The mechanism of action of essential oils administered by inhalation involves stimulation of the olfactory receptors cells in the nasal epithelium, about 25 million cells, connected to the olfactory bulb. After stimulation, the signal is transmitted to the limbic system and hypothalamus in the brain through the olfactory bulb and olfactory tract. Once the signals reach the olfactory cortex, release of neurotransmitters, for example, serotonin, takes place which results in the expected effect on emotions related to essential oil use Access the full study to learn more, here. According to the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy, essential oil is the oil extracted from a plant through careful steam distillation, resin tapping, and cold pressing. Essential oils get extracted from many parts of the plants including flowers, barks, stems, leaves, roots, and fruits. Bergamot: boosts feelings of joy, and increases energy. Caraway: soothing effect, encourages positive thinking, energy, and harmony. Cedarwood: improves calm feelings, induces sleep, encourages feelings of happiness. Chamomile: relaxing, helps calm nerves, improves sleep. Clary Sage: lifts the mood, reduces stress, gives one a sense of security. Fennel: increases motivation, and improves self-esteem. Frankincense: dispels negative feelings, and promotes focus and calm. Lavender: helps to bring calm, lifts one’s spirits and helps with sleeplessness. “There is growing evidence suggesting that lavender oil may be an effective medicament in the treatment of several neurological disorders.” Orange and Mandarin: boosts feelings of joy, alertness, and calmness. Peppermint: is mood elevating, improves focus, and reduces headaches. Sandalwood: improves mental clarity and induces calm. Thyme: relaxes the body and mind, beats depression and boosts mood and memory. Vanilla: effectively treats Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and beats depression. Vetiver: reduces stress, invites sleep, improves patience, boosts concentration, and emotional balance. Ylang Ylang: increases mood and energy levels, and reduce anxiety. Quality matters: Organic oils from reputable companies or homegrown is the best. You want pure, organic and authentic oils to decrease the likelihood of adverse reactions. Dilute certain oils: Those rich in aldehydes (e.g., citronellal, citral) and phenols (e.g., cinnamic aldehyde, eugenol) should always be applied with a carrier oil like almond, coconut or avocado. Mixing irritant oils with others to create a blend can also reduce an adverse reaction. Application: Oil may be applied to the skin or diffused with relatively no risk. Some essential oils are ingestible. However, ingesting oils is not recommended unless under the advisement of a qualified herbalist or alike. Anecdote: It is never one size fits all. Most aromatherapy oil-based blends will be between 1 and 5 percent dilutions, which typically does not represent a safety concern. As one increases dilution, potential dermal (skin) reactions may take place depending on the individual essential oil; and the area in which the oil is applied. One may be sensitive to a particular essential oil, just as they may be sensitive to a specific food. So, make sure to take precautions is always recommended. Not one size fits all: A particular oil may invite relaxation for one, and may create the opposite reaction for another. We need to remember that we are all bio individual. People with specific allergies to ragweed and other plants need to be more careful about having a similar reaction to oils. Age matters: Babies and young children may be more sensitive to the potency of essential oils. Certain oils should be avoided, used highly diluted or under the guidance of a knowledgeable professional. To prevent reactions, applying diluted oils to the soles of the feet are often recommended in younger children. Particular caution should be exercised with potentially toxic essential oils such as Birch and Wintergreen which are both high in methyl salicylate, Eucalyptus which is high in 1,8 cineole and Peppermint which is high in menthol. Elderly clients may have more skin sensitivities so a reduced concentration/dilution may be indicated. Other methods and interventions exist that can help treat ailments where doctors only seem to prescribe drugs. Essential oils are one example out of many, and a good example of how we all really need to look into things for ourselves instead of relying on so-called “experts.” (WARNING: Please be careful about diffusing essential oils around pets. Research them first. Many are too powerful for animals and can cause toxicity and even death.) 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