Healing Mind, Body and Spirit with Essential Oils
One of the most unique and wondrous gifts found in nature is the wide range of essential oils. These concentrated elixirs can act as incredible healing remedies, coming from the lifeblood of the plants, flowers, roots and herbs that produce them. The benefits of essential oils can be obtained through inhalation, external application or with some oils, ingestion. When an essential oil fragrance is inhaled, the odor molecules travel up the nose, where they are trapped by olfactory membranes. Each odor molecule fits like a little puzzle piece into specific receptor cells. When stimulated by odor molecules, the cells trigger electrical impulses to the olfactory bulb, which then transmits the impulses to the gustatory center where the sensation of taste is perceived; the amygdala, where emotional memories are stored; and other parts of the limbic system of the brain. Because the limbic system is directly connected to those parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels and hormone balance, essential oils can have profound physiological and psychological effects. The sense of smell is the only one of the five senses directly linked to the limbic lobe of the brain, the emotional control center. Anxiety, depression, fear, anger and joy all emanate from this region. This is why the scent of a special fragrance can evoke memories and emotions before we are even consciously aware of it. Where smells are concerned, we react first and think later. In contrast, all other senses—touch, taste, hearing and sight—are routed through the thalamus, which acts as the switchboard for the brain, passing stimuli onto the cerebral cortex. The limbic lobe can also directly activate the hypothalamus, one of the most important parts of the brain, acting as the hormonal control center. It releases chemical messengers that can affect everything from sex drive to energy levels. The production of growth hormones, sex hormones, thyroid hormones and neurotransmitters like serotonin are all governed by the hypothalamus. This is why the hypothalamus is referred to as the “master gland”. Essential oils, through their fragrance and unique molecular structure, can directly stimulate both the limbic lobe and the hypothalamus. Not only can inhalation of essential oils be used to combat stress and emotional trauma, it can also stimulate the production of hormones from the hypothalamus that result in increased thyroid hormone, energy hormone, growth hormone and youth and longevity hormones. Essential oil fragrances, including peppermint, have been used to trigger significant weight loss in people that had previously been unsuccessful with any type of weight management. Peppermint is also excellent for the relief of nausea and irritable bowel syndrome. Lavender has a calming and sedative quality, and is excellent to use on burns and insect bites. Tea Tree is a non-irritating antiseptic and is very useful in healing wounds and infections. Topical application is one of the most effective means of using essential oils. The skin absorbs anything put on it and within a few minutes, essential oils applied to the bottoms of your feet pass into the bloodstream and are transported to all the organs, glands and tissues. Dispersing essential oils with an electric diffuser is another wonderful way to get the therapeutic benefits of the oils. Essential oils can enhance and raise the body’s frequency, which may help the healing process. Disease and emotional trauma both have a negative frequency that can bring a body down. Essential oils have high frequencies that elevate the body so it is able to prevent and heal disease from the inside out. Essential oils are very concentrated, so in most cases, just a drop or two is all that is needed to get amazing results. You may use the oils “neat” by putting them directly on the skin without blending with diluting oils, or you can mix the oils with an organic vegetable oil.