I bet you don’t know that our sense of smell is linked to the limbic areas of the brain, which is the emotional control center?
It essentially means that when essential oils are inhaled, they travel to the brain. Our other 4 senses (sight, taste, hearing and touch) are linked to the thalamus before reaching certain areas of the brain. The limbic system controls parts of our brains that regulate heart rate, breathing, stress levels, memory, blood pressure, hormone balance and stress levels.
Thought this, Essential oils can have tremendous psychological and physiological effects on the limbic system.
Each essential oil has its own therapeutic calming, sedative, balancing properties. When we inhale an essential oil, its particles travel through the nasal passage to a receptor neuron that transports it to the limbic brain, especially the hypothalamus.
The ability of essential oils to target your limbic center makes them a powerful tool in treating many health issues. When inhaled through the nose, essential oils stimulate tiny nerves that transmit a signal to the brain, and then begin to work on systems that regulate our body and mind. Inhalation through the nasal pathway leads to instant effects as it is the quickest route to the brain.
Researchers from Berlin and Vienna Universities found that sesquiterpenes, a natural compound within essential oils of patchouli, vetiver, sandalwood, cedar wood and frankincense, helps to raise oxygen levels in the brain by 28 percent (Nasel, 1992).
An increase in oxygen within the brain can stimulate activity in the limbic systems of the brain and the hypothalamus, which poses immediate effects on attitude, learning, emotions and physical processes in the body like: hormone balance, immune function and energy levels. Cedarwood, Melissa, Myrrh, and Clove essential oils are found to include high levels of sesquiterpenes.
Dr. Joseph Ledoux, at New York University in 1989, found that the amygdala has vital role in eliminating and storing emotional trauma. Dr. Ledoux and Dr. Hirsch’s studies concluded that aromas can trigger a response.
Without any side effects, essential oils can benefit the body, whether you inhale or diffuse the aroma from the bottle. The olfactory nerves, when stimulated just right, can provide a powerful, new therapy that could be utilized as a fighter against many illnesses. Essential oils are being evaluated for treatment of brain injuries for one reason, is that its molecular properties can alter psychological and physical functions in the human body.
Frankincense Essential Oil and Your Brain
The brain is said to be one of the most intriguing and complex organ in the human body. When it sustains injury from a mild concussion to serious head trauma, it takes time to heal. However, frankincense oil can help speed up the process by supporting increased oxygenation of blood traveling to the brain.
It helps to ensure absorption of oxygen and when absorbed right, the brain is able to retain and process information, function, and heal optimally. Frankincense has a molecular structure that contain sesquiterpenes, that can cross the blood/brain barrier. The limbic system and glands in the brain that process emotions and increase memory.
Frankincense oil has cytophylactic, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, sedative, tonic, uterine, vulnerary, antiseptic, carminative, astringent, cicatrisant and expectorant properties. The researchers from Vienna and Berlin discovered that sesquiterpenes boost oxygenation in the pituitary an spinal gland. It ensures balance of memory-boosting and emotion-regulating hormones. Mainly, essential oils have the ability to pass the blood/brain barrier, through the skin, into the nerves, and heal/stabilize DNA and cellular memory.
Diffusing certain oils using a cold air diffuser may have these benefits according to research:
- Relax the body, clear the mind, and relieve tension.
- Help with weight management.
- Reduce bacteria, mold, fungus, and odors.
- Improve hormonal balance.
- Improve the secretion of antibodies that fight candida.
- Relieve headache.
- Stimulate neurotransmitters.
- Improve concentration, mental clarity and alertness.
- Stimulate secretion of endorphins.
- Improve digestive functions.
- Stimulate growth hormone production and receptivity
Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils
The level of purity in oils determines its therapeutic value. This can all depend on the soil you use, what fertilizer you are using (chemical or organic), climate, and the distillation process.
When it comes to aromatherapy, you want the highest quality in essential oils to retain the benefits. It is imperative that you look for “100% therapeutic grade essential oil” on labels to make sure you are getting the purest quality.
Some can be labeled so, and be processed and unrefined. Essential oils are tested within labs and are found to be free of toxins and impurities. A therapeutic essential oil can provide a rich aroma that is able to increase body frequency and restore body function where weak. The oils frequency, chemistry and fragrance factor in to the health benefits. An essential oil that has a diluted property, from poor production, it cannot be labeled as therapeutic.