The Power of Scent
Is there really something to these essential oils that so many people are talking about? Is this just a ploy to get others signed up to be part of those MLM things? Or could it be both?
Well, I signed up because I knew the power of essential oils. I was wearing patchouli back in the 90s during my high school days. I was using lavender in my nail salon because I knew people loved the scent and it relaxed them when they came in. Now we have people talking about the “blue” and how it helped their achy crampy muscles or even marjoram that helps with pain? The MLM was just another bonus with using essential oils. I personally have experiencing many good things while using essential oils. I also love hearing how essential oils have helped many people with the mood and health.
Every time an essential oil bottle opens, tiny molecules are released into the air. Once they hit the air, your olfactory system wakes up. The sense of smell is known as “olfaction.” The sense of smell also causes all kinds of things happen in your body. These molecules dance up to your nose where it meets your olfactory epithelium. Some of the little molecules are absorbed into the olfactory epithelium. There are also little tiny hairs in your nose called “cilia” and they are also stimulated by the smell. The cilia send signals to the olfactory bulb where the messages are sent to parts of the brain such as the amygdala, the hypothalamus, or the hippocampus. All of these parts of the brain have to do with the Limbic System.
The Limbic System is an amazing system that has a list of responsibilities to carry out.
- Behavioral and Emotional Response
- Control emotions like fear and anger
- Regulate eating, hunger, and thirst
- Respond to pain and pleasure
- Control functioning of the automatic nervous system like the pulse blood pressure, breathing and arousal.
- Sensing sexual satisfaction
- Controlling aggression or violent behaviors
- Responding to sensory information (sense of smell)
- Stores memories and learn new information
As you can see, it is very important for us to take care of our limbic system because it helps us with so many things. The Limbic System is also known as the “paleomammalian” brain. It is a collection of brain structures in the brain. It was first defined by a French Anatomist named Paul Broca. The Limbic system can be found in animals too. The alligator has a Limbic system that plays a role in smell, which helps the alligator defend its territory and to find food.
The Limbic System is always trying to determine our level of safety. It assigns emotional significance to everything we smell, see, hear, feel, and taste. It is also closely related to the immune system, endocrine system, and the Automatic Nervous System. It also helps to regulate the function of our internal organs.
There are a number of things that can interfere with the healthy functioning of the Limbic System. Chemical exposure, mold toxicity, physical trauma, virus or infection, inflammation, psychological or emotional trauma, and accumulated stress. Simply by looking the list, we can see why it is so important to take care of our Limbic System because of all the ways it tries to help us.
Essential oils can truly benefit our Limbic System by incorporating them into our daily lives by means of inhaling, replacing our cleaning supplies, simply diffusing them, or using them for emotional health.
When the Limbic System becomes compromised, many symptoms can show up. Disinhibited behavior, increased anger and violence, appetite suppression, binge eating, or overeating, trouble forming memories, and Alzheimer’s Disease. When the Limbic System is not functioning properly, it becomes hypersensitive and begins to react to stimuli that it normally wouldn’t bother with. This results in the Limbic System activating the immune system, the endocrine system, or even the Automatic System when there really is not a need to do so. This can cause people to experience symptoms that are treated for one thing when in actuality there could be another root cause. The overtime hyperarousal state in the body causes the immune system to be weakened and can affect how we sleep, how our digestive systems function, the body’s detoxification, our mood, and can affect how we think.
I think it is important for us to study the brains and to keep our brains healthy. Diet, exercise, how we think, how we act, a good multi-vitamin, prayer, even our environment (physical and emotional), and oils can all have a great impact on the health and wellness of our Limbic System.
- Heather Carnes