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Our sense of smell is a powerful gift. Scents can control how your body reacts, it can control emotions, trigger memories, and more. Why? The part of your brain that is involved in the process of smelling, is also the where emotions and memory are controlled. So every time you pass by a scent, you suddenly feel a jolt of nostalgia or as if someone turned on your happy or sad switch.

A lot of people have embraced the power of smelling, or olfaction, and created a whole new way of healing out of it. Aromatherapy is the therapeutic approach of using different scents to promote well-being — physically, emotionally, and psychologically. This usage of scents for healing can be dated back thousands of years ago. That’s how powerful and effective our sense of smelling is.

There are different ways to enjoy the benefits of different scents. One of the most common ways (and easiest!) is burning a candle. Simply light up a scented candle which is available in different scents and forms. Ring candles are such a huge hit nowadays, not only they come in unique scents, like champagne and macarons or pumpkin bread, you can also get a surprise jewelry inside. Diffusers are also an effective way to enjoy oil-based aromas.

The effects of scents differ from one another. There are several research studies done to prove these in varying situations, and all have significant results.

Here are 10 weird effects of scents to your body:

10. Can increase your appetite

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Quite a number of causes are taken into consideration for a person to manifest a symptom of poor appetite or loss of appetite. It may be as a result of depression, a side effect of a certain medication, mouth sores or sore throat, and nausea among others. It is important for you to pinpoint what is the root cause of your lack of interest in food. To bring back your appetite, an infusion of lime or lemon scent is believed to be very helpful in managing your appetite loss. The mere smell of the citrus fruit can make you salivate and increase your hunger to consume food. As an appetizer, this scent can also induce the secretion of digestive juices even before the food reaches your tongue. And if you are under emotional or mental stress, the fruity fragrance of lime or lemon may help reduce your anxiety by bringing in an uplifting vibe; thus, making you feel energized and ready to take in your favorite meal.

9. Can heal you

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Scents may be of great use to achieve healing benefits. People may start incorporating other healing modalities like aromatherapy as a therapeutic practice to improve their overall health and well-being. When you inhale a nourishing smell, the aroma directly travels to your brain regulating bodily functions. This is the body’s way to link certain scents to healing responses. As an example, the clary sage fragrance was found to be best used for blood pressure reduction and menstrual cramps among women. Others may be used as support for relieving symptoms of other health-related conditions. The essential oils used for aromatherapy may act as hormones, vitamins, enzymes, and transmitters. They assist in bodily processes standing as natural body cleansers to stimulate the body’s innate healing powers and restore healthy lifestyle or maintain wellness. Who knew simple and most ignored scents have powerful healing properties both for the mind and body? Impressive, isn’t it?

8. Can make you nostalgic

Want to take a trip down to memory lane? Feeling nostalgic while sipping a cup of aromatic coffee while savoring the smell of freshly cut grass? These smells spark unforgettable memories of your childhood, or home, or family. You may not specifically identify the odor, but surely your nose knows how to associate the smell to emotionally charged memories. Once the scent enters your nose, a network of nerves transports it through the olfactory bulb. This bulb helps your brain process the smell. Also, as a part of the emotional center of the brain, the limbic system, it has an easy access to the amygdala where emotions are being processed. This is the very reason why scents have a strong relationship with our memories. Usually, it evokes good memories and intensifies emotions you feel at the moment. Now you know how your nose secretly controls your mind and how particular scents are reminiscent of the past.

7. Can make you energetic / Can relieve stress

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Stress can be really crippling at times. It has also been ever-present in the list of probable factors to cause a certain disease. It instantly shifts your mood and affects your performance. One of the easiest and most convenient ways to battle this and help you relieve stress is through the power of scents. Aromatherapy has introduced us numerous benefits that impact our wellness. As previously discussed, the olfactory system responsible for processing odors has an intimate relationship with the section of the brain that houses emotions, memories, and mood. Lavender is a great choice if you want to feel calm and relaxed for the entire day. It reduces stress-hormone levels making you feel relaxed by assisting in a deeper breathing, lowering blood pressure, and slowing heart rate. Its sedative effect is useful for people suffering from insomnia. Soothing on the nerves, this scent can as well relieve nervous tension and calm your mind and body in an instant.

6. Can decrease your appetite

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Have second thoughts in reaching for your second doughnut or another slice of pizza by sniffing a calming scent. Did you know that peppermint can provide you with a quick solution to your long-time weight loss concern? It is not only used as a flavoring to chewing gums but its sweet scent can directly affect the satiety center in your brain, curbing your food cravings and causing you to eat less. Sniff a few drops of the fragrant oil before having your meal to suppress your appetite naturally. Another concept why strong scents can help you feel full is because these scents keep you distracted from food. So if you are aiming for weight loss, inhaling a fragrance gives you a calm and sound mind to fight against stress-eating. It is ironic how you can find your natural appetite suppressant in your kitchen where you also make and serve food.

5. Can make you optimistic

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Consider how toxic you feel when your mind is clouded with anger, anxiety, or stress brought about by daily difficulties. Aren’t you irritated by anything even the simplest reasons? To help you cope up and move on from these mind-boggling pet peeves, the flowery whiff of rose is suggested. These days, many studies have proven that smells can possibly affect almost everything — from stress, dreams, emotional grievances, nostalgia, concentration, and pain. The rose scent, specifically, decreases your respiration rate and blood pressure providing relaxation of your mind and body. Once you attain a calm mind, you begin to think clearly of ways or concrete steps on how to start moving on from problems. Whatever the root of your problem is, it is best to decide with a clear mind and boost your mental strength. Its scent also gives you a happy feeling and keeps you charged always. Think positive and keep moving forward.

4. Can make you fall asleep

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When you fail to rouse the sleepers, perhaps they became so peaceful with the inhaled jasmine scent. After a long day’s work, it is only during bedtime where you can find relaxation and replenish your lost energy. But what if you still haven’t gotten over your difficulty of sleeping? The frustration starts to creep in making the situation worse. The white, delicate petals of jasmine are pretty powerful. The scent of jasmine is best for those who sleep too lightly and those who wake up often in the middle of the night. Individuals who practiced inhaling the sweet, flowery scent have experienced better sleep quality and efficiency, and were noted to have fewer movements during their deep slumber. Its neurochemical mechanism is as effective as that of the pharmaceutical drugs prescribed for treating insomnia. Tonight, let your mind and body drift off to dreamland and wake up feeling well rested and refreshed.

3. Can increase your libido

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Bring romance back in between the sheets with the lovely scent of rose blooms. Known as the essential fragrance oil of love, this scent can incite desirable emotions. Smell is a personal thing and that’s one of the reasons why your partner remains desirable for you. Add the burning love within the bedroom by diffusing a scent of a garden of roses that serves as a powerful aphrodisiac. It stimulates the pituitary gland which controls the production of hormones. It keeps the gland in its active state to boost sexual drive. Its female hormone mimicking capacity brings out erotic and sensual lure to females, while it supports semen production among men. The sweet rosy scent elevates the mood of both sexes and creates a sensual atmosphere during honeymoon. Rekindle the passion with your partner and reduce feelings of fear and unworthiness. Happy sex life means happy marriage.

2. Can improve your memory

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Feeling embarrassed with your absentminded moments? Cinnamon has an answer for you. More than its prowess in flavoring your preferred baked goods, cinnamon actually has far-reaching effects beyond your stomach. The aroma of this sweet spice proved its efficacy in the improvement of memory, concentration and focus, and cognitive functioning. Its stimulating properties directly boost brain function helping you accomplish your memory tasks effortlessly. The mere smell of the aromatic spice similarly increases your attention and alertness, visual-motor speed, and combats mental fatigue.  Due to its potency, you may only apply cinnamon scents on your skin in very small and diluted amounts. Spread the advantage of having a sharper memory by using a diffuser and fill your home with the stimulating smell. Not only the ancient Egyptians should reap the benefits of cinnamon, but let’s make the most out of its healthy medicinal properties as well.

1. Can control how you spend

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If you ever come across the words ‘Scent Marketing’, then you probably know that this has been a blossoming advertisement tactic today. Branding by scent association is one of the fastest ways to attract customers since it involves creating an odor memory to the client. How can you avoid being simply lured by these ads? Definitely, you wouldn’t want waking up with a bad hangover of splurging all your hard-earned cash. The role of scents is important in controlling how you spend your money. Try a pungent smell that will distract you from the task at hand which is shopping. Or try to smell your child’s cologne to constantly remind you that your budget is allocated only for the needs of your family. Avoid warm fragrances because these make you feel less powerful and tend to compensate by buying prestigious, unnecessary items. Become a better spender and a wiser shopper.

 

Jane is a writer by day and a ninja mom by night. She is obsessed with DIY and has a soft spot for macadamia chocolate and green tea. You can connect with her on Twitter and Google+.

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