Essential oils have been used for therapeutic purposes for thousands of years. Yet research on the effectiveness of aromatherapy — the therapeutic use of essential oils extracted from plants — is limited. Even so, plenty of people report that it works. Aromatherapy is thought to stimulate olfactory (smell) receptors in your nose, which then communicate with the part of your brain that oversees emotion. Though aromatherapy tends to be more subjective than objective — meaning that what works for one person may work differently for another — there is also a line of thinking that proposes simply believing in aromatherapy can be a positive experience! This is called the placebo effect, and research is showing that it is real. Our recommendation is to use a trial-and-error approach to find a scent or two that work for you. Aromatherapy for sleep:
For occasional insomnia, good sleep hygiene is key to getting back on track. Adding a little lavender essential oil to your nightly routine may help too. Keep in mind that lavender works best as part of a calming bedtime routine. Aromatherapy for relaxation:
Lavender is just the scent for calming your mind in a world that won’t stop turning. Use a diffuser, or place two drops of essential oil in a bowl of warm water, add a washcloth, wring out the excess water, and breeeeeathe it all in slowly. Aromatherapy for energy:
Citrus (like grapefruit or lemon) essential oils help lift your mood and energize you when you’re feeling depleted. You can even make your own spirit-lifting “aromatherapy” with oranges and cloves. Turn your mindful self to studding those oranges with some whole cloves, and then place them in a bowl in your living room. Cloves and citrus certainly smell terrific on their own, but puncturing the peel with the cloves will help to release even more aromatic oils.
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