There are two types of aromatherapy: the first works on the idea that essential oils can be used to cure medical conditions, and the second works to change our moods, thinking and brain activity.
Essential oil burner (Attribution: wikimedia- Hugo.arg)
While the first has no medical proof to back it up, the second is well understood and widely used.
It all comes down to how our brain processes smells. Of all our senses, smell is different. We touch, see and hear using our higher brain functions, but smell is processed in the olfactory bulb which lies in the limbic system of the brain.
The limbic system (Attribution: Wikicommons - BruceBlaus)
This is the place in the brain which controls functions such as waking and sleeping, hunger, motivation, emotions and your sex drive. It is also plays a role in forming long-term memories. If you can control the limbic system you can control a range of basic body and brain functions.
Smell works directly with the limbic system and smell has been shown to have a real effect. Here are some aromatherapies you can try
Relaxation and sleep
The use of scent to help people relax and sleep are pretty well known. You can use burners but also put fragrance satchels
beside or inside your pillow. The three most common scents for relaxation are chamomile, lavender, and sandalwood.
Dried lavender (Attribution: Wikicommons)
The right scents can also energise you. My preference is for jasmine, but lemongrass and peppermint are also very effective.
Aromatherapy can also help enhance our senses. This is good for both massages or love making. Patchouli works well especially when combined with ylang-ylang.
Ylang-ylang flowers (Attribution: Wikicommons - Prenn)
If the limbic system controls hunger and aromatherapy works directly on the limbic system, surely then there should be scents that will help suppress hunger. There are several claims here. The commonly recommended scent for dieting is grapefruit. It won't make you stop eating but you will be less inclined to over indulge.
How to use aromatherapy
It is easy to fill your life with scents which can help you in many different ways while also smelling fantastic. Personally I prefer to use candles, but oil burners can be safer. I try to avoid the incense sticks as they tend not to burn cleanly like an oil burner can. You can also use vaporisers, misters, and scent bags.
* Homemade lavender sleep sachet
* DIY Detox bath
#Complementary and Alternative Medicines
Essential oil vapouriser (Attribution: Wikicommons - Cstills3632)
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