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FAQ How Oils Change Mind & Feeling

Scenic View of Purple Flowers Growing in a Sunny Tree Filled Garden with Clearing

Q: How do Essential Oils (EOs) change someone’s mental state?

A. The power of breath, reversed.

Breathe in deeply! “Nature’s living energy” contains unique constituents that become available on inhalation, and these constituents play a major role in changing one’s mental state.

It is actually better to be familiar with the plant that a particular oil comes from, as this heightens your sensitivity to properties in the distilled oil.

Awareness of the scent of a garden’s rose, peppermint, chamomile flower, wintergreen or a homemaker’s stash of cedar wood (chips), carrots and celery (seed oil) and thyme and oregano, can certainly inspire thoughts of usage as well as memories that are elevating.

Until recently, French hospitals used rosemary oil –noted to “boost alertness and ease anxiety”– to disinfect the air. Eucalyptus trees, with their purifying and healing scent, have been planted throughout North Africa to successfully block the spread of malaria. In India, sandalwood is recommended as an aphrodisiac, and is often used in perfumes.*

These examples share recognition of the role the sense of smell plays not only in changing minds for the better, but in cleansing the environment (which for many is the same thing).

Urbanization and fast-pace living have cloaked this assertion and it may seem out of reach. Science supports it, nonetheless. The memory of a plant’s scent can steer you in the direction of seeking its oil when your body-mind needs it.

This article explains the plant life cycle of influence on holistic health. Also see Quantum Physics, Essential Oils & The Mind-Body Connection by Dr. David Stewart.

For example, oils high in the molecular group of constituents called esters are sedating and calming. These include lavender, Roman chamomile, petitgrain, bergamot, juniper and clary sage.

Aldehydes are also calming, anti-infectious and sedative, and oils with meaningful levels are: lavender, Eucalyptus citradora, grapefruit, fennel, cistus, black pepper, bergamot, citronella, lemongrass and cinnamon bark.

Oils typically have hundreds of chemical compounds, and whichever groups of constituents predominate will inform their major properties.**

The scent carries these compounds through your olfactory or nose-smelling system to the emotional center of the brain.  The sense of smell is translated into feelings and emotions that can alter the mental state.

Change your mind and feel more deeply. Unleash the power in your favorite oil:

  1. inhale directly from a bottle,
  2. breathe in the oil as it floats in the air, diffused into micro-molecules with any premium diffuser or humidifier (that allows it), and/or
  3. pour hot water into a bowl and add a few drops of essential oil, cover your head and bowl in a tent-like fashion with a towel, and breathe in deeply and slowly.

–Rev. Niamo Nancy Muid

*Essential Oils Pocket Reference, compiled by Life Science Publishing, Fourth Edition, 2008.

**Only in commercialized oils will you find a low number of constituents. In one instance, health food store lavender  gave a customer a bad reaction, and she blamed Lavandula angustifolia or “true lavender.” The latter has 187 known chemical compounds; an unknown constituent has “agency” but science can’t “identify” it. The customer’s product upon testing was  found to be lavandin, with only four constituents. This sometimes useful hybrid is chemically very different from true lavender. (Message Scent News, Vol. 7,#8)