Makings Scents Of It All.

Published: Thursday, 28 January 2016 10:37

Smell is detected by the human systems via Olfaction. The Olfactory system has a large part to play in the transportation of smell to the brain, which subsequently gets transported to all other body systems.

As we know essential oils enjoy being in fatty substances and are fat soluble, this is great as the olfactory cilia are composed of fatty material.  Essential oil particles remain in the air as a gas, which in turn is swept up the nasal cavity and into the mucous membrane around the olfactory cilia, thus due to its fatty composition this dissolves the gas to stimulate the olfactory receptors.

The olfactory receptors contain hundreds of nerve fibres that differ from person to person and between genders; they work to collect the particles that have been dissolved to pass them onto the Limbic System and the Hypothalamus.

The Hypothalamus is responsible for maintaining homeostatic within the body, regulating Blood Pressure, Heart Rate, Sleep Cycle, Survival behavior.

It's a little like a child playing with shapes and holes, the particles represent the shape and the olfactory receptors represent the holes, if the shape fits the particle information is sent on, as these differ in everyone, this is why we each smell something different from the same product, for example Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) to me smells quite earthy and muddy, but a colleague said it was floral!

The Olfactory lobe within the brain is like a filing system for information recognition, it will take the message/information from the receptors and process the necessary response, this could be fear/aggression, like/dislike, it could be something that requires long-term memory status, it may require an emotional response - laughter/tears. Smell is inherently linked to an individual’s memory, whilst certain essential oils are known to create generally accepted responses/reactions these will also depend on how the client has come into contact with specific aromas before and this will dictate the level of mood enhancement created by essential oils.

Jeni Broughton

Broughton Therapies