Our sense of smell is more powerful than we think it to be and has great influence over our thoughts, emotions, moods, behavior and memories. Olfaction – the sense of smell – varies greatly from other senses that the human body possesses. Scents that we inhale are processed through a completely different pathway; before they reach the brain, they travel through other regions of the brain – notably areas controlling memory and emotions.Essential oil molecules stimulate the limbic system of the brain or the “emotional brain.”Essential oils extracted from different parts of plants are extremely volatile in nature. This makes them easy to inhale and allows you to exploit the olfactory power of plants for healing, including the removal of toxins, oxygenating cells, and the opening of emotionally stored memory. Aromatherapy is by no means a miracle cure for grave emotional issues, but countless studies suggest that they do help relieve particular emotional issues and emotional states. Careful and proper use of essential oils can go a long way in balancing your emotional health.
Aromatherapy for beginners
When using essential oils, caution must be exercised and must always be used as diluted suspensions. When using a new essential oil topically for the first time, do a skin patch test by applying a few drops of the diluted essential oil on a small area of skin – if there is no redness or rash even after 24 hours, it is safe for subsequent use.
There are different ways to use essential oils and enjoy the heavenly aroma work its magic on your senses. You can opt to add a few drops of the diluted essential oil in bath water just before stepping in – this way the delicate volatile molecules are in direct contact with your skin. You can also add a few drops (4-7 drops) to a bowl of steaming water, cover your head with the towel and breathe deeply for no more than 8-10 minutes. Another wonderful way of soaking in the goodness of aromatherapy oils is to opt for a massage, by mixing a few drops of the diluted oil with a carrier oil (olive oil, jojoba oil or sweet almond oil) and pamper your skin.
The following guide will help use different essential oils for addressing different emotional states.
1. Essential Oils to tackle anxiety
Bergamot, Cedarwood, Geranium, Lavender, Mandarin, Patchouli, Roman Chamomile, Rose, Sandalwood, Vetiver
2. Essential Oils for combating fatigue, exhaustion and burnout
Basil, Bergamot, Black Pepper, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lemon, Patchouli, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Vetiver
3. Essential Oils to reduce stress
Benzoin, Bergamot, Geranium, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lavender, Mandarin , Patchouli, Chamomile, Rose, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Ylang Ylang
4. Essential Oils for grief
Cypress, Frankincense, Neroli, Rose, Sandalwood, Vetiver
5. Essential Oils for memory and concentration
Basil, Black Pepper, Lemon, Peppermint, Rosemary
It is clear from the above chart that a single essential oil can offer relief for different emotional states. Keeping a few of these wonderful oils close at hand will surely help you relax and manage your emotional state.