aromatherapy essential oils
An Essential Oil Introduction II - Mind and Emotions

See also: Part I - The Basics and Part III - Essential Oils for Spiritual and Esoteric Applications

(All Aromatherapy and Essential Oil articles are listed at the bottom of this page,
and on the Essential Oil Index)

Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Part II, Mind and Emotions - by Danny Siegenthaler

The Way Essential Oils Effect the Mind and Emotions
The Mind and Emotions, or rather the way we think and feel, are effected by essential oils via our sense of smell, as are all the odors we consciously and UNCONSCIOUSLY detect.

The Sense of Smell forms the greater part of our Sense of Taste (note how your sense of taste and smell is affected when you have a head cold or blocked up nose. The sense of smell is also affected by pollution, smoking, trauma to the nose itself and a mucous forming diet).

The sense of smell of our ancient ancestors was far superior to ours. They identified one another by smell as well as sight, and could even detect the usefulness of a plant by its smell. They also tracked animals by smell.

The sense of smell helps us to distinguish between 'good' and 'bad' odors, which tell us if food is fit to be eaten or if there is disease or hygiene present.

A couple of hundred years ago, physicians would use the sense of smell as a diagnostic aid. Arthritis and rheumatism have an acid smell, a good midwife could tell a post-partum haemorrhage by the smell of blood passed, diabetes gives an acetone smell to the breathe and the urine, perspiration can give us clues as to the health of the kidneys and lymphatic system, the smell of faeces also can tell us the type of disease in the digestive tract. Natural medicine still uses this method of diagnosis.

The human nose has the ability to distinguish many thousands of different odors, and the memory of these odors is stored deep in our sub-conscious minds. (See R. Tisserand 'The Art of Aromatherapy" pages 60-73).

When we inhale air molecules which, are carrying the ‘odoriferous’ molecules of an essential oil, these molecules adhere to our Olfactory nerve endings in the back of the nose Oil, producing stimulation of these nerve endings.

Sensory stimulation of the Olfactory centre is by a relay of nerve impulses from the sensory nerve endings in the nose to the brain.

This is a very rapid and direct pathway to the part of the Brain which directs, controls, interprets and responds to sensory input.

This pathway is very different to sensory stimulation of the sensory nerves in the skin which is more complex, being transmitted from a sensory nerve ending to the spinal cord, to the brain, back down the spinal cord, down a motor nerve ending and then to the appropriate organ. For example when we touch a hot object, the heat affects the sensory nerve ending in say the finger. This nerve relays a message along the sensory nerve fiber to its root in the spinal cord. The impulse is carried to the brain. The brain says “ouch !!! that’s hot, take the finger off now”.

This message is relayed down the spinal cord to the motor nerve root, and then to the appropriate muscle(s) organ(s) etc. to remove the finger from the hot object. As you will know from your own experience of touching something hot, there is often a time lag between touching the hot object and recognition of pain.

With the Olfactory Nerve there is no relay station - stimuli goes straight to the part of Central Nervous System called the LIMBIC SYSTEM, and the response is instant. Furthermore, the message cannot be blocked by the conscious mind.

The interesting and exciting aspect of this use of Essential Oil Therapy is that different essential oils produce different responses. Some affect the higher thought processes in the Cerebral Cortex by altering the electrical activity of different Cortical areas, and some affect the Hormone Producing cells in the Limbic System. These ‘Brain Hormones’ will then either effect the mental and emotional responses of the Brain itself, or will be released into the blood stream from where they may be carried to distant organs to produce the desired effect on the body chemistry.


Essential Oils for ANXIETY:
Benzoin Oil, Chamomile Oil, Cypress Oil, Geranium Oil, Jasmine Oil, Lavender Oil, Marjoram Oil, Melissa Oil, Neroli Oil, Rose Oil, Sandalwood Oil, Ylang-Ylang Oil.

Essential Oils for DEPRESSION:
Basil Oil, Bergamot Oil, Chamomile Oil, Frankincense Oil, Geranium Oil, Jasmine Oil, Lavender Oil, Neroli Oil, Patchouli Oil, Peppermint Oil, Rose Oil, Sandalwood Oil, Ylang-Ylang Oil.

Essential Oils for ANGER:
Chamomile Oil, Melissa Oil, Rose Oil, Ylang-Ylang Oil.

Essential Oils for APATHY:
Jasmine Oil, Juniper Oil, Patchouli Oil, Rosemary Oil.

Essential Oils for CONFUSION:
Basil Oil, Cypress Oil, Frankincense Oil, Peppermint Oil, Patchouli Oil.

Essential Oils for DWELLING ON THE PAST:
Benzoin Oil, Frankincense Oil.

Essential Oils for FEAR:
Basil Oil, Clary Sage Oil, Jasmine Oil, Juniper Oil.

Essential Oils for GRIEF:
Hyssop Oil, Marjoram Oil, Rose Oil.

Essential Oils for HYPERSENSITIVE:
Chamomile Oil, Jasmine Oil, Melissa Oil.

Chamomile Oil, Camphor Oil, Marjoram Oil, Frankincense Oil.

Essential Oils for JEALOUSY :
Rose Oil, Ylang Ylang Oil.

Essential Oils for PANIC:
Chamomile Oil, Clary Sage Oil, Jasmine Oil, Lavender Oil, Marjoram Oil, Melissa Oil, Neroli Oil, Ylang-Ylang Oil.

Essential Oils for SHOCK:
Camphor Oil, Melissa Oil, Neroli Oil .

Essential Oils for SUSPICION:
Lavender Oil, Rose Oil

Essential Oils for EUPHORIA
These oils stimulate the secretion of ENKEPHALINS from the THALAMUS to produce a euphoric effect and to lift or enhance the mood: Clary Sage Oil, Grapefruit Oil, Jasmine Oil, Rose Otto.

Essential Oils as APHRODISIACS
These oils stimulate the secretion of ENDORPHINS from the PITUITARY GLAND to produce emotional warmth, and sex hormone activity.
Clary Sage Oil, Jasmine Oil, Patchouli Oil, Ylang-Ylang Oil.

Essential Oils as REGULATORS
These oils stimulate the secretion of VARIOUS HORMONAL SUBSTANCES from the HYPOTHALAMUS to regulate 'moods' and hormonal secretions.
Bergamot Oil, Frankincense Oil, Geranium Oil, Rosewood.

These oils stimulate the AMYGDALA AND HIPPOCAMPUS in the brain which are associated with 'higher' brain functions, of thought and memory.
Black Pepper Oil, Lemon Oil, Peppermint Oil, Rosemary Oil.

Essential Oils as SEDATIVES
These oils aid sleep, relax and lower hyperfunction in the body by stimulating the secretion of SERATONIN from the RAPHE NUCLEUS in the brain.
Chamomile Oil, Lavender Oil, Marjoram Oil, Orange Blossom.

Essential Oils as INVIGORATORS
These oils increase energy and body functions by stimulating the secretion of NORADRENALINE from the LOCUS CERULEUS of the brain Cardamom Oil, Juniper Oil, Lemongrass Oil, Rosemary Oil.

For more: Part I - Essential Oil Basics and Part III - Essential Oils for Spiritual and Esoteric Applications

About the Author

Danny Siegenthaler is a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine and together with his wife Susan, a medical herbalist and aromatherapist, they have created Natural Skin Care Products by Wildcrafted Herbal Products to share their 40 years of combined expertise with you.

Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Articles:

*The FDA has not evaluated the statements on this website. No claims are made as to any medicinal value of this oil. The information presented here is for educational purposes of traditional uses and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

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