The Power of Scent
Our sense of smell is incredibly powerful and directly connects us to nature in a profound way! It has an immediate impact uninfluenced by language or impaired by the passage of time.
The scent of lavender when inhaled has an effect on our emotions providing calming, balancing, soothing and relaxing moods. It just makes us feel better! We all know this but here’s why…….olfactory nerves are directly connected to the most primitive part of the brain – the limbic system (which deals with thirst, hunger, sex). It is an extension of the brain itself accessed through the nose and is the most direct contact with the outside world the brain has. The limbic system influences hormones, our metabolism and many other aspects of our lives. So, upon inhaling lavender it goes from the Nose –> to the Brain –> to the Cerebral Spinal Fluid –> to the Blood –> to the Tissues and Organs. Recently, a landmark study revealed that the lymph and immune systems link with the brain too. This finding could have significant implications for the treatment of brain disorders like Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis and autism.
When we breathe in lavender it bypasses the blood brain barrier (a membrane that covers and protects the brain). Large molecules can’t pass through this membrane but because the olfactory nerve developed before the brain they are not protected by this membrane. Lavender directly affects the central nervous system and stimulates the brain to release neurochemicals which can change brain waves but also causes the stimulation of other glands. See illustration below. Research has shown that when essential oils are inhaled they can be detected in the brain within 10 minutes and reach their peak at 40 minutes.
Scent not only provokes memories but a study at Brown University found that memory recall associated with scent is twice that of visual recall. Studies have also shown we instinctively and unconsciously choose our friends and mates based on smell. Females also have a keener sense of smell than males even as infants.
Bottom line….lavender when inhaled has measurable biophysical actions on our nervous and lymphatic systems which effects our body, energy and emotions.
And you thought lavender just smelled good!
Inhale Lavender to Help With:
- High Blood Pressure
- Sinus Infections
- Aggressive Behavior