|Source : http://www.biospiritual-energy-healing.com/essential-oil-chemistry.html|
How Essential Oils affect ‘Emotional Brain’?
Do you love the sweet smell of Earth after the first shower of rain? It smells of happiness to me. So, this is what is called Aromatherapy. Our sense of smell has the power to alter our moods.
A smell can be overwhelmingly nostalgic because it triggers powerful images and emotions before we have time to edit them… When we give perfume to someone, we give them liquid memory. Kipling was right: “Smells are surer than sights and sounds to make your heart-strings crack.”
We need only eight molecules of a substance to trigger an impulse in a nerve ending, but forty nerve endings must be aroused before we smell something. (Source)
Human body has an emotional brain called the limbic system which not only controls emotions but also the physical functions like heart rate, blood pressure, hormone production and release and many other such functions. It also has a olfactory cortex which is where any smell you inhale comes to and triggers response in your body.
So, basically, when you inhale an odor, it passes through the nasal passages in form of a protein. This protein is converted to electrical impulses when it reaches the cortex. So, whatever impulses the cortex receives, it sends the same messages to other organs. If you inhale a calming odor, the electric impulse tells the limbic system to relax and the system sends calming nerve impulses throughout the body.
Honestly, it is not as simple as this sounds but I have just given you a gist. For a detailed explanation, I would suggest you to check out this source.
Now we need to see how aromatherapy plays into all of this. Each of the essential oils has therapeutic properties, in that they are stimulating, calming, sedative, balancing, etc. When we inhale an essential oil molecule, it travels through the nasal passage to a receptor neuron that transports it up to the limbic brain, especially the hypothalamus. Remember that some of the functions of the hypothalamus are to regulate blood pressure, control heart rate and adjust hunger and thirst? Well, if you smell an essential oil that has a vibrationally calming effect on the body, and the hypothalamus receives the input to relax, then it creates neurochemicals that are sent through the body to relax and calm. Likewise if an essential oil has a frequency known to stimulate the body, then the limbic system will conform by sending the message to energize and become more active. Through this manner of transport, one can understand how aromatherapy oils can increase immunity, balance hormonal secretions, dampen or enliven hunger and thirst, and create sexual desire. (Source)