For centuries, countries around the world have used essential oils to promote health and wellbeing. Even baby Jesus was anointed with essential oils frankincense and myrrh upon His birth. These oils are thought to provide relief from a variety of ailments – both psychological and physical. Today, we are focusing on some of the psychological benefits.
How do essential oils work?
Different smells trigger different emotions. When a person inhales through the nose, odor molecules travel to the brain through a variety of receptor sites, one of which is the limbic system. Otherwise known as the “emotional brain,” the limbic system includes complex brain nerves and networks that controls basic emotions (like pleasure) and drives (like sex.) The limbic system evaluates and attributes incoming sensory stimuli to an emotional response, ranging from pain to pleasure.
From where are essential oils derived?
Essential oils are extracted from flowers, leaves, bark or plant roots. The oils are deemed “essential” because they are thought to represent the essence of the plant.
Essential oil treatment for various psychological issues:
Lavender: improves sleep, restlessness, irritability, nervous stomach
Vetiver: decreases jitteriness, hypersensitivity, shock
Rose Oil: relieves anxiety, depression, panic attacks & grieving
Bergamot: stimulates energy, creates feelings of joy & freshness
Ylang ylang: boosts confidence & mood, promotes self-love
Roman chamomile: helps fight stress & promote relaxation
For trouble focusing, including ADHD & ADD:
Mandarin: quiets brain *especially when combined with lavender
Frankincense: supports the immune system
*Lavender, Chamomile and Ylang ylang also aid in focus
For fatigue and exhaustion:
Basil: promotes concentration, stimulates mind, sharpens senses, fights depression
Eucalyptus: creates focus, stimulates mind (also reduces rheumatic pain)
Geranium: balances emotions, *uplifting scent for anxiety and depression
Peppermint: relieves tiredness & mental fatigue
Rosemary: clears the head, aids memory, stimulates brain
How can essential oils be applied?
Aromatically (as through a diffuser)
Topically (on areas like the neck, forehead, temples, chest, abdomen, arms, legs, bottom of feet)
Make sure to follow application instructions for each particular oil, as some are too potent to be ingested or applied topically. If applying an essential oil topically, it is suggested to dilute the oil in a carrier oil, like Fractioned Coconut oil, using the following ratio: one drop of essential oil to three drops of carrier oil.
As with all products, its best to use essential oils in their purest forms, without chemicals or additives.
Have you tried essential oils? As with any remedies suggested in this magazine, have you seen benefits? If so, I encourage you to share your story below - as well as the essential oil brands that you prefer!