Our sense of smell has the power to perk us up, or fill us with absolute disgust. Our personal associations and experiences make scent objective, from the smell of burgers on the Fourth of July to a whiff of a cologne or perfume an ex wore that brings up bad or good memories. Now, with the help of aromatherapy we can utilize the power of smell to heal emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
Chanté Floreani, founder of Root Down Botanicals, uses 100 percent natural ingredients, using synergistic blends of essential oils to not only smell good, but to evoke specific moods to help improve our day. Floreani has three oil blends that help us wake up in the morning, keep calm and centered in the afternoon, and help us relax and unwind in the evening, respectively. “Essential oils are volatile, aromatic molecules that are composed of 100-200 chemical constituents,” Floreani told Medical Daily in an email. “This complex chemistry gives essential oils their therapeutic effects.” The different botanical essences evoke different emotional responses, offering a pleasing aroma and the ability to contribute to our overall wellbeing.
Hack into your senses and sniff your way to good health with these six scents that will alleviate everyday ailments:
The scent of cinnamon can greatly boost brain function, improve mental alertness, and even enhance our memory. Sniffing this potent spice will allow us to reap the benefits of its stimulating properties. A 2009 study published in the North American Journal of Psychology found cinnamon and peppermint led to increased ratings of alertness, decreased temporal demand, and decreased frustration in participants doing prolonged driving. Applying these odors may help those driving long distances, and may prove beneficial in maintaining alertness, and decreasing highway accidents and fatalities.
Citrus smells, like Grapefruit, can help alleviate our stress levels. A 1995 study published in the Japanese Journal of Psychopharmacology found citrus fragrance restored stress-induced immunosuppression, and induced calm behavior in mice. Floreani previously told Medical Daily grapefruit scent in the morning to “awaken and energize” helps us get the day started with energy and mental alertness. Next time you’re feeling stressed, sniff on the sweet citrus smell to lower anxiety levels.
This calming and soothing fragrance commonly used in soaps, bath oils, and detergents is considered the perfect stress buster and pain relief. A 2005 study found aromatic lavender essential oil for sub-cute, non-specific neck pain is effective with the use of acupressure. “Lavender is very versatile and we can benefit from its therapeutic qualities any time of day,” Floreani told Medical Daily. “When pairing it with other essential oils is how we create more complex, synergistic blends that evoke responses more appropriate for different times of the day.” Root Down Botanical’s Afternoon: Calm & Center essential oil is mixed with lemongrass and white thyme to help us stay balanced and calm, uplifted and revitalized, and soothed and fortified. This emotional response lends itself for when we are ready to relax and unwind into the evening.
The smell of peppermint is known to improve our cognitive memory. When administered either through the mouth or the nose, the smell can improve our recognition, working memory, and our overall response. A 2013 study published in the Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition found when participants drank peppermint-infused water for 10 days, it improved their pain threshold.
Sherianna Boyle, author of The Everything Parents Guide to Overcoming Childhood Anxiety, told Medical Daily, “Peppermint can reduce an upset stomach which is one of the symptoms of anxiety.” For children, Boyle suggests having your child smell the essential oil about 6 inches away or place it under their pillow. You can also purchase a diffuser for the home or classroom as a quick way to stimulate relaxation.
These four scents will help you deal with everyday ailments to improve your day.