How what you smell can change how you feel
“When you rub an essential oil into your skin, you absorb it. It ends up in your bloodstream,” Dr. Powell says. “The same thing happens when you inhale the scent. Chemicals from the herb get absorbed through tissues in your nose and lungs.”
These chemicals eventually reach your limbic system — the network of nerves in your brain that controls your instincts and emotions.
“They can alter your perception of pain and potentially improve your mood,” Dr. Powell says.
Medical studies show that aromatherapy is linked with:
- Decreased levels of cortisol, the hormone associated with stress hormone
- Lower heart rate
- Less pain
- Reduced inflammation
- Improved anxiety and depression
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