The Powerful Aroma of an Essential Oil

12:38 PM Posted by jo

The aroma of an essential oil is very powerful. The fragrance can  directly affect our emotions as well as other functions in the body.
In order for an aroma to be detected it has to be volatile so it can be carried by the air to the 10 million sensory neurons located in the nostrils. The aroma finally ends up in the limbic system of the brain where it is perceived and analyzed. The limbic system is the main relay station, and it is there all the emotional responses are located.

The frontal lobes of the limbic system control the memory and attention, and it is also here the emotional responses are sensed. The limbic system is directly connected to the part of the brain that controls breathing, memory, hormone balance, stress levels, blood pressure and heart rate. This means that essential oils can have very profound psychological and physiological effects. Depression, anxiety, anger, joy and and fear originate from this part.

After the information about the scent has been perceived and analyzed of the limbic system, it is sent to other parts of the brain and then to storage in the memory. Interestingly enough the sense of smell is the only one of the five senses that is directly linked to the limbic lobe of the brain. The sense of smell connects emotions with memories as well as intergrate mind and body. The aroma from a special fragrance can evoke emotions and memories before we are aware of it. 

The limbic lobe can also activate the hypothalamus, which is considered one of the most important parts of the brain. It acts as the hormonal control center and it releases chemical messengers which can affect things like the energy level. Sex hormones, thyroid hormones, growth hormones, and neurotransmitters are governed by the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is referred to as the "master gland".

So,through the essential oils' molecular structure and fragrance, they can influence the limbic lobe and hypothalamus. Inhalation of essential oils can combat stress and emotional trauma, and also stimulate production of hormones from the hypothalamus.

As you can see, essential oils have a very powerful influence on both  body and mind.


Johanna is an aromatherapist and she is passionate about educating people about health, essential oils, real food, natural remedies, and nutrition so they make healthier choices in their lives. 
Follow Johanna on twitter and facebook for more health tips and information.

This post is linked to:
Simple Lives Thursday
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