfectant and can help maintain daily hair and skin care.
-Rosemary Oil will also improve mental focus to relieve stress and improve mental clarity.
It is an effective tool to freshen, cleanse and purify our surroundings, which can stimulate both the body and mind. Because of its vast array of benefits, Rosemary essential oil is an excellent addition to any aromatherapy collection.
*Rosemary is one of the most helpful oils. This herbal, sultry fragrance will bring you back to your center.
Warm, spicy and energizing, ginger oil comes from the ginger root (Zingiber officinale), a pungent, peculiar-looking underground rhizome. It has been a great value for thousands of years due to its medicinal and culinary properties, particularly in ancient Chinese, Indian and Greek civilizations.
Tips for using Ginger Oil:
– Apply 2 to 3 drops in a diffuser, or place on a cotton ball or your handkerchief, and then gently inhale. This will help reenergize and revitalize your body, mind, and soul.
– Mix 2 to 3 drops in an ounce of carrier oil, and use as a massage oil. This helps relieve backache, arthritis, muscle pain, rheumatism, and fractures, as well as stimulating your circulatory system and revitalize your libido.
– Inhale the oil via a diffuser or vaporizer to relieve sinusitis, sore throat and runny nose. It can also work as a decongestant.
– Massage a diluted drop into your abdomen to relieve gas and diarrhea.
*The spicy, sweet bouquet of Ginger essential oil has been used for centuries to soothe nausea, relieve bloating and assist in healthy joints. This warm, invigorating scent will fill you with a calm energy that will both relax and inspire you.
*While these oils are incredibly powerful for providing a boost of energy, there are many other beneficial essential oils for this, including Spearmint, Frankincense, Lavender, Pine, and Cedarwood. These oils can also be combined to produce a fragrance that speaks to your spirit.
Essential oils are a wonderful addition to your daily healthcare routine. Essential Oils can compliment and improve our essence of mind, body, and soul.