I’ve been reading up on aromatherapy and such as part of my 2017 health regime, added to supporting BCUK’s ‘Reduce your risk’ campaign and there’s some really good stuff out there.
Here’s some of the knowledge i’ve gained..
Experts believe our sense of smell is our strongest sense. Apparently our scent receptors are 10,000 times more accurate than taste buds? No neither did we!
When we smell something, zillions of smell receptors ping our olfactory bulbs, a tiny section in our brain. From there, scent is sorted and our limbic system is kicked into action, which is where basic human behaviours (as well as learning and emotions) are controlled. Ever associated a memory with a smell? Now you know why. Simply inhaling a scent sets off a chain reaction in the brain and body, activating the immune system, altering blood pressure and stimulating digestion.
How cool is that?
Studies shows that exposure to different scents can aid long-term health and relieve stress, pain, nausea, insomnia and improve mood. Combining scents and essential oils – aromatherapy – have even show to kill flu, E. coli, and a variety of other ailments.
In the US there are reports stating submissions into A&E departments for sleep-related issues increased by over 200% between 2005 and 2010. Just imagine how much quieter emergency rooms would be if everyone got a little more restful sleep!
So where to start? The aromatherapy business is unregulated and more research on side effects is needed.
Experts suggest keeping your exposure to short time periods – less than an hour a day – and following instructions on the bottle. It’s always a good idea to let your doctor know – especially if you take medication on a regular basis or suffer from a chronic health condition. Just as with any medicine, exercise caution and monitor your progress.
Ready to sniff your way a healthier night’s sleep?
Lavender is the rest and digest scent but it’s also been used to help curb depression, anxiety, insomnia and migraine pain. Lightly spritz your pillowcase before bed each night. Try our gorgeous Laura Thomas Lavender pillow mist (sold alone or as part of our bedding sets deal).
A diffuser is also an effective way to release essential oils into the atmosphere. Check out our Laura Thomas Lavender Diffuser.
If Lavender isn’t your thing (can’t imagine anyone who doesn’t love lavender) then here’s a list of some other favourites:
Orange & Lemon reduce anxiety while improving a positive, calm outlook.
Peppermint helps decrease cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and reduces fatigue. As a bonus, it’s also been shown to reduce sugar cravings.
Rosemary enhances brain power, improving speed and accuracy during demanding mental tasks. Research shows that it also boosts energy and reduces fatigue.
Sage perks up memory and attention but it’s also been shown to reduce blood pressure in medical studies. It’s a popular cooking herb, so buy a few sprigs and hang them in your kitchen to help keep you calm during that crazy hour before dinner.
Chamomile my favourite bed time tipple is soothing and has been used as a mild, relaxing sleep aid to help treat insomnia for centuries.
Jasmine can calm and relax the mind (but it’s also been known to help boost energy. Jasmine tea can be helpful in relieving stress and anxiety.
Bergamot enhances relaxation, boosts mental acuity and helps prevent illness. It’s also a gorgeous perfume base.