There are 2 main ways that Essential Oils work.
The first, and most measurable is the medicinal properties of the oils. After knowing for thousands of years that these oils work wonders for us, science has finally taken a closer look and been able to verify a vast amount of the facts.
If you’re interested you can read about that here!
In a nutshell that link explains how the molecules of essential oils are so small they can pass through our entire bodies in about 20 minutes and the medicinal properties inside those tiny molecules effect us in very real ways.
But… the other half of this puzzle, and arguably just as important is tied to our sense of smell and how we like the aromas of the oils themselves!
At the top of your nasal cavity rests your olfactory nerve cells, the cells responsible for your sense of smell. Every nerve cell has different receptors that react to different scents very much like how your eyes have different cones that sees different wavelengths of light giving us our sense of color.
It’s like thousands of tiny puzzle pieces. Certain odor molecules fit certain receptors and when enough pieces of the puzzle are fitted in an electrical message is fired off to the brain and you “smell” those little puzzles.
But now, here is where things get interesting!
The same part of the brain responsible for mood and memory formation also processes the messages sent from the olfactory nerve cells. That’s why scent alone can trigger memories and change your mood! all of these functions are uniquely tied together in our brains.
“scent alone can trigger memories and change your mood!”
You’ve probably had a point in your life where the scent of a certain cologne made you miss someone. Maybe a whiff of a particular type of cookie brought back a childhood memory. Whatever the trigger, the memory recollection is almost instantaneous! That’s because our sense of smell is the strongest and fastest sense.
And good aromas make people happy! Smelling that cookie that reminded you of that childhood memory may have also made you smile fondly of grandma’s secret cookie recipe. This is also the basis for the perfume industry. Essential oils have long been used for their medicinal qualities and for their scent, but it wasn’t until the 1930s that the two benefits became entwined.
The term “aromatherapy” was coined in France by Dr. Marguerite Maury, when she began her health and beauty treatments with essential oils.
“Good Aromas make us happy.”
There’s even a branch of science called aromachology (the psychology of aroma) that evaluates how certain smells affect mood and cognitive function. In most cases, the person exposed to the scents isn’t even aware of these effects, but the nose knows and the body and mind react. It’s fascinating.
Knowing the power of scent, we can use it to our advantage. We can change or create our mood. We can boost our energy and become more alert, or we can reduce stress and sleep better.
We can shrug off anger and frustration or heighten our courage and confidence. The naturally occurring chemical constituents within essential oils are what make them so powerful. Now that we know how these essential oils work, we all have the ability to affect our physical and emotional health—at the simple twist of a cap.