I began getting into essential oils last summer, when my mom, who is really interested in alternative therapies, suggested I check them out. I did a lot of research, and found that essential oils are 100% natural, and therefore cannot be patented. For this reason, drug companies won't be spending money conducting any studies on them, and therefore mainstream doctors won't be suggesting we use them due to lack of scientific evidence. However, essential oils have been used for thousands of years and while there aren't many studies out there due to lack of funding, there are a few that attest to their benefits.
How essential oils affect the body
The molecules in essential oils are tiny and can quickly change into a vapor. This makes them easily absorbed into the mucous membranes of our respiratory system when we smell the aroma. When the scent hits our nose, the nervous system transmits signals to the part of our brain that houses emotion and memory. The brain responds by releasing hormones, relieving pain, decreasing the sensation of stress, and boosting mood.
How to use essential oils
There are a number of ways to use essential oils, and today I just want to focus on inhalation. Place one to three drops of essential oil on a cloth to inhale. Or put three to eight drops of essential oil into a bowl of hot water, cover your head and bowl with a large towel, and inhale deeply for a few minutes.
My favorite essential oils for mood
Lemon essential oil - Lemons is wonderful. I often use it at the end of my yoga classes. I walk around the room with the lemon essential oil in my hands while my students are in savasana. It's supposed to improve creativity and concentration, and is an uplifting scent.
Lavender essential oil - Lavender is fantastic for relaxation. I love it when I'm taking a bath or just before getting ready for bed. I find it to be really calming.
Patchouli essential oil - I know patchouli isn't loved by a many, but it's one of my favorite scents. I like its earthy aroma and use it just before I teach a yoga class because it instantly lifts my spirits.
Sandalwood essential oil - Sandalwood is hands down one of my favorites. It's another earthy scent and I seriously could smell it all day. It works well for calming nerves and reducing stress.
Have you tried essential oils for your mood? Which scents were your favorites?
PS- Other ways to use essential oils.