Essential oils stimulates the powerful sense of smell. It
is known that odors we smell have a significant impact on how we feel. In dealing with
patients who have lost the sense of smell, doctors have found that a life without
fragrance can lead to high incidence of psychiatric problems such as anxiety and
depression. We have the capability to distinguish 10,000 different smells. It is believed
that smells enter through cilia (the fine hairs lining the nose) to the limbic system, the
part of the brain that controls our moods, emotions, memory and learning.
Studies with brain wave frequency has shown that smelling
lavender increases alpha waves in the back of the head, which are associated with
relaxation. Fragrance of Jasmine increases beta waves in the front of the head, which are
associated with a more alert state.
Scientific studies have also shown that essential oils
contain chemical components that can exert specific effects on the mind and body. Their
chemistry is complex, but generally includes alcohols, esters, ketones, aldehydes, and
terpenes. The effect of these chemical components are summarized in the accompanying
of the chemical component
of the chemical component
oils that contain the chemical
||anti-inflammatory,calming, sedative and
||Characteristic lemon-like smell, such as
lemon grass, lemon balm, citronella, eucalyptus
||bactericidal (kills bacteria), stimulant,
energizing, vitalizing, antiviral, diuretic. Our pancreas produce 32 kinds of alcohol for
use in human metabolism.
||Rose, petitgrain, rosewood, peppermint,
myrtle, tea tree, sandalwood, patchouli, and ginger
||strongly bactericidal, tonic, stimulates
immune system, invigorating, warming. Can produce slight liver toxicity if taken high
doses for extended periods of time. Used in lip balms and cough drops.
||Clove, cinnamon, thyme, oregano, savory,
||wound healing, mucolytic (eases the
secretion of mucous), stimulates new cell growth. used as a nail polish.
||Camphor, rosemary, sage, eucalyptus
globulus and hyssop
||Very stimulating, potential skin
irritants, anti-viral properties.
||Lemon, orange, bergamot, black pepper,
pine oils, nut meg and angelica.
||anti-phlogistic (moves fluids),
anti-inflammatory, sedative, anti-viral, anti-carcinogenic, bacteriostatic and immune
||Blue chamomiles, immortelle, tansy, yarrow
||anti-fungal, sedative, calming,
spasmolytic, fungicidal, anti-inflammatory.
||Roman chamomile, lavender, clary sage,
|Lactones (part of ester group)
||harmonizing to the nervous system.
antiseptic, stimulant, expectorant (increases secretions), spasmolytic, and diuretic.
||Cinnamon, clove, anise, basil, tarragon,
parsley, and sassafras.
Each essential oil contains as much as 100 chemical
components, which together exert a strong effect on the whole person. Depending on which
component is predominating in an oil, the oils act differently. For example, some oils are
relaxing, some soothes you down, some relieves your pain, etc. Then there are oils such as
lemon and lavender, which adapt to what your body needs, and adapt to that situation.
(These are called "adaptogenic"). The mechanism in which these essential oils
act on us is not very well understood. What is understood is that they affect our mind and
emotions. They leave no harmful residues. They enter into the body either by absorption or
A fragrance company in Japan conducted studies to determine
the effects of smell on people. They have pumped different fragrances in an area where a
number of keyboard entry operators were stationed and monitored the number of mistakes
made as a function of the smell in the air. The results were as follows:
|When exposed to lavender oil fragrance (a relaxant), the
keyboard typing errors dropped 20 percent.|
|When exposed to jasmine (an uplifting fragrance), the errors
dropped 33 percent|
|When exposed to lemon fragrance (a sharp, refreshing
stimulant), the mistakes fell by a whopping 54 percent!|
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