Aromatherapy can be used to help us relax, to provide mental clarity, to help cope with emotional conflicts, and to energize us physically, emotionally or mentally.
by Cindy Murdoch – Staff Writer
Aromatherapy is powerful. Fragrances grab your attention. Consider how you feel when you smell the enticing aroma of freshly baked brownies or bread, the appealing scent of coffee brewing in the morning, or the scent of certain perfumes and colognes that suddenly stir up memories of the past. From these examples it is easy to see that aromatherapy really does affect our emotions.
Aromas and fragrances affect us in a way that is both primitive and alluring. Aromatherapy affects emotions in many different ways.
Aromatherapy Affects Emotions
When we smell something, information is sent to specific parts of our brain that influences memory, basic emotions, learning, etc. Fragrances can be used to influence people and how they feel about themselves, and even how they interact with each other.
With this in mind, you can incorporate fragrances and scents and aromatherapy into your everyday life to improve the way you feel about and respond to life. And you can even covertly influence those around you.
Aromatherapy is often accomplished through the use of essential oils which are a true concentrated essence extracted from a plant. Essential oils are very potent, and much can be accomplished through the use of just a few drops.
Below is a brief list of fragrances and their effects on emotions. Many of these aromatherapy fragrances have been used for centuries getting these same results.
Scents to Relieve Anger: Chamomile, Jasmine, Patchouli, Rose and Ylang-ylang.
Scents to Relieve Anxiety: Bergamot, Cedarwood, Cypress, Frankincense, Hyssop, Lavender, Marjoram, Myrrh, Neroli, Orange, Peach, Rose, Rose Geranium and Violet Leaf.
Scents to Increase Confidence: Frankincense, Jasmine, Patchouli and Sandalwood.
Scents to Ease Depression: Bergamot, Clary Sage, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lavender, Lemon, Lemon Balm, Lemon Verbena, Neroli, Orange, Petitgrain, Rose Geranium, Sandalwood, Tangerine and Ylang-ylang.
Scents to Improve Memory: Bay Laurel, Jasmine, Lavender, Lemon and Rosemary.
Scents to Ease Sorrow: Clary Sage, Cypress, Fir, Marjoram, Rosemary and Sage.
Scents Used as Aphrodisiacs: Jasmine, Rose, Sandalwood, Vanilla and Ylang-ylang.
Scents to Invigorate and Overcome Fatigue: Angelica, Benzoin, Camphor, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Clove Basil, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Lemon, Peppermint, Pine, Sage and Spiced Apple.
Scents to Deal with Stress, Nervous Tension and Insomnia: Bergamot, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Cloves, Frankincense, Lavender, Lemon, Marjoram, Myrrh, Neroli, Nutmeg, Orange, Petitgrain, Rose, Sandalwood, Sweet Melissa, Valerian, Vanilla, Violet, and Ylang-ylang.
Scents to Calm Irritability: Chamomile, Neroli, Rose, and Rose Geranium.
For an exhaustive list of essential oils and their uses, click here.
Methods of Aromatherapy (Oil Dispersion)
These scents can be released through various means which include:
Atomizer – The scent is dispersed into the air as a very fine spray.
Bath – Mixing an essential oil with salts, milk or sesame oil and then mixing into your bath water can increase the pleasure of your bathing experience. The salts, milk and sesame oil act as an emulsifier causing the oils to disperse into the water rather than just floating on the top. A good ratio to use is 5-10 drops of essential oil to ½-1 cup of the salt, milk or sesame oil.
Diffusion – any method or device that disperses small molecules of essential oil into the air. This is the most popular way to use essential oils. Common diffusers include: candle diffusers, electric heat diffusers, and cold air nebulizing diffusers.
Facial Steam – add 1-5 drops of essential oil to a hot pot of water. Drape towel over head forming a tent with your face over the pot.
Hot Compress – to create a hot compress, add 10 drops of oil to 4 ounces of hot water. Soak a piece of cloth – flannel works well. Place cloth over treatment area.
Inhalation – any method of using the oils that allows them to be inhaled. This could include diffusers, atomizers, hot or cold compress, facial steam and hot baths. 1-2 drops of essential oil can also be added to the palms of your hand. Rub hands together and then inhale deeply.
Massage – Essential oils must be diluted with a carrier oil to create oils safe for a massage. (Some oils are too hot for neat use on the skin.) The ratio is 6-60 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce of carrier oil.
Consider how you can use fragrance aromatherapy to enhance your life and that of those around you.