How do essential oils affect the brain?
Our sense of smell is linked to the limbic areas of the brain, which is the emotional control center. Emotional life is largely housed in the limbic system, and it has a great deal to do with the formation of memories. The limbic system also controls parts of our brain that regulate heart rate, breathing, stress levels, memory, blood pressure, and hormone balance.
When essential oils are inhaled, they travel to the brain. They can have a tremendous impact on both psychological and physiological effects on the limbic system.
Each essential oil has its own therapeutic calming and 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. Essential oils have the ability to pass the blood/brain barrier to help stabilize DNA and cellular memory. When inhaled through the nose, the essential oil stimulates tiny nerves that transmit a signal to the brain and begin to work on systems that regulate our body and our mind. This can have instant effects as inhaling through the nose is the quickest pathway to the brain.
Researchers found that sesquiterpenes, a natural compound found within the essential oils of patchouli, vetiver, sandalwood, cedarwood, and frankincense, help raise oxygen levels in the brain by 28%! An increase in oxygen within the brain can stimulate activity in the limbic system and hypothalamus, which can result in immediate effects on attitude, learning, emotions, and physical processes within the body such as hormone balance, immune function, and energy levels.
Essential oils are also being evaluated for treatment of brain injuries. When the brain sustains an injury, from a mild concussion to a serious head trauma, it takes a lot of time to heal. Frankincense oil can help speed up the process by supporting increased oxygenated blood traveling to the brain. When the brain absorbs more oxygen, it is able to retain and process information, function better and heal optimally.
Diffusing essential oils in a cold air diffuser may have these benefits:
- Relax the body and mind, relieve tension
- Help with weight management
- Improve hormonal balance
- Relieve headaches
- Stimulate neurotransmitters
- Improve concentration, mental clarity, and alertness
- Stimulate secretion of endorphins
When it comes to aromatherapy, you want the highest quality in essential oils. I choose Young Living because they are the world leader in quality essential oils. I love that Young Living owns and operates all their farms. They have high standards for the land they plant on. They won’t even plant a seed on soil that has been chemically treated. They also do their own distillation and bottling. Their hands are in every aspect from SEED to SEAL. Nothing gets outsourced. You can be 100% sure that what you are getting is 100% PURE essential oil.