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A wildly underrated member of the five senses, your sense of smell has a powerful effect on your brain’s many functions. Any odor you breathe in affects your limbic system, which governs emotional processing, motivation, fear, and pleasure, including your hippocampus and amygdala, all three of which impact learning and memory. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, “Imaging studies in humans help show the effects of smells on the limbic system and its emotional pathways.” That means they can actually see smells affecting people via brain scans.
According to PubMed, “Aromatherapy uses plant materials and aromatic plant oils, including essential oils, and other aromatic compounds for the purpose of altering one’s mood, cognitive, psychological, or physical well-being.” It is currently being studied as a natural treatment for stress, anxiety, and even for symptom management in cancer patients.
During flu season, many essential oils have potent germ-killing benefits; this study found that vapor of bergamot and eucalyptus killed the influenza virus after 10 minutes, while the vapors of cinnamon, lemongrass, lavender, and geranium killed the flu virus after 30 minutes of exposure. Applied as liquids, cinnamon, bergamot, and thyme were also shown to kill the flu virus, even when highly diluted.
Read full, original post: Can You Smell Your Way to a Better Brain? Science Says Yes.