ESSENTIAL OILS AS MOOD-ENHANCERS

EssentialOils

One of the most useful aspects of essential oils is the mood-enhancing properties. Every oil will create some kind of feeling in you.  To realize why this happens you need to know a bit about how the essential oils work through our olfactory system: (Following is taken from Wikipedia – text & picture; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olfactory_system)

<<In mammals, the main olfactory system detects odorants that are inhaled through the nose, where they contact the main olfactory epithelium, which contains various olfactory receptors. These can distinguish a new odor from the background environmental odors and determine the concentration of the odor.

These olfactory receptors are connected to bipolar olfactory receptor neurons in the olfactory epithelium, which transduce receptoractivation into electrical signals in neurons. The signals travel along the olfactory nerve, which belongs to the peripheral nervous system. This nerve terminates in the olfactory bulb, which belongs to the central nervous system.>>

Olfactory_system

1: Olfactory bulb 2: Mitral cells 3: Bone 4: Nasal Epithelium 5: Glomerulus 6: Olfactory receptor cells

You might say that the olfactory receptors in the nose is the only place where the brain sticks out from the skull. In the olfactory bulb (1) there is a series of key-holes which accommodate different molecules. It’s a little like the round peg in the round hole. If the odor molecule doesn’t fit in the key-hole the odor will stay only in the nose, being analyzed by the brain and that’s it, most odors fall into this category. If, however, the odor molecule fits into one of the key-holes it will enter the limbic system of the brain, also called the reptile brain. )Following text & picture is taken from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limbic_system)

In addition, these structures are sometimes also considered to be part of the limbic system:

As you can see the limbic system is situated in the middle of the brain – as if it was the heart of the brain.

The molecular structure of essential oils fit in this key-hole system, so the essential oils do enter the limbic system. The essential oils also transgress the blood-brain-barrier and therefore enters the limbic system through the blood as well. Since many of the molecules in essential oils mimic our own hormones, they can, among other things, help to regulate our hormone-system. Some essential oils are very valuable for mental clarity, help with mood-swings, facilitating sleep and much much more.

In my next post I will tell you a little about the different oils and how you can use them as mood-enhancers.  I will also give you dosages and how-to-use tips. Stay tuned!

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