ESSENTIAL OILS 101
Always find time for the things that make you happy to be alive.
EFFECTS ON THE BRAIN
What’s that wonderful, savory smell in the air…? Is it coming from the new potted flowers on your kitchen table? Or perhaps a gentle breeze drifted to your nose through the patio doors next to your herb garden…
Whatever the source, it is well known that many plants have unique scents & other distinguishable properties that create sensation within our nervous systems.
We already know that the effects of oils (the concentrated aromatic "scent" of the plant) reach all our body systems in mere seconds when inhaled. Even more incredibly, being so microscopic and synergistically favourable with the human body, essential oils can quickly cross the blood-brain barrier (which synthetic pharmaceutical drugs cannot do) to effectively reach the limbic system.
The limbic system is directly connected to those parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, hormone balance/endocrine, breathing rate, stress levels or depression, & primarily memory & emotions.
Knowing this, it's no surprise that oils can have very profoundly positive physiological & psychological effects!
A few specific oils and blends to help support your mind & emotions naturally:
Lavender – For situational stress or nervousness – a couple drops of lavender on the wrists, bottoms of the feet, or in a diffuser necklace can do wonders
Stress Away – For stress – Rubbed on the wrists, temples, or the back of the neck, this oil can help calm mental tension.
Frankincense – For focus, stress, tension, & heightened prayer time – Rub it on the temples or back of the neck
Citrus Fresh – Citrus oils have been shown to uplift moods – use this blend in a diffuser necklace or an ultra-sonic diffuser
Valor – For grounding and confidence – This oil is one of my absolute favourites. It’s also great to both start and end your day with.
Peace & Calming – Exactly what the name implies! – This blend is excellent to diffuse or use on wrists or feet at the end of a hard day—for both kids and adults.
HINT: Horses love these last two blends as well!
NOTE: Young Living has an entire selection of oils for emotions, including the "Feelings Kit", and some of the oils above are in various Premium Starter Kits
On the basic level, it's commonly known that some essential oils have sedative properties and induce a calm, and relaxed feeling as well as improve concentration.
On a deeper level, researchers have found that because essential oils possess powerful antioxidants that work to inhibit free radical scavenging, they help to naturally improve brain function & reduce inflammation. With both cognitive performance-boosting abilities and neuro-protective effects, essential oil benefits have helped many people who are suffering from neuro-degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia.
A 2014 study involving 82 participants evaluated the effectiveness of aromatherapy for elderly people with chronic pain and symptoms of anxiety and depression. Researchers found that after four weeks of treatment with essential oils, there was a significant reduction in negative emotions, including feelings of anxiety, stress and depression.
So... the next time someone attempts to inform you that essential oils are really nothing more than just a pretty smell, you now can confidently know otherwise!
(Well... speaking for the really good oils, that is.)