Can Scents Really Affect Our Health?
By Tom Herrin
Our noses get a lot of work this time of year. Everywhere we go, it seems that we experience some of the smells of the season. I know when I was a child, we always had the smell of fir trees in our home. It instantly turned my thoughts to good ones. I feel like I can still smell it now, even though it has been more than 40 years since I last actually smelled it. Our bodies and minds respond to scents in many ways that we may not realize. They can be pleasant or unpleasant. The bad ones trigger a negative response in all of us. That’s why they put that rotten egg smell in natural gas.
Aromas Can Work Wonders, Maybe
We are all familiar with those really great smells. You can drive a block away from a chicken restaurant and get hungry. When you walk into a house with freshly baked cookies anywhere inside, it just makes you feel good. This gives a little clue as to how our body responds to various scents. Scents must be used correctly, but they can be very effective. According to Tori Rodriguez in her article “6 Scents That Have the Power to Heal” in Women’s Health magazine:
- Sage can reduce blood pressure
- Peppermint can provide stress relief
- Orange can decrease anxiety
- Rosemary can enhance brain power
- Cinnamon can improve focus
- Lavender can provide relaxation and relieve PMS
Some of these seem pretty common and some not so much. A lot of people these days use scented candles, oils, lotions, etc. As good as it can be, you should become familiar with what you are using because there can be some bad effects. For example, if you are pregnant or have certain various other health issues, you should use caution and get educated on the product. I have mild, occasional asthma. Some scents can bring on a case of asthma for me -- usually in perfumes.
The Feel Good Smells
Some common scents are thought to trigger production of endorphins. They just make you feel good. I love the smell of vanilla. It puts me in a good mood. Even if people are not coffee drinkers, many are affected that way by the smell of coffee. Lavender was already mentioned as one of these. Your health is important to you. Incorporate these things with prudence. They can be great for some, and hopefully they will bring you tranquility and good health.