Essential Oils for the Mind

You probably know that essential oils are great to make a room smell nice – most of us love citrus scents, like oranges or lemongrass, or floral scents of jasmine and rose. Or you might have heard or even used a few drops of eucalyptus oil in a vaporizer to fight away cold and flu during colder seasons.

But do you know that essential oils have research-backed psychological properties and can help with common conditions affecting our minds?

Using essential oils to improve mental well-being is an essential part of ALY’S product philosophy. In this post we want to briefly explain how essential oils work and give you a list of common emotional conditions and which oils to use for them. Plus talk about some of the most amazing oils for the mind in a bit more detail.

 

HOW ESSENTIAL OILS WORK WITH OUR BRAINS

When you inhale a scent – from a flower, food or essential oils – our brain responds in two different ways:

1. The olfactory nerve signals to the brain what we already know about the object – or may know. This happens extremely fast so that we can react quickly to a potential threat. If our mind has stored positive associations (these associations are also called anchoring) with the smell based on our past experiences with it, we respond well to it. And we dislike the scents that we connect with bad memories – and some of these memories may not even be known to us, they have been passed on to us through our genes. This is our emotional response to a smell. This emotional response is highly individual and differs with culture, age and how and where we grew up.

2. When the molecules of essential oils – and this what their scent consists of – are picked up by the olfactory nerve, they enter our brain itself and pass through the so-called blood-brain barrier. That’s why essential oils often work faster and better than even some drugs or herbal medicines taken orally.

The below graphic from the Tisserand Institute sums up these 2 processes. This is how essential oils work on our minds – they trigger an emotional response and directly react with our brain cells.

 

EMOTIONAL CONDITIONS AND ESSENTIAL OILS TO USE FOR THEM

Source: Tisserand Institute . Underlined are essential oils that ALY’S use.

 

Emotional Condition Essential Oils To Use
Anxiety, agitation, stress, restlessness Angelica (angelica archangelica)
Labdanum (cistus ladaniferus)
Neroli (citrus aurantium)
Bergamot (citrus bergamia)
Sweet orange (citrus sinensis)
Cymbopogon martinii (palmarosa)
Lavender (lavandula angustifolia)
May Chang (litsea cubeba)
Basil (ocimum basilicum)
Geranium (pelargonium graveolens)
Patchouli (pogostemon patchouli)
Valerian (valeriana officinalis)
Fatigue, exhaustion (mental and physical) Angelica (angelica archangelica)
Labdanum (cistus ladaniferus)
Geranium (pelargonium graveolens)
Neroli (citrus aurantium)
Grapefruit (citrus paradisi)
Coriander (coriandrum sativum)
Citronella (cymbopogon nardus)
Black peppermint (eucalyptus radiata)
Juniper (juniperus communis)
Spearmint (mentha spicata)
Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis)
Ginger (zingiber officinale)
Sleep problems, insomnia Angelica (angelica archangelica)
Labdanum (cistus ladaniferus)
Ylang ylang (cananga odorata)
Roman chamomile (chamaemelum nobile)
Neroli (citrus aurantium)
Bergamot (citrus bergamia)
Lavender (lavandula angustifolia)
May Chang (litsea cubeba)

 

Want to know what our top picks for essential oils are - check out this post.

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