Aromatherapy - The Science of Smell
Aromatherapy is both an art and science as it uses natural essential oils and extracts from plants that chemically balance the body, mind and spirit. Aromatherapy uses essential oils from plants, either applied in a lotion and absorbed by the skin or inhaled and absorbed into the lungs and nasal passages, to improve physical and mental health.
Aroma enters through the nose through olfactory hairs/bulbs to the limbic system of our brain. This primitive area of the brain bypasses the local or reasoning part of us. Memory and emotions are housed here. The limbic system also directly communicates with the master glands -- the hypothalamus and pituitary glands regulate many body functions including hormones and the immune system.
Studies have found that aromatherapy can help seniors with anxiety and depression issues, as well as encourage a better quality of life. Aromatherapy specifically helps those diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease relieve agitation and improve sleep. One study used various essential oils on 28 patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease for a 30-day period and the results found were a significant improvement in personal orientation and cognitive function.
Essential Oils Are Effective For:
- Mood Changes
- Behavioral Issues
- Colds and Flu
- Weight Maintenance
Some oils such as Peppermint, Rosemary, Jasmine, Lemongrass and Grapefruit stimulate and have an uplifting effect on the body. Others such as Lavender, Rose, Geranium, Lemon Balm, Sandalwood and Ylang-Ylang have a relaxing or sedating effect on the body. With Alzheimer's individuals, using uplifting oils in the morning can stimulate appetites, moods and energy levels.