Essential oils have garnered a lot of attention lately for their powerful health benefits. You may have come across essential oils being sold in shopping centers, and thought, “Well, they smell good, but do they really have any powers beyond that, or is this just another health fad?”

While it’s always important to do your research when seeking new ways to improve your health, you can rest assured that essential oils do in fact have many benefits that go far beyond a pleasant aroma.

In fact, they have been used for ages around the world in order to promote human health.

Mental Benefits of Essential Oils

Essential oils are actually extremely beneficial to your mind. As we tend to associate good health with eating well, getting sleep and exercising the mind can sometimes get neglected. However, the mind is a vital component to our overall health and well-being.

There are things you probably do on a routine basis to keep your body healthy, like going for swims or for long walks. This is because you know your body will begin to deteriorate without regular exercise. The same is true of the mind; if we don’t continuously provide the mind with nourishment and exercise, then it too will lose its strength.

Essential oils can play a big role in keeping your mind healthy and “in shape.” Read on for three surprising ways essential oils can benefit your mind.

Reducing Anxiety

If you are someone who suffers from anxiety, essential oils can be used to help alleviate anxiety attacks. And even if you do not suffer from anxiety, essential oils can still help to calm your mind.

When you inhale the scents of essential oils, your nose communicates with the limbic system of your brain, which is the part of the brain that controls emotions. It is also connected to the part of the brain that controls hormone balances, stress levels, heart rate, blood pressure, memory and breathing. The limbic receives the signals from the nose in order to release emotions of peace and contentment brought on by the oils.

Studies have shown that lavender can be a powerful essential oil to help reduce anxiety. Other excellent options are sweet orange, bergamot, sage and angelica.

Alleviating Depression

When feeling down and out for an extended period of time, many people turn to prescribed medication. While these can sometimes be beneficial, they often come with harmful and negative side effects and in the long run end up doing more harm than good.

Essential oils can be excellent alternative to alleviating feelings of depression, as there are no side effects involved. In this case, the nose also communicates with the limbic system in order to help uplift your mood and induce feelings of relaxation.

Bergamot oil makes for a great anti-depressant, as a few whiffs can help stimulate feelings of joy and increase blood circulation to help re-energize the body and mind. A study conducted in Thailand proved that it is also powerful in helping treat anxiety.

Some other oils that are great for helping to fight depression are chamomile, jasmine, sage, orange and frankincense.

Improving Memory and Concentration

You may already be reading and doing crossword puzzles to help keep your memory and concentration up to par. Incorporating essential oils as a part of your memory health regime can prove to be very beneficial.

In particular, scientists have found that rosemary can help boost memory by fifteen percent. In this study, scientists tested participants using a set of perceptive memory-related questions in three different types of rooms. One room was infused with rosemary, another with lavender, and the third was given no scent. Participants’ test scores significantly improved in the room infused with rosemary.

Other oils that can help improve memory and focus include basil, sage, peppermint and cyprus.

These are just three ways essential oils can help benefit your mind. If you suffer from anxiety or depression or want to improve your memory, they are certainly worth investing in. However, every mind works differently, so it is always important to consult a physician before taking any drastic measures.

It is also very important to note though that not all essential oils are produced equally. To ensure you are reaping the maximum benefits from the oils, make sure you investigate the brand, as some companies who are strictly in it for profit over-dilute the oils or add harmful chemicals to them to reduce the cost of production.

Where and how have you used essential oils? Have you ever used essential oils to reduce anxiety or help with depression? Do you have a favorite essential oil that you love to use? What other benefits of essential oils have you experienced? Please share in the comments.

Sally WongSally Wong is a manual therapist with a passion for seeking holistic approaches to healthcare that complement the use of modern medicine. She is originally from a small town in China and became interested in the healing powers of essential oils by learning about them from her grandmother. You can visit her website here. Sally now resides in Vancouver where she enjoys practicing yoga and tai chi in close proximity to the mountains and sea.

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