There are many therapeutic benefits of using essential oils for our psyche. Inhalation is only one route through the limbic system. Other routes that can bring the molecules of essential oils to the brain include blood-born transmission by ingestion, respiratory inhalation with transmission across the alveoli air sacs into the blood stream, and transdermal absorption into the blood stream. How effective the essential oils will be of course, determined by the oil's nature. How potent this effect is will be determined somewhat by the route of application. For instance, sedative oils are more effective even in small doses through inhalation.
These psychotherapeutic effects can actually be recorded by electroencephalogram (EEG) which shows brain-wave responses in both amplitude and frequency. This way, researchers are able to verify the effects of an oil by measuring the alpha, beta, theta and delta patterns. But what about the other routes that bring essential oil compounds to the brain by way of the blood stream? How can this be measured?
Some Essential Oils Are Natural Antidepressants or Have Sedative or Tranquilizing Characteristics
They can trigger the release of endorphins and enkephalins which are neurochemical analgesics and tranquilizers. These neurochemicals are released directly into the blood stream and in essence affect the entire system by regulating bodily processes. Every single body cell is influenced in some way by these chemical messengers. We need to understand that this is a very complicated system involving complex biochemical reactions. The essential oils also have a complex biochemical nature with hormonal effects upon the human body that cannot be neatly categorized as either “uppers" or “downers" as pharmaceutical drugs can. So, just as an EEG can be helpful in determining the action of essential oil compounds upon brain wave patterns, blood tests, heart rate, respiration rate and blood pressure can all be measurements helpful in determining the effect of these compounds upon the body's physiology and psychology.
Want to know more about essential oils and how they can help us stay healthy? Consider becoming a certified clinical aromatherapist. The Institute of Spiritual Healing and Aromatherapy teaches classes throughout the United States on aromatherapy and energy healing.
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From Linda L. Smith, director of the Institute of Spiritual Ministry and Aromatherapy, Inc. We offer Christian educational classes throughout the United States on prayer, energy healing and anointing with essential oils.