The power of Aroma and Essential Oils
When you pick up a soap or lotion that has a strong fragrance, don’t be fooled by the marketing of it’s “smell.” The soap, shampoo, lotion, make-up, and perfume industries know what they’re doing when it comes to marketing their products. They understand how strong an effect the sense of smell has for our emotions and memories, and is counting on it helping sell their products. What many of them are missing is the POWER of a TRUE AUTHENTIC SCENT. The healthy benefits of Essential Oil Aroma are different.
Our sense of smell is one of the most complex and discerning senses. It is ten thousand times more powerful than our other senses, AND sensitive to some 10,000 chemical compounds. Once our body registers a scent, that aroma travels faster to the brain than even sight or sound! Knowing this; the quality of what we smell and expose to our brain and our body ought to be pretty important. The highest quality Essential Oils do not contain synthetics or contaminants, and are grown and harvested in the most optimum and indigenous environments for each specific plant. They are not chemically altered to pass chromatography testing; they are pristine in their botanical cultivation.
The key to benefiting from the best aromas, lies within the brain. Aroma has a direct effect on the limbic and emotional center of the human brain. The difference between a manufactured scent and a Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil is not only the QUALITY of the scent, but the SCIENCE behind it. Thus lays the groundwork for the meaning of Aromatherapy!
Pure essential oils are comprised hydrocarbons and oxygenated compounds. One of those powerful compounds is called Sesquiterpenes. They are part of a large and diverse class of organic compounds, produced by a variety of plants, particularly conifers, or cone bearing trees. Sesquiterpenes have the ability to pass through the blood-brain barrier. This is the membrane between our circulating blood and the brain that prevents certain damaging substances from reaching brain tissue and cerebrospinal fluid. High levels is sesquiterpenes, found in essential oils such as frankincense and sandalwood, help increase the amount of oxygen in the limbic system of the brain, particularly around the pineal and pituitary glands. This leads to an increase in release of antibodies, endorphins and neurotransmitters. The good stuff! The limbic system works closely with the endocrine system as well, to help with hormone regulation. It partners with the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for the “fight-or-flight” response, and also helps the body recuperate during periods of rest.
Residing in the limbic system is a powerful gland called the amygdala. The amygdala plays an important role in the storing and releasing of emotional trauma. The only way to stimulate this gland is with fragrance or the sense of smell. In other words - the emotional brain responds only to smell - not to words that are read, spoken, or heard, and unexpectedly; not to visually flashy commercialism. Our sense of smell links directly to emotional states and behaviors often stored since childhood. Anxiety, depression, fear, anger, and joy all physically originate from this region of our brain.
In addition to influencing the limbic region of the brain, olfactory centers are intricately linked with the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland secretes hormones involved in the regulation of blood pressure, hunger and thirst signals, thyroid function, sleep cycles, production of sexual hormones, and memory, among other important things. Because of the direct connection to this area of the brain, aroma is capable of influencing neurochemistry throughout the body, and, in turn, potentiating powerful health outcomes.
All of this science gives us lots to consider if we’re choosing a product for an appealing scent! For me; I’m intrigued about the ways I can positively impact my body. I’ve become more selective about my choices with regards to the quality of ingredients and the elements to which I expose my body, and consequently my brain functions.
Herein lies the power and beauty of using Essential Oils for aroma and health. Their aromas are hundreds to thousands of times more concentrated, potent and effective than the solid form of the plants from which they are derived, and measurably more effective than any chemically constructed copy of a scent. For example; one drop of doTERRA peppermint essential oil is equivalent to the potency of about 21 cups of peppermint tea. Approximately 50 lemons are required for a 15ml bottle of lemon essential oil. And 60,000 roses or 2,160,000 rose petals are utilized to make just 1 ounce of Bulgarian Rose essential oil! Due to their unique ability to bypass the blood-brain barrier and their concentrated aromatic compounds; pure essential oils can provide significant support, benefit and improvement of our limbic system function.
Can you use an Essential Oil as a perfume? Or can it be added to a chemically safe beauty product? YES!
I create my own organic lip balms, room and body sprays, as well as body scrubs and all natural hand sanitizers using Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils. It’s easy to do, and clearly demonstrates to me the difference between simple ingredients versus unfamiliar chemicals easily found on labels of many soap and perfume products. If you’re not inclined to mix and blend things up on your own, there are many educated folks who are, and who can help personalize scents, and products for you! Contact me with questions, for further information or a referral to an essential oil and product advisor in your area.
Go forth into 2018 with an exciting and better understanding of Aromatherapy; in particular the differences between Essential Oils and synthetic perfumes. Smell great and know you’re caring for your emotional and physical health at the same time!