Given the fact that our sense of smell is the only sense directly linked to the limbic area of the brain, when essential oils are inhaled they go directly to the brain. The other four senses- sight, touch, hearing, and taste- are first tracked through the thalamus before reaching the specific areas of the brain. Due to the fact that the limbic system is tied up to the parts of the brain which control breathing, memory, stress levels, hormone balance, blood pressure, and heart rate, essential oils have potent psychological and physiological effects. Each essential oil has calming, balancing, sedative, and stimulating properties. Once inhaled, their molecules travel throughout the nasal passage and reach a receptor which then leads them to the limbic brain, which is responsible for all physical, psychological, and emotional responses. Therefore, the capacity of essential oils to affect the limbic center makes them potent tool against various health issues.
Once essential oils are inhaled through the nose, tiny nerves send signal to the brain and start working on the systems which calm down our bodies and minds. Given the fact that the chemical messengers in the nose are directly linked to the brain, inhalation is the most direct delivery method of the components found in essential oils.
According to studies done at Vienna and Berlin Universities, the natural compound called sesquiterpenes, which is found in oils like frankincense, vetiver, sandalwood, cedarwood, and patchouli, can boost oxygen levels in the brain by 28%. Such increase in oxygen may result in a heightened level of activity in the limbic systems of the brain, which affect emotions, attitude, learning, and physical processes like energy, immunity, and hormone balance. Other oils with high levels of sesquiterpenes include clove, mellisa, myrrh, and cedarwood essential oil.
Back in 1989, Dr. Joseph Ledoux, at New York Medical University, found that amygdala has a huge role in both storing and releasing emotional trauma. If we take into consideration the results from the studies from Dr. Hirsch and Dr. Ledoux, it becomes evident that aromas may have a huge impact on triggering a response.
The best part about essential oils is that they provide health benefits without any side effects, regardless of whether it is through diffusing or inhaling the smell from the bottle. Proper stimulation of the olfactory nerves may provide a potent form of therapy which can be used against various diseases.
Essential oils, their molecular properties, and their impact on both physical and psychological functions in the body are the reasons why they are being examined for brain injury treatments.
Frankincense Essential Oil and Your Brain
The brain is the most complex organ and injuries range from mild concussions to serious trauma. Most of the brain injuries take a lot of time to heal, but frankincense essential oil can accelerate this process. What makes this oil effective in aiding in this process is its ability to stimulate oxygenation of blood flow to the brain and aiding in oxygen absorption. When properly absorbed, oxygen allows the brain to retain information, heal, and function optimally.
Frankincense oil contains sesquiterpenes, a molecular makeup which can cross the blood/brain barrier. These compounds promote memory and release emotions by stimulating the limbic system of the brain and other glands in the brain. The therapeutic properties of frankincense oil include vulnerary, expectorant, diuretic, expectorant, digestive, uterine, tonic, sedative, cytophylactic, astringent, emmenogogue, cicatrisant, and antiseptic.
According to a research from the universities of Vienna and Berlin, sesquiterpenes boost oxygenation around the pituitary and pineal glands, which in turn maintains ideal balance of memory-stimulating and emotion-regulating hormones.
Essential oils not only penetrate the blood-brain barrier, but also penetrate the skin, follow the meridians, follow nerve pathways, and offer healing and balance even at the cellular levels like DNA and cellular memory.
Diffusing and Inhaling
According to a research, diffusing certain oils using a cold air diffuser provides the following benefits:
- Stimulate neurotransmitters
- Improve concentration, mental clarity and alertness
- Stimulate secretion of endorphins
- Improve digestive functions
- Stimulate growth hormone production and receptivity
- Relax the body, clear the mind, and relieve tension
- Help with weight management
- Reduce bacteria, mold, fungus, and odors
- Improve hormonal balance
- Improve the secretion of antibodies that fight candida
- Relieve headache
Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils
The level of therapeutic value of oil heavily depends on its chemical constituents, which can be affected by various things, such as the soil, the soil condition, fertilizer, distillation process, climate, and many more.
When it comes to aromatherapy, it is important to use undiluted therapeutic grade essential oils in order to get the most of them. Make sure you get “100% therapeutic grade essential oil”. Even though some essential oils are labeled as 100% organic, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are pure.
Therapeutic quality essential oils are tested and certified to be free of any impurities. A therapeutic-grade essential oil contains all chemical constituents, which gives it deep aroma and ability to raise the function of human body, restoring balance and promoting normal function to weak body systems. This is very important because oil`s chemistry, frequency, and fragrance are contributing factors to its therapeutic effects. Therefore, if any of these properties is compromised, the essential oil cannot be called therapeutic- grade.