The most common way to apply essential oils is aromatically. There are several methods you can do that with, but first lets talking a little bit about our sense of smell. A lot of people don’t realize it but your sense of smell is one of the most important senses you have. Think about it, if you’re in your home and left a candle on, fell asleep and that candle just so happened to light a drape on fire what do you think would wake you up? The smell of your burning house! How do you usually check to make sure a Tupperware of leftovers or ground meat in your fridge is still good? You smell it! Your sense of smell’s first function is to protect you. Another function your sense of smell has is to help you digest food. Think of when dinner is about to be served, what happens? You smell that amazing meal that’s cooking and you start to salivate. Your saliva aids in the digestion of food by assisting you to swallow, moistening (I hate that word) your food so it’s easier to chew and lastly helps break down the starches in your food before it even gets to your stomach.
EMOTIONS AND SMELL
Without getting super nerdy, there are four parts of your brain that your sense of smell directly effects. The olfactory cortex, the limbic system, the hypothalamus and the reticular formation. When you inhale a smell there are receptors that grab those molecules and disburse them through the brain. The olfactory cortex receives the smell first; this is where you consciously perceive a smell. Next it goes to your limbic system which is responsible for two functions, your sense of fear and long term memory storage. Next step is when it reaches the hypothalamus which is responsible for the action, remember when we were talking about salivation and waking up in the middle of the night? This is where that happens. Think of it as the command center for basic emotions and drives. Lastly the reticular formation, it acts as glue between emotion, memory and smell. Think of a smell that reminds you of a loved one who has passed on, or a smell that makes you feel energetic and aware. That feature right there, is the key to using oils for emotional support. When you throw all of these things together you’ve got a great tool at your hands. For instance, Lemon is amazing for helping maintain a sense of focus and aids in retaining information, imagine how beneficial that would be for a late nigh study session?
THE BEST TIME TO USE ESSENTIAL OILS AROMATICALLY
Sometimes one method of use is better than others. Aromatic use is most beneficial for your sinuses, respiratory system and for emotional support. Aromatic use is the fastest indirect method of delivery and takes sixty seconds to five minutes to absorb. Now let’s get into how you can aromatically use them:
A COTTON BALL IN FRONT OF A FAN
I have a really cool story about this method. My mom had surgery and was super nauseous from the stuff they use to knock her out with. When I loaded her up in my car, I put a drop of peppermint on a cotton ball and put it in my a/c vent. She didn’t hurl or even so much as dry heave in my car once. Peppermint for the win! Any who, you can put few drops of oil on a cotton ball and stick it in a vent or fan and its disperses the aroma that way.
A CLOTH OR TISSUE
This would be a good method to use if you’re on the go and need to sniff an oil in a pinch. You can put a drop of oil on a cloth or tissue and smell it as you walk. A great way to relax would be to put a drop of lavender on a cloth and put it on your face to help unwind before bed.
A POT WITH SOME HOT WATER
Boil a pot of water and turn off the heat, add a few drops of oil to the hot water and inhale the vapor. To make it more potent you can drape a towel over your head, making the vapor go straight to your nose. This would also be a great way to use oils if you were doing a facial at home.
This is by far the easiest way to disperse oils. You remove the cap put some water in the designated reservoir, drop five to ten drops of oil, push a button and voila! You’re done. The cool thing about diffusers is that they disperse the oils in a fine mist so that you’re inhaling the particles. That way you can have oils go through your house for hours without much effort at all.
I hope this was helpful!