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Aromatics and the Olfactory System
Aromatherapy is the interaction between the natural chemical compounds of distilled plant matter and their direct interaction with a person’s body chemistry.

Research shows that essential oils have pharmacological effects on the body and very quickly via inhalation. W. Jaeger et al, (1992) found concentrated amounts of essential oil compounds in the bloodstream within minutes of inhalation. Simple inhalation has proven to be the quickest and most effective method of benefiting from these therapeutic plant oils and like nature, the path of inhalation is beautifully organized and efficient. Inhaled through the nose, aroma data is received by receptors within the mucus membrane, this sensory identification is sent through the olfactory bulb to the olfactory nerve and directly to the limbic system of the brain. When aroma data is received in the brain it sets off a whole cascade of complex reactions, both physiologically and psychologically, such as emotional reactions, memory recognition, gland secretion, and hormone release. The aroma of Neroli oil is known to have a calming effect on fear and stress by stimulating the release of serotonin.

Essential oils are also absorbed through the skin to various degrees, when applied properly they can be the perfect complementary treatment to bodywork. Absorption of oils through the skin can be increased with the circulation of blood flow from massage or by applied heat, such as in a hot compress or infrared lamp.

Despite rampant misinformation, internal consumption of essential oils is in fact the least effective way to take in these potent oils as they are interfered by all kinds of matter in the digestive tract and are more likely to cause irritation to the soft tissues they come in contact with along the way. Many of us have nervous systems that feel taxed after this past year, with sustained holding and carrying of various stresses and life imbalances. No amount of relaxation and deep breathing could have prepared us for what has come, nor may it prevent an encounter with this serious pathogen. However many people are feeling the need to fortify, strengthen and rebuild their resiliency. Aromatherapy can deeply enhance and compliment relaxation practices both physiologically and psychologically. Botanical support is an important consideration on our paths towards homeostasis…