Monday, April 2, 2018

Healing with Nature - Let's smell the Flowers

The Power of Smell

Since ancient times, people have used the fragrance of plants, trees, herbs and fruits as a source of healing. The perfume of nature acts like a drug for the brain.

Our sense of smell is one of the most primitive senses. This ability to smell helps us to enjoy thousands of different flavors which we could not experience with taste alone. At least 70 percent of what we think of as taste comes from what we smell and this helps us to really enjoy our food. 
Our sense of smell also connects us to memories, emotions and instincts. Smells stimulate nerves in the nose that send impulses to the brain’s limbic system which controls heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels and hormone balance.
This is why when we smell something past experiences often come to mind. The aroma of cooking apples can bring back memories of childhood and Mums apple pie or orange blossom may evoke times spent on holiday in the Mediterranean. These smells are very healing because we associate them with happy memories.

When we smell something, we are actually absorbing some of its molecules

Here are some of the wonderful fragrances of nature that help to keep us feeling alive and nourished.

Lavender -  delightfully calming, soothing and helps with insomnia. It is also good for anxiety, fatigue and depression.

Lemon - The astringent, invigorating scent of lemons is helpful for boosting energy levels, and increasing focus and alertness. 

Green Apples – Next time you cut into a green apple, take time to relish the crisp fragrance. It can ease  migraine symptoms, reduce stress and anxiety, and lower blood pressure. The refreshing smell also clears the mind and helps with weight control by curbing appetite.

Fresh Vanilla – elevates feelings of joy and happiness and relaxation. It can also be an aphrodisiac and increase the secretion of estrogen and testosterone.

Fresh mown grass/hay – the delicious scent of freshly cut grass keeps you mentally alert and increases feelings of joy and relaxation.

Jasmine - this beautiful light and cooling perfume increases alertness and helps to elevate mood. It can relieve depressive thoughts and increase energy levels.  

Rosemary -There's rosemary that's for remembrance: pray, love, remember.¨ - William Shakespeare. This fragrant herb has long been associated with improving memory. It also helps with migraines, relaxation, and enhances mood.

Peppermint - wonderful for motivation, greater cognitive stamina, and overall concentration. It has a delightful cooling and yet stimulating scent.

Orange - has a relaxing yet invigorating effect and can lower anxiety, and generally help you to feel more positive and calm. 

* Violent criminals in Rotterdam in the Netherlands became less aggressive and had fewer fights when exposed to the scent of oranges, according to a 2008 study.
During the four-week experiment inmates were calmer and needed fewer sedatives when orange smells were circulated through prison cell air vents.

Pine - reduces anxiety and achieves a greater sense of relaxation. Walking in pine forests can significantly lower depression and stress levels.

Cinnamon – There is nothing like the smell of cinnamon to create a warm, cozy, and relaxing feeling in a home. It also boosts brain power, and improves attention span and memory. 

Cucumber – has been known to help with claustrophobia and can change our perception of space.

Olive oil - can reduce food cravings and lower the amount of calories consumed. The smell of olive oil can leave you feeling more satisfied after a meal.

Roses - help to lift the mood, and soothe anxiety and depression symptoms. This beautiful fragrance can balance hormones, lower blood pressure, relieve headaches, The scent of roses creates a sense of happiness and harmony and is also closely tied with aphrodisiac effects. It helps to promote a more restful sleep and uplifting dreams when enjoyed before bedtime.

The Sea -The faint smell of salt in the air can take us to a place of pure joy. Sea air has a certain aliveness that is not found anywhere else. Slowly breathing in this stimulating scent can help release stress and tension 

Soil -  that earthy, musky smell of damp earth helps us to feel alive, grounded, and soothes away worries. The main causes of this distinctive smell is a blend of oils secreted by plants during dry periods. When the rain comes, compounds from the oils are mixed and released into the air. These airborne oils combine with other compounds to produce that marvelous peaty smell that is strongest after the first rainfall. 

Creating happy memories around various aromas.

A process known as neuroassociative conditioning enables you to consciously link a healing response to a specific smell. 
Choose your favorite natural frgrance. Inhale it whenever you are feeling happy, calm or relaxed. As you do this, your body will begin to associate these delightful feelings with the aroma. In no time at all, just a hint of the fragrance will invoke the same sensations and an inner healing response.

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