More on Essential Oils for Mood and Emotions
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the impact of diet, exercise, and essential oils for brain health. In this blog, I want to share with you two articles that were featured on the Natural Path regarding essential oils and emotions.
Essential Oils on the Emotional Brain- Part I
In part one of this article series, I review the impact of smell on emotions and physiological factors. I then discuss how essential oils can impact our mood through biochemical, physiological, and psychological mechanisms:
In my previous article, I discussed the various considerations for choosing a quality therapeutic essential oil. These potent aromatic plant secondary metabolites contain powerful immune and health modulating properties that have been verified in vitro and with some clinical trials.5-9 This means that not only will the odor of the essential oil evoke emotional effects, but it will also produce physiological effects beyond smell. This is due to the transfer of the molecules into the bloodstream after inhalation.
According to The Therapeutic Benefits of Essential Oils, Nutrition, Well-Being, and Health, essential oils can act biochemically, physiologically, and psychologically. These modes of actions can be explained as follows:10
Read the rest of the article here.
Essential Oils on the Emotional Brain- Part II
In part two, I summarize the use of essential oils for mood disorders in a review and how they affect cognition and memory.
Furthermore, several intriguing clinical trials with Alzheimer’s patients demonstrated impressive behavioral improvement with certain essential oils, mostly lemon balm and lavender (chemotype was not specified), in this review. The authors concluded:
It is concluded that aromatherapy provides a potentially effective treatment for a range of psychiatric disorders. In addition, taking into account the available information on safety, aromatherapy appears to be without the adverse effects of many conventional psychotropic drugs. Investment in further clinical and scientific research is clearly warranted.1
In another review of sixteen clinical trials relating to the use of essential oils and anxiety, the authors stated:
The results were based on 16 randomized controlled trials examining the anxiolytic effects of aromatherapy among people with anxiety symptoms. Most of the studies indicated positive effects to quell anxiety. No adverse events were reported. 2
I also discuss how different oils may have different effects:
One randomized study demonstrated the impact of the aroma of essential oils on cognition and mood of healthy individuals. 144 subjects were randomly assigned to assess the cognitive impact of either ylang-ylang aroma, peppermint aroma, or no aroma (control) using the Cognitive Drug Research computerized assessment battery,11 a validated cognitive testing tool, with mood scales completed prior and post cognitive testing.12 The researchers found that peppermint enhanced memory and alertness of the subjects; whereas, ylang-ylang decreased it and increased calmness. The authors conclude:
These results provide support for the contention that the aromas of essential oils can produce significant and idiosyncratic effects on both subjective and objective assessments of aspects of human behavior. They are discussed with reference to possible pharmacological and psychological modes of influence.11
If you want to read more studies on essential oils, be sure to check out my essential oils database.
You can learn more about the BreakFree Medicine approach, including essential oils, on March 23rd when I present on my new book in person. There’s still time to register!
Did you know that mouth microbes impact our health just like belly bugs? Read more here.