Hold on... how do essential oils actually work?

The most obvious thing about essential oils is that they smell incredible. And some may think that they’re just perfume - sweet smelling substances that make our lives more enjoyable. And this is true, but it is only the beginning...

Essential Oils are extremely complicated and rich in energy. They originate from the deepest roots and the tiniest flowers, and are so complex, scientists can't even quite understand them! 

In 1980, Dr Taylor, ex-University of Austin, Texas, said that essential oils “present more new compounds than the chemists of the whole world could analyse in a thousand years”, in other words… essential oils are extremely complicated! So let's try to break it down to enable you to understand why I LOVE them so much!

You’re probably wondering, ‘if they’re so effective, why doesn’t everyone know about them?’. And the answer is that everyone is actually already using them. In modern society about one third of modern drugs are based on them! You just wouldn’t recognise them under their long, impressive names. 

So, to cut to the chase, essential oils work in two ways… 


Essential oils can be absorbed into the body and passed around it. The molecules of essential oils are so tiny that they can penetrate the thickest, fatty layers of the skin and into the bloodstream and the lymph system, and even directly through the cells, before being circulated around our muscles and tissues via blood vessels. 

As the essential oil particles are travelling around the body, they can enter any cell to heal and protect them, helping you build strength and resistance to any stressors that your body may encounter. Essential Oils leave the body as quickly as they enter it, with some being released out of the body in 3-6 hours (in a healthy body). However, the benefits that they provide can stick around in organs and muscles for a much longer.


One of the interesting things about smell is that it involves olfactory cells which are technically brain cells! Just behind the bridge of your nose there is a small, spoon-like structure which extends out from what is actually part of the brain. 


This extraordinary object is called the olfactory bulb and from it, olfactory nerve cells reach down the inside of your nose. When an aroma particle floats into your nostril, it makes a direct connection with these nerves and sparks off an immediate reaction in the brain because the olfactory bulb is connected to the limbic system which is where the amygdala lies.  The amygdala is for memory - which is why any smell triggers memory!  This is an autonomic response, not an emotional response, so our brains automatically retrieve memories linked to each aroma. (The aroma molecules then set the Limbic System into action, which is the centre of our emotions and memory). 


So, in other words… What you smell affects just about everything, from your emotions, memories and hormone levels to a whole range of vital physical processes too!



If the essential oils are blended and their emotional benefits don’t mix then this can cause potentially negative results. For example, a refreshing, energising essential oil mixed with a relaxed, sleep provoking essential oil, will not work in balance. That is why our AromaWorks products are carefully harmonised to help you achieve the maximum effects whilst eliminating any risks to you.

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