Aromatherapy is one of the best ways to take advantage of the healing power of herbs. Simply by inhaling the scent of these beautiful plants, you can heighten your perceptions, calm your mind and create more balance within your body.
As an anxiety-prone and emotionally up and down empath, aromatherapy can be a wonderful way to ground yourself and calm heightened emotions, allowing you to feel more balanced, protected, and safe in your own skin.
When you inhale the aroma of herbs, flowers, tree wood, and other gifts from nature, it directly affects the emotional center in your brain.
The nerve in the brain that controls your sense of smell is called the olfactory nerve. This nerve runs directly from your nose into the temporal lobe in your brain.
The temporal lobe is where your hippocampus and amygdala live.
Your hippocampus plays an important role in consolidating your short-term memories into long-term memories, and also affects spatial memory. This means it plays a huge role in how you remember, perceive, and experience your memories.
The amygdala is famously known as the reptilian part of the brain, and is responsible for processing and storing emotions, especially fear. It’s where emotional behaviors and motivations stem from.
When you inhale the volatile organic compounds from essential oils of herbs, they go through the olfactory nerve, directly to your brain.
This is why you don’t want to inhale toxic gases and fumes, as they will travel quickly along this direct pathway to your brain. But when you inhale the essential oils of herbs, or absorb them through your skin, you are directly affecting your body, mind, and spirit with their beneficial healing effects.
- Put a couple of drops of essential oil on a handkerchief or cotton ball to sniff
- Add a few drops of essential oil into a lotion or a carrier oil (such as almond, coconut, or jojoba) that you can use on your body
- Add a few drops of essential oil into your warm bath
- Use an essential oil diffuser that spreads the scent into the whole room
- Burn dried herbs directly or as an incense, and inhale the scent of their smoke
- Hold, rub and touch the leaves of a living herbal plant, if you have access, and smell your fingers, or hold some fresh herbs right up to your nose and take a few deep breaths
- Put dried herbs into a sachet or tea bag and place it in your clothes drawers, car, or bag
- Add some essential oil drops or dried herbs into water in a spritzer bottle and spray it around the room or on linens
Uplifting herbs, to heighten mood and awareness, bring clarity and a wider perspective:
This uplifting and spiritually expanding herb helps to clear the mind and heighten perception. White sage is especially helpful to clear negative energies, heavy emotions, and to purify a space, energetically and physically. Its energy is cool, refreshing, and cleansing.
Clarifying and potent, rosemary helps clear the cobwebs from your mind and brings a sense of focus and wisdom. It’s been known to strengthen memory and concentration and is great to use while working or studying, or to bring clarity whenever you need it.
Lemon balm is from the mint family and is a scent that lightens and brightens moods and minds, and can help when you’re feeling stuck or despondent. It’s a great stress reliever and anxiety reducer and can help increase your energy and alertness.
Frankincense has amazing health benefits and is very emotionally uplifting. Its energy is calm, peaceful, and enlightening, heightening your senses and fostering your ability to connect with the spirit realm. It’s a wonderful mood balancer when you’re feeling low or lost.
This citrusy scent is energizing and invigorating, to cleanse and purify mind, body, and spirit. Bergamot is great for alleviating anxiety and reducing stress, helping to uplift your perspective and calm your worries when tension is rising.
Grounding and calming herbs to soothe frayed nerves, bring relief and energetic protection:
Calming and grounding, patchouli is a deep, earthy scent that helps move your awareness out of your head and back into your body. It connects you with your senses and offers protective qualities, rooting you into a sense of your own stability and power.
Energetically cleansing and protective, palo santo releases negativity and helps create emotional boundaries. It’s wonderful to use to clear the energy of your aura or physical space. Palo santo’s beautiful scent reduces stress, calming and grounding you into the present moment.
One of the best scents for increasing relaxation and calming the nervous system, lavender brings peace and ease to the scene. When you feel frazzled or frayed, stressed or nervous, breathe in the beautiful scent of lavender for an almost instant settling effect.
Calming and peaceful, chamomile quells worries and anxiety and settles nerves. It brings relaxation and can aid in clearing your mind to help you fall asleep. The use of chamomile over time has been found to help relieve depression.
The beautiful scent of rose opens the heart to compassion after loss or pain, bringing in forgiveness, balance, and peace. It’s detoxifying, purifying, and emotionally balancing, inspiring feelings of love, comfort, and ease.