Orange You Glad You Bought An Orange — October 10, 2020

Orange You Glad You Bought An Orange

Pretty much all of us already know what the citrus fruits are…lemons, limes, and oranges…duh…

But do you know why you should be sticking them in your grocery cart and actually eating them instead of simply setting them out on your counter because they look pretty.

First of all, what makes a citrus fruit a citrus fruit.

Citrus fruits are those fruits that have a thick rind and a soft juicy interior flesh that is filled with tiny liquid-filled carpels—such as

As far as nutritional value, citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C, fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients.

As far as health benefits, the benefits of eating citrus include…

  • helping to prevent cancer
  • helping you to lose weight and control your appetite
  • killing off free radicals
  • protecting cardiovascular health
  • helping to fight inflammation conditions

As far as uses, citrus fruits are not only used as food and beverages, but also to make essential oils.

The list of citrus fruits includes…

  • bergamot
  • clementine
  • grapefruits
  • kaffir limes
  • kumquats
  • lemons
  • limes
  • oranges
  • pomelo
  • yuzu

We will be looking at each of these fruits in later posts…but for right now our goal is to simply finish making out our grocery list so that we can get out of the door and out of Whole Foods or Sprouts as quickly as possible.

And while you’re in the citrus aisle, you might want to go over to the kitchen gadge aisle and grab you a lemon zester so that you can use the entire orange…except the seeds…actually perhaps you could even thinking about planting them yourself and growing your very own.

 

 

I’ve Been Cleaning More Lately Than Ever Before…How About You?! — April 23, 2020

I’ve Been Cleaning More Lately Than Ever Before…How About You?!

Essential Oils and Weight Loss — April 8, 2020

Essential Oils and Weight Loss

This audiobook is a guide written for insomniacs, and other people who have trouble sleeping quite often, to show the life-changing health benefits that optimum sleep provides….and more importantly how to have this optimum sleep experience.

 

 

This book sparked my interest because as I get older, the more I’ve started to realize that how well and how much I sleep impacts your entire life…(yeah, Mom, I shoulda listened to you all those nights when I was little and you told me to turn the lights off and go to bed.)

 

The title of the audiobook, Healthy Sleep, is appropriate for the book because the book explains how a healthy sleep cycle can improve your immune system, mood, sense of well-being—and even your weight.

 

This theme is carried out throughout the book as evident by the exercises and strategies that the book provides to help manage both stress and anxiety as well as common sleep disorders, such as insomnia and sleep apnea.

 

 

The authors of the audiobook are alternative medicine “guru” Andrew Weil, MD…and sleep expert Rubin R. Naiman, PhD.

—–Andrew Weil, MD, is a world-renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, a healing-oriented approach to health care which encompasses body, mind, and spirit. He is founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine (AzCIM) at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center in Tucson, and director of Integrative Health & Healing at Miraval Life in Balance Resort in Tucson. Dr. Weil s bestselling books include Spontaneous Happiness, Eight Weeks to Optimum Health, and Spontaneous Healing, and his popular audio programs with Sounds True include The Healthy Heart Kit and Breathing: The Master Key to Self-Healing.

—–Rubin Naiman, PhD, is an internationally recognized leader in integrative sleep and dream medicine. He is director of Circadian Health Associates, an organization that provides information, goods and services in support of sleep health. Dr. Naiman is the sleep specialist and clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of Arizona s Center for Integrative Medicine, directed by Dr. Andrew Weil. He also serves as Director of the Sleep and Dream Advisory Board for Sleep Studio. For more than a decade, Dr. Naiman served as the sleep and dream specialist at Canyon Ranch Health Resort in Tucson, where he founded the first formal sleep center at a spa. Subsequently, he served as director of sleep programs for Miraval Resort. Dr. Naiman is the author of a number of groundbreaking works on sleep, including Healing Night, Healthy Sleep (with Andrew Weil), The Yoga of Sleep, and To Sleep ToNight, as well as a number of professional book chapters and articles. He also blogs about sleep and dreams for The Huffington Post and Psychology Today.

 

This audiobook consists of two discs. The first disc is a discussion on why sleep is so important and why you may not be sleeping as you should. The second disc contains guided exercises, including three sessions to help you fall asleep.

 

Topics covered in the book include sleep stages, sleeping disorders, breathing techniques, good “sleep hygiene,” and safe supplements to overcome insomnia. The book uses a combination of creative visualization, self-compassion, and pranayama to explain insomnia and then lull you gently to sleep…

 

I would recommend this audiobook to anyone who has trouble sleeping…makes an excellent read about 2am when you should be sleeping instead of reading.

When Life Gives You Lemons, Add Even More — April 6, 2020

When Life Gives You Lemons, Add Even More

Lord knows, these months and the month or even months have been downright crazy…not to mention stressful.

 

 

So what is one way that you can worry less and chill out more?

 

 

If you actually read my blog on a regular basis, you will already know what I am about to say…

Aromatherapy…

More specifically essential oils…

And even more specifically diffusing essential oils as a part of the complementary medicine called “aromatherapy.”

 

 

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How Essential Oils Work

ls through the air, our olfactory nerve  sends almost instantly sends messages to different parts of the brain, including the limbic system and amygdala, which are both directly wired to the brain’s centers of memory and emotion.

If you remember watching the movie Forest Gump, you will remember the professor explaining that the amygdala is that part of the brain which controls our emotions, mood, and memory.

Interestimgly, these parts of the brain also do two what seems opposite reactions…either triggering a fight-or-flight respons where we get short of breath, our heart rate and blood pressure go overboard…or awakening the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps us relax.

In fact, certain essential oils…(which we’ll talk about later)…interact with our nervous system and brain in the same way biochemically that many anti-prescribed anxiety medications do..making it a great complementary and alternative choice. 

So let’s find out which specific essential oils, more specifically citrus essential oils, are actually the best oils for helping you feel less stressed out.

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Citrus in General

Citrus essential oils can affect different people different ways…they can either be stimulating or relaxing…are totally have different effects from one person to the next.

These oils can help some people fall asleep more easily…other people to relax but not actually fall to sleep-more easily…feel more both refreshed and relaxed if you use them during the day,

Since this is the case, you must try the particular essential oil yourself to see how it affects you.

Below are some citrrus essential oils to consider.

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Bergamot

What is it…Bergamot essential oil is derived from the peel of a bergamot fruit, a hybrid citrus fruit somewhere between a bitter orange and lemon or lime, and is widely used in aromatherapy. This is the fruit that gives Earl Grey tea its signature fragrance,…(more on this later)…

 

What does it smell like…Bergamot has a clean, spicy citrus-like fragrance that is soothing…yet at the same time invigorating.

 

How long have people been using it…This essential oil has been used traditionally in Italian folk medicine because of its ability to relieve tension and anxiety….and in traditional Chinese medicine to enhance the flow of energy, fight bacterial infections and support digestive health.

 

What other essential oils should I blend with bergamot…try  floral oils like lavender, clary sage and jasmine.

 

How do I use it…Like all other essential oils, you have the option to use bergamot essential oil in your diffuser or apply it to your skin,..but be careful if you do apply bergamot essential oil topically because it can cause severe sunburn.

Also be sure to combine bergamot essential oil with a carrier oil—such as jojoba, sweet almond, or avocado—before using it on your skin or adding it to your bath.

Bergamot can often be irritating to the skin…and make you more likely to get  sunburns and blisters when you’ve been out in the sun for too long.

 

Health benefits of bergamot essential oil are believed to include…

  • helping you to relax
  • improving blood circulation
  • keeping you from feeling so fatigued
  • lowering your blood pressure
  • lowering your heart rate
  • reducing chronic pain
  • relieving anxiety and stress
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Lemon

 

Source...leaves of the lemon plant

Benefits…

  • acts as a sedative
  • can help relieve the nausea associated with cancer treatments
  • eases symptoms of depression
  • improves mood
  • promotes sleep and relaxation
  • reduces anxiety and stress

 

 

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Melissa (Lemon Balm)

Source...lemons…(go figure, right?!)

History…has been used for hundreds of years. Known for its medicinal and uplifting qualities, it has also been given the name “elixir of life”.

Benefits

  • calms the mind
  • boosts immunity
  • strengthens the nervous system
  • can act as a antidepressant and release feelings of sadness and worry

 

 

 

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Neroli 

Source…derived from the flowers of the neroli, a citrus fruit

Fragrance...sweet and spicy aromal..similar to an expensive, floral-based perfume…in fact, commonly used as an ingredient in French perfumes

History…has been around since ancient Egyptian times

Blend with…sandalwood

Benefits

  • acts as a sedative
  • helps you sleep
  • improves concentration, mood, and memory
  • regulates the metabolic system
  • relaxes both body and soul
  • releases feelings of anger, irritability, stress, anxiety, and worry

 

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Yuzu

 

Source…derived from the yuzu fruit, a type of East Asian yellow citrus fruit often used in Asian cuisine

History…Japanese have had a custom of taking yuzu baths, which involves floating yuzus in hot baths during the winter to relieve stressas far back as the 1700s

Benefits

  • decreases negative emotional stress
  • decreases salivary chromogranin A, an indicator of stress and sympathetic nervous system activity
  • lowers your heart rate in just ten minutes, with effects lasting for about thirty minuters
  • soothes stress and anxiety
  • suppresses sympathetic nervous system activity, also known as the fight-or-flight response
Essential Oils and Sleep — April 3, 2020

Essential Oils and Sleep

Chamomile; German Chamomile; Hungarian Chamomile; Camomile; Matricaria recutita; Chamomilla recutita; Matricaria chamomilla
Chamomile; German Chamomile; Hungarian Chamomile; Camomile; Matricaria recutita; Chamomilla recutita; Matricaria chamomilla is a member of the Aster Family, Asteraceae or Compositae, the dried flowewrs of which are one of the most well-known herbal teas of commerece, valued for flavor, mild anti-inflammatory activity, and a calming effect.

Many essential oils out there can help you sleep more restfully and soundly because they stimulate your brain to release the hormones, serotonin, and dopamine which are important for uninterrupted sleep.

Specific essential oils that will help you get a good night’s sleep include…

 

 

Bergamot…Bergamot essential oil smells like a sweet light orange peel oil with a floral note and has a bright, yet calming and relaxing, effect. Bergamot essential oil is used to give Earl Grey tea its flavor, to calm anxious feelings, and to reduce both the heart rate and blood pressure.

 

2.  Cedarwood…Cedarwood essential oil is an essential oil that is produced from the foliage of various types of pine and cypress trees. The oil has an earthy, woodsy smell and supports healthy function of the pineal gland, which releases melatonin, the body’s natural sleepy hormone.

 

3.  Frankincense…Frankincense essential oil is a steam-distilled essential oil obtained from the tree resin of four main species of trees from the Boswellia genus. Frankincense essential oil has an earthy, balsamic fragrance and is perfect for balancing emotions, supporting healthy sleep, calming your mind and supporting your body’s natural response to healing.

 

4.  Juniper Berry…Juniper Berry essential oil is a steam-distilled essential oil that has a calming, grounding effect and an earthy, woodsy smell. The oil is extracted from the leaves and twigs of about fifty different species of junipers plant, a member of the cypress family that can grow anywhere within the Northern Hemisphere, all the way from the Arctic down towards tropical Africa, Pakistan, and the mountains of Central America. Most of the juniper berry essential oil that we use here in America has been harvested from juniper plants found in middle Tennessee, northern Alabama, and southern Kentucky.

 

5.  Lavender…Lavender essential oil is a steam-distilled essential oil that is obtained from the flower spikes of certain species of the lavender plant, a member of the mint family. Lavender essential oil has a relaxing and calming effect…and is used to reduce heart rate and blood pressure, help reduce feelings of tension, and calm emotions.

Most of us are already familiar with the lavender plant because the plant has been used as ornamental plants in garden and landscaping, as a culinary herb, and was one of the common colors in that magical 64-count box of Crayola crayons…the bo that had the sharpener on the back of the box…and that every kid in the classroom envied unless they had one themselves.

 

6.  Marjoram…Marjoram essential oil is steam-distilled from from the flowering leaves and tops of the marjoram plant, a somewhat cold-sensitive perennial herb or undershrub, that was referred to by the Romans as the “herb of happiness” and to the Greeks as the “joy of the mountains.”

The leaves have a unique mixture of sweet “pine” and citrus flavor. Most of us have had a marjoram spice container at least once in our spice cabinet of marjoram. If not an actual jar of marjoram by itself, perhaps a spice blend containing marjoram, such as herbes de Provence and za’atar…(I probably still have all three of these spices in the same container from back when I purchased thirty-one years ago when I first got married….let me go see)…

Anyway, marjoram essential oil is wonderful for muscles and joints, but it also excels in creating peaceful sleep and calming frazzled nerves.

 

7.  Roman Chamomile…Roman Chamomile essential oil has a calming, soothing, and relaxing effect and is perfect for helping to get rid of restlessness and anxious feelings.

The Roman chamomile plant is a low perennial plant found in dry fields, gardens, and cultivated grounds in Europe, North America, and in Argentina…and is used for making foods, herbal teas, perfumes, and cosmetics.

 

8.  Sandalwood...Sandalwood essential oil is a steam-distilled oil extracted from chips and billets cut from the heartwood of various species of sandalwood trees. Sandalwoods belong to the same botanical family as European mistletoe and can befound in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia, Indonesia, Hawaii, and other Pacific Islands. Sandalwood is the second most expensive wood in the world, after African blackwood.

Sandalwood has a distinctive rich, woodsy smell that has been highly valued for centuries as an ingredient in perfumes, cosmetics.

 

9.  Vetiver…Vetiver essential oil is distilled from the roots of a type of grass that is widely cultivated in tropical regions such as Haiti, India, and Indonesia. Vetiver has a psychologically grounding, calming and stabilizing effect and a rich and earthy smell.

 

10.  Ylang Ylang…Ylang ylang essential oil is extracted from the flowers of a ylang-ylang tree that is native in the rainforest habitats of the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. Ylang-ylang is also widely used in oriental- or floral-themed perfumes such as Chanel No. 5…and is also believed to relieve high blood pressure, to help with skin problems, and to be an aphrodisiac. In fact, in Indonesia, ylang-ylang flowers are spread on the bed o

Skin and Tonic — March 30, 2020

Skin and Tonic

Essential oils have been used in beauty rituals way back in “ancient times” and are still found in many skincare products…for everything from dry skin to the signs of aging…especially as  alternatives to skincare products that contain processed ingredients, harsh chemicals, and lots of other ingredients that any normal person has trouble pronouncing, much less know what they are.

Not only that, it has been proven, both in food and the cosmetic industry, that the closer a product is to the way God actually made it, the better that product will improve you.

Some essential oils contain antioxidants and antibacterial properties that have been shown to actually be good for your skin.

Potential benefits of essential oils in the health and appearance of your skin may include…

  • enhancing your skin’s UV resistance
  • helping your body absorb antioxidants
  • stimulating your immune system

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The Best Essential Oils for Skincare

The best essential oils for skincare are…

  • Chamomile
  • Frankincense
  • Lavender
  • Peppermint
  • Rose Hip
  • Tea Tree

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Korean Skincare

Let’s look at ways to add the benefits of these essential oils as part of your skincare regimens…more specifically the Korean 12-step beauty routine…

Korean skincare../even though time-consung in its ten-step regimen, has become trendy even among non-Korean because we all have admired the healthy, beautiful, and seemingly ageless skin.

So I thought that it would be fun to share some DIY and OTBC (over-the-beauty-counter) treats that use essential oils as one of their key ingredients.

 

 

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Morning Regimen

1: Wash with water…The first step in Korean skincare is to simply wash your face with water…no cleanser, just water to remove any “junk” that has settled on your face during the night and help hydrate your skin.

2. Apply toner. Okay, let’s dwell on toner for a bit and see why we need it and how to make your own.

 

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Why Use Toner?

There are several reasons to use toner, even though most of are content to skip this step and only use a cleanser and a moisturizer…or at least I am…

But there are actually several reasons to start using toner…

  • balances the skin’s pH
  • helps your skin to absorb the products that you will be applying to your face next
  • keeps your skin from becoming dry and dehydrated
  • keeps skin feeling clean and looking radiant
  • provides moisture
  • tightens pores

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Types of Toner

There are three different types of toners…

  • Fresheners and bracers
  • Skin Tonics

1. Fresheners and Bracers…Fresheners and bracers contain no alcohol…simply water and humectants—such as glycerin. They are the most gentle of toner types.

Fresheners and bracers contain humectants, such as glycerin, that help prevent moisture from evaporating off the top layers of your skin…and can be used on dry, sensitive and normal skin.

One example of a humectant is rosewater toner….so let’s find out how to make your own.

2. Skin Tonics…Skin tonics contain up to 20% alcohol in addition to the water and humectants found in fresheners and bracers…meaning that they are not as gentle to your skin. The alcohol acts as a drying agent in the tonic.

Skin tonics are suitable for use on normal, combination, and oily skin.

3. Astringents…Astringents contain a high proportion of alcohol (20-60%) in addition to antiseptic ingredients, water, and a humectant…meaning that these are the strongest form of toner out there.

Astringents are mean to be applied to specific areas of the face, not all over the face. Not only that, using an astringents too often can actually make your face oilier instead of remove oil from the skin.

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Ingredients

Herbs…Chamomile is often used in making homemade skin toners because it is so mild, but other herbs may also be used…for example…

  • Dry skin…ederflower, linden flowers, and marigold
  • Normal skin…fennel, lemon balm, parsley, and rosemary.
  • Oily skin…fennel, lemon balm, parsley, rosemary, peppermint and sage

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Szteps to Using Toner

Boil milk or water to a boil.. Pour over the chamomile. Steep for 2 to 3 minutes. Add apple cider vinegar, witch hazel or glycerin,  if using. Let the liquid cool, Strain the toner into a sterilized bottle. Shake the bottle to combine the ingredients.  Refrigerate…will keep in your fridge for up to five days. Apply to skin with cotton balls after you wash your face, but before using moisturizer. Do not rinse.  Apply moisturizer.

Aromatherapy…The Which — March 26, 2020

Aromatherapy…The Which

Aromatherapy…The What — March 22, 2020

Aromatherapy…The What

Chamomile; German Chamomile; Hungarian Chamomile; Camomile; Matricaria recutita; Chamomilla recutita; Matricaria chamomilla

We are all familiar with chamomile tea, having been read The Tale of Peter Rabbit, 

Chamomile has been used for centuries for its fragrance, relaxing properties and flavor profile. In the next several posts, we will be looking at how chamomile can be used in…

  • aromatherapy
  • beverages
  •  cosmetics and skincare
  • household care, such as by repelling insects
  • orally
Book Review…Essential Oils: The Complete Guide: Essential Oils for Beginners, Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Recipes — May 21, 2019

Book Review…Essential Oils: The Complete Guide: Essential Oils for Beginners, Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Recipes

 

 

Chamomile; German Chamomile; Hungarian Chamomile; Camomile; Matricaria recutita; Chamomilla recutita; Matricaria chamomilla

Essential Oils: The Complete Guide: Essential Oils for Beginners, Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Recipes is a guide book about essential oils written to “introduce you to the world of essential oils and aromatherapy.”

The book was written primarily for beginners who have absolutely no prior knowledge about using essential oils and carrier oils.to show how to use them properly…

This book sparked my interest because so many of the natural body care and skincare products that I will be making and sharing in the near future contain them.

The title, Essential Oils: The Complete Guide: Essential Oils for Beginners, Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Recipes, is appropriate for the book because the book explains everything in simple, easy to understand steps..

The purpose of the book–showing how to use essential oils  properly-is carried out throughout the book as evident by the fact that the book tells the reader how to store your essential oils and carrier oils, and the fact that It is important to know what you are doing when you are using essential oils because some essential oils can do things such as increase UV light/sunlight sensitivity and affect your hormones.

According to the introduction, this book promises to teach you a natural treatment that takes care of both your mental and physical health at the same time…how to cure your common cold without the use of drugand how to start the day exploding with motivation and energy, whilst finishing the day calm, content and stress-free.all through the proper application of essential oils.

The author of the book is Amy Joyson.

The main idea of the book is that both your health and vitality can be improved through the use of essential oils.

My favorite part of the book was definitely the over 100 recipes for natural body and skincare products, as well as home cleaning products because this is something that I am focusing on right now in both my life and my blog…recipes to enhance your calm or self-esteem and confidence, to uplift your mood, to support your detox and many, many more.

Other topics discussed include what aromatherapy is and how you can use aromatherapy at home for stress relief and weight loss, what carrier oils are and how to use them, and what exactly essential oils are and how they work in the body.

I highly recommend this book, and feel that you will also be happy that you bought it.

The Essentials about Essential Oils — May 19, 2019

The Essentials about Essential Oils

Chamomile; German Chamomile; Hungarian Chamomile; Camomile; Matricaria recutita; Chamomilla recutita; Matricaria chamomilla
Chamomile; German Chamomile; Hungarian Chamomile; Camomile; Matricaria recutita; Chamomilla recutita; Matricaria chamomilla is a member of the Aster Family, Asteraceae or Compositae, the dried flowewrs of which are one of the most well-known herbal teas of commerece, valued for flavor, mild anti-inflammatory activity, and a calming effect.

Essential oils are perhaps the oldest known element in following a “natural health” regimen…dating back to the ancient Egyptians, who seem to have used them as far back as 3500BC for religious, cosmetic, and health purposes.

Essential oils have been called the “life blood” of the plant and are typically extracted from within the many shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, bushes and seeds in which they are found through the process of steam distillation. These essential oils have been used for both physical and emotional benefits for thousands of years.

Each person will respond to the aroma, or these specific chemical elements, when breathing in the scent of an essential oil, in his or her own unique way…based on individual emotions, behaviors, memories, and experiences.

That being said, certain essential oils are always considered to have a certain effect regardless of these factors. Certain oils simply almost always seem more uplifting, more invigorating, more calming, more soothing….

In a future post, I will be sharing a list of the best essential oils to use when fighting insomnia.

 

But what good is that list of essential oils and a brand new vial of essential oil…if you’re like I was the first time that I purchased essential oil. It sat in my bathroom for years before I finally gave it away to my daughter because I had no clue what to do with it…(okay, did I just admit that?!)

Chamomile; German Chamomile; Hungarian Chamomile; Camomile; Matricaria recutita; Chamomilla recutita; Matricaria chamomilla
Chamomile; German Chamomile; Hungarian Chamomile; Camomile; Matricaria recutita; Chamomilla recutita; Matricaria chamomilla is a member of the Aster Family, Asteraceae or Compositae, the dried flowewrs of which are one of the most well-known herbal teas of commerece, valued for flavor, mild anti-inflammatory activity, and a calming effect.

Essential oils can have a huge positive influence on us both physically and psychologically.

Physically, using essential oils aromatically can help heal and maintain the respiratory system by improving the quality of the air we are breathing and protecting us from environmental threats…

Psychologically, using essential oils aromatically can help control moods, tension, and stress.

But first, how and why do essential oils work aromatically?

When you inhale essential oils, you are actually breathing in a fine mist or vapor of the actual oil. This vapor contains all the same properties of the actual liquid oil itself, just in a different format.

Once you have inhaled the vapor, the scent of the essential oil interacts with smell receptors located in the brain, known as “olfactory sensors.”

These “olfactory sensors” are part of the “olfactory system,” the part of the brain that regulates our sense of smell. The “olfactory system” part of the brain is located near and closely connected to the limbic system.

Once the scent is processed by the olfactory system, it travels through the olfactory nerve to the limbic system.

The “limbic system” is the part of the brain responsible for processing smell, emotions, behavior, memory, and thoughts…and that can help us feel calm, encouraged, and so forth. Here, the scent triggers responses in the brain based on memories and experiences.

Notice that the limbic system, the part of the brain most closely connected with the olfactory system, is not connected with processing sight, sound, or touch…explaining why smell, more than any of the other five senses, is so successful at triggering emotions and memories.

And why essential oils have a particularly powerful effect when used aromatically.