Essential oil usage dates back to Babylonian times. They were used in ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, China and India for rituals, perfumes, and religious practices. The actual term “aromatherapy” was officially coined in the 20th century as the scientific community began to recognize the emotional benefits of essential oils. There was substantial research done in the 90’s that helped biologists to understand just how the body responds to smells.
Each essential oil has its own unique chemical makeup. The chemical design of an essential oil determines what it is useful for—some chemical elements make an essential oil useful for cleaning, others beneficial for the skin, while others still can be used to create specific emotional responses depending upon the chemical composition.
When an essential oil is inhaled, it travels through the nose and is processed by the portion of the brain that is responsible for controlling our sense of smell. From there, aromatic pathways connect the scent to the part of our brain where memories and experiences are stored. As the aroma travels through aromatic pathways, memories are triggered, giving us an emotional response. Because everyone has different memories and life experiences, each of us will have a different response when using essential oils for managing our emotions. In fact, no two people will have the same exact response to an oil, but we do know that certain aromas have a general consensus. For example, citrus essential oils tend to make people feel uplifted and happy.
Essential oils are a great tool for managing mood. One of the biggest reasons to use essential oils for mood management is that they are natural, safe substances that won’t cause harmful problems - no side effects that might endanger your health. Many of the substances and sources we use to manage stress or deal with our emotions can end up hurting us in other ways. Using essential oils for mood management provides a safe and simple way to deal with complex emotions that are constantly changing.
Another reason to use essential oils for mood is that they provide a great way to quickly alter your mood. In many cases, you can start to feel the calming, soothing, or uplifting effects of an essential oil from the moment that you open the bottle. Inhaling essential oils, applying them to the skin, or diffusing them in the air allows you to quickly alter your mood because the oil will generate an emotional response within the brain from the first sniff. Our sense of smell is powerful, the aroma of essential oils will reach our brain within 10 seconds!
Additionally, essential oils provide the user with a convenient way to manage mood nearly any time of day and in any location. While there many other ways to manage our emotions—speaking with friends or a counselor, doing physical activities like yoga, or giving ourselves a break by taking a vacation—these options aren’t always practical right in the moment when we wish to alter our mood. However, essential oils provide a simple way to manage your emotions while at work, home, school, or in practically any circumstance, making it super easy to manage our mood and emotions using specific aromas. The bonus "side effect" to diffusing essential oils to manage our mood is that you'll also be cleansing and purifying the air and everyone else who smells the aroma will have their own unique experience.
Anosmia, the loss of smell, has become a more familiar term due to the impact it has had on people who experience it due to COVID. According to US News and World Report, over six million people (86% of patients with mild to moderate COVID-19) reported problems with their sense of smell, while a similar percentage had changes in taste perception. When two of our five senses (smell, vision, hearing, taste, touch) aren’t working, 40% of sensory input is gone. Senses are involved with our emotions, so it is no wonder that studies have linked post-COVID anosmia to an increase in depression and anxiety.
The loss of smell and taste can also affect our health and quality of life and lead to poor appetite and undesired weight loss. The loss of the enjoyment of food may cause people with anosmia to not eat enough or skip meals. It can even put people at risk of harm by not being able to detect fires, gas leaks, or spoiled food.
HOW OILS CAN HELP
The good news is that olfactory neurons are capable of regeneration. Smelltraining is recommend to reawaken the olfactory nerves. This includes creating a daily practice of sniffing specific essential oils* while picturing the memories you have of the scents. The four oils that are most often used are lemon, eucalyptus, cloves, and rose. To help with taste, mindfully engaging in eating and focusing on the texture of foods and the basic aspects of taste that include sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. This will help you focus on what you can taste instead of what you can’t taste. Be patient and appreciate incremental progress! *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
To find out how to purchase quality essential oils, contact Danette: Danette@WellnessSpoiled.com
For Support for Anosmia - The AbScent community exists to give those with smell loss support, resources, camaraderie and access to helpful information. https://abscent.org/
To join a supportive community participating in healthy activities together: www.TheRestorationDepot.com
Check out The Restoration Depot class offerings here: https://www.schedulicity.com/scheduling/ATRL5M/classes
Hear more about the classes from the providers here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6ATveu9e-aeYUG_tApHOrw