Get a better night sleep with barely any effort (or money).
Aromatherapy has been used for hundreds of years as an alternative medicine which boasts relief against stress, anxiety, general aches and pains all through the use of various scents.
But how does this age-old treatment work, and how can you use it at home?
How does aromatherapy work?
This is the question which many people find baffling: how can just one scent change the way your body feels from the inside? Sounds kind of creepy, doesn’t it?
For many of years aromatherapy has been explained to stimulate the delicate receptors in the nose, then this sends a message through to the nervous system which reaches the brain. At this point, the brain declares whether this is a good or bad scent; if it is good, it can ultimately have a relaxing effect on the entire mind and body.
What are some popular scents?
If you want to try this out for yourself at home, first read our list of some popular scents and what they’re used for in aromatherapy. This will give you a better understanding of how everything actually works:
Ideal for: stress
This is probably the most popular oil used in aromatherapy, mainly because of its calming effects. Sniffing anything with lavender is scientifically proven to decrease stress levels, even if you don’t actually like the smell in the first place!
Ideal for: antidepressant
Patchouli is a naturally uplifting oil which is used for a few different conditions. One of the most popular ways to use it is for people suffering from depression. The scent helps to release pleasure hormones such as seratonin and dopamine, which relieves sad or angry feelings.
3. Tea Tree
Ideal for: colds, antibacterial
While tea tree is mostly known for its antibacterial properties, it also has a calming effect when used in aromatherapy. The uplifting scent is perfect for those suffering from a chest cold or nasty cough. Rub gently over the chest to clear out the lungs, and leave your body with a sweet scent all day long.
Ideal for: spiritual
Used for centuries in the Middle East for a emotional and spiritual connection with a higher being, it is still used today during prayers. The gentle scent is also massaged into joints to alleviate aches and pain associated with arthritis.
Is aromatherapy scientifically proven?
While most essential oils are used to decease levels of stress, anxiety, and aches in the body, not much has actually been proven otherwise. Don’t count on this type of alternative medicine to permanently decrease a high blood pressure count, increased heart rate, or even chronic disorders. They can be used for extended periods of time to help relieve these symptoms, but aren’t strong enough to actually cure any long-term conditions.
Have you ever used essential oils? Share your experiences in the comments below.
Image via Wellness Today
Our noses are closer to our brain than we realize, and aromatherapy is dedicated specifically to affecting our minds and moods through the sense of smell. While some people prefer incense or oils, I enjoy the atmospheric touch of a scented candle. Also a great gift idea, candles can spruce up a room by appealing to both our eyes and noses. Whether used to accompany a relaxing bath or kickstart your morning, a scented candle can heighten or lower your mood.
To help you avoid sniffing a sleepy scent when you’re trying to enjoy a romantic night in with your partner, we’ve compiled a little cheat sheet to help you pick the best scent for your evening.
My personal favorite is vanilla, and not only because it smells like dessert! Vanilla, cinnamon and clove are considered aphrodisiacs, and can really turn up the heat in a romantic situation.
Relaxation and sleep
Aromatherapy most commonly used to induce calm and relieve anxiety and stress. For this reason, lavender is the God of all aromatherapy scents. Other notables include chamomile and patchouli.
Ever wondered why the word “zest” refers to enthusiasm and high energy? For that little, extra kick, the citrus scents will be your best friend. Orange-scented candles are the most fruitful mood-lifters.
If you need a bit of extra help focusing on that assignment, chore or work brief? Peppermint, basil and rosemary scents clear the mind, allowing you to focus your attention on the task at hand.
Aromatherapy can also be used to treat symptoms of cold and flu. Ginger is said to be the go-to scent to ease headaches, but you can’t go past eucalyptus for nasal decongestion.
Image via sirikaya.co.nz