What do you know about the science behind aromatherapy? Do you know why the scent of lavender can bring about feelings of calm and relaxation? Do you know why the scent of eucalyptus can help when you have a cold? Are you not quite sure what aromatherapy is, let alone the science behind it?
Before we dive into the science, let’s start with what exactly aromatherapy is. Aromatherapy is the holistic practice of utilizing essential oils for therapeutic purposes to aid both your physical and emotional well being. It has been around for thousands of years and used by many ancient cultures because of the benefit to both your physical and emotional well being. The term aromatherapy was first coined by Rene-Maurice Gattesoffee, a French chemist, whose book on the subject titled Aromatherapy was published in 1937. I could go on and on about the history of aromatherapy, but it is safe to say, it has been around for some time.
The Science Behind Aromatherapy
But, what exactly is the science behind aromatherapy? Well, it all starts with your nose. Your sense of smell is linked to your brain. When the scent molecules from the oils are inhaled by the nose, it travels to your brain via the olfactory nerves and impacts the limbic system. The limbic system is the part of your brain responsible for how you respond emotionally and behaviorally. Based on what message our limbic system gets from our nose affects what bodily response is triggered from lowered blood pressure, better digestion, relief from pain and discomfort, evoked memories and emotions along with a host of other reactions.
The true superstars behind the science of aromatherapy are the essential oils themselves. What are essential oils and where do they come from? In a nutshell, essential oils are plant extracts. While there are different methods to obtain the essential oil, the process generally used to obtain them is called extraction. The essential oil is separated from the plant matter and the end result is the essential oil.
The Benefits of Aromatherapy
The science behind aromatherapy directly correlates to the benefits of aromatherapy. There are numerous benefits to aromatherapy to help both your physical and emotional well being. Below I’ll go over the most common benefits of aromatherapy and share the products I've created for you with those benefits in mind.
Stress Relief & Relaxation
Most people are familiar with the use of essential oils for stress relief and relaxation. Lavender essential oil is most commonly associated with that benefit and is actually one of the most used essential oils. Not only does lavender help with stress relief and relaxation, it has a whole host of other uses, including helping with sleep.
Lavender is not the only essential oil to have in your toolbox for stress relief. Bergamot also helps calm the nervous system and reduce anxiety. Both lavender and bergamot, when inhaled, can trigger the release of neurotransmitters, which promote a sense of peace and calm and overall improve your mood.
Are you looking for some stress relief? Try out the Relax Shower Steamer Tablet, which is made with blood orange, bergamot, grapefruit, patchouli, and ylang ylang essential oils.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, between 10-30% of adults struggle with insomnia and 35% of adults report sleeping for less than seven hours a night. Sleep by the Numbers - National Sleep Foundation (thensf.org). It’s no secret that for many people, quality sleep is elusive. Lack of sleep or poor sleep are tied to a variety of reasons from stressful jobs, electronic devices, or health issues. Not only does lavender essential oil help with stress and relaxation, it is also a powerful aid for better sleep by helping your nervous system calm down.
To aid in your relaxation before heading to bed, use the Dream Shower Steamer Tablet, a perfectly aromatic blend of lavender, mandarin, geranium, marjoram sweet, frankincense, palmarosa, and ylang ylang essential oils.
Mental Focus and Energy
There are so many things vying for our attention at home, with our jobs, and online. How do we keep going, while staying alert, maintaining our mental clarity and keeping up the energy? A lot of us reach for that energy drink or next cup of coffee and while those can help, there are other more natural tools at our disposal. Cue orange and lemon essential oils.
The scent of orange essential oil is extremely pleasant to the nose and can provide an uplifting and relaxing effect in your mood and your focus. Alongside that is lemon essential oil, which provides a similar benefit. It has also been tied to helping with your mood and energy. Combine the two and you have a powerful duo that will keep your mental focus and energy strong.
Do you feel like your mind is running all over the place and not where you need it to be? If so, take a minute to regroup with the Focus Shower Steamer Tablet, which is made with grapefruit, bergamot, basil, and lemon essential oils to enhance mental focus. It may just be what you need.
Management of Minor Health Ailments
The science behind aromatherapy has not only helped people with the benefits described above, but it has also been shown to provide relief from an assortment of physical discomforts. The use of aromatherapy and essential oils can help with muscle pain and/or inflammation and relief from headaches and colds just to name a few. It offers a gentle and non-invasive way to soothe some of our minor health ailments.
There is a lot of buzz surrounding peppermint essential oil and headaches. As I explained above, the nose carries scents through the olfactory system to our brain. There are some who believe the reason peppermint oil helps with headaches is that it aids in opening up the sinuses for a better flow of oxygen. Many say that the use of peppermint oil provides a more natural relief for their headaches.
Another essential oil to look at in managing minor health ailments is eucalyptus. Eucalyptus can aid in clearing sinuses and help with relaxation. Some believe it works as a natural decongestant and cough suppressant by opening up the airways. Research also suggests eucalyptus oil helps clear up mucus from your airways to help you breathe easier.
When a headache strikes, try the Alleviate Shower Steamer Tablet, a well-balanced blend of peppermint, sabil sweet, rosemary, chamomile, wintergreen, frankincense, lavender and marjoram essential oils to help with that nagging headache.
If your find yourself congested from a cold or even seasonal allergies, try out the Breathe Shower Steamer Tablet, made with ravintsara, eucalyptus, lemon, laurel leaf, peppermint and cardamom essential oils, to open up those respiratory pathways and provide clearer breathing.