What Are Essential Oils & How Are They Inhaled?
Essential oils are made up of extremely tiny molecular components that both allow them to be aromatic and easily dispersed in the air for inhalation. This compositional make-up also means that essential oils are particularly concentrated and potent, with a single drop containing approximately 40 million-trillion molecules. With that said, breathing in in the essential oil molecules deliver a host of benefits, most of which are calming properties.
If you use a diffuser to infuse the essential oils, trillions of these tiny particles are dispersed effortlessly in the air. Once breathed in, they are dissolved in the mucus lining of your nasal cavity, which depending on the EO used, stimulates your sense of smell in a specific way. This then goes on to trigger sensory neurons and carry signals to the “limbic” area of your brain where it is received, and it responds, accordingly. The limbic area is essentially the emotional control center of your brain where emotions, long-term memory, hormones, the nervous system, and a few other receptors reside. Using essential oils to interact with these receptors in your brain can dramatically affect your mood positively. Your sense of smell is, in fact, the only sensory mechanism that involves the limbic area – which is why essential oils are so effective.
Benefits Associated With TBI
Essential oils can have varying benefits on a range of medical conditions. In particular, for traumatic brain injuries, essential oils seem to help considerably.
Within essential oils are specific compounds, one of which is “sesquiterpenes” – the one believed to be most beneficial on the brain.
Increase Of Oxygen
Sesquiterpenes in essential oils can cross the blood-brain barrier because they are incredibly tiny. In addition to this, they are oxygen-carrying molecules.
This means that the increase in oxygen can assist in brain healing, which thus leads to improved learning, concentrating, energy, hormonal balance, and a supported immune system. These are all vital elements to a positive TBI recovery.
Relieve Anxiety With Essential Oil
There are a handful of essential oils could help alleviate anxiety, all of which are listed and described below. If you had any experiences with essential oils, please tell me about it in the comments section at the bottom of this page.
Rose Essential Oil
Rose oil, when inhaled, promotes a deep sense of calmness while reducing the tension built up mentally and physically. Those who are grieving from TBI related anxiety or depression may find relief with using rose oil to relax and feel calmer in their surroundings. Give rose oil a try and see if it helps you with your next bout with anxiety. Additionally, if you have any experience using rose oil, please leave your review in the of it in the comments section below.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender oil is considered to be the most popular of all the essential oils. In fact, lavender itself has been used as a remedy for hundreds of years to treat many different health issues. Its calm, relaxing scent can help reduce anxiety and stress. In particular, those who are sleep deprived may find relief by using lavender oil consistently before and during sleep time. Lavender essential oils are a unique remedy for TBI related anxiety because the aroma is very pungent, which calms the nervous system.
Chamomile Essential Oil
If you’re familiar with chamomile tea, then you likely know how beneficial it is for digestive and mental health. However, when chamomile is used in oil form and either inhaled or rubbed onto your skin, you might feel your anxiousness and stress fade away. Additionally, if you struggle with regular headaches, a common side-effect of TBI, chamomile may also provide relief.
Myrrh Essential Oil
The scent of Myrrh is known to stimulate the brain and promote both energy and alertness effectively. When used as a massage oil, it can strengthen your muscles, smooth skin, and promote relaxation, simultaneously. With that said, myrrh is commonly used by massage practitioners due to the herbs aromatherapy properties.
The rich, warm aroma of Frankincense oil can immediately lift one’s mood. It also has the power to boost the oxygen supply to your brain, stimulate your limbic system, and help balance your emotions. You can use this oil in many different ways, including adding it to your bath or inhaling it with aromatherapy to relax your mind and body.
Emotionally, Balsam Fir Oil is fantastic for stabilizing and uplifting. More than that, though, it’s renowned for reducing unwanted muscle spasms and managing pain inflammation. For treating anxiety, however, the balsam fir fegerance is very grounding and encorages nuetralization of racing thoughts. With that said, balsam fir oil has a distinct uplifting and soothing effect that can be inhaled or applied topically.
Sandalwood is another very popular essential oil. It has a warm, smooth wooden scent that most people renown for its ability to promote mental clarity and cognitive function. This results in more control in stressful situations, allowing you to see things more logically. It also serves as an excellent antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and as a calming remedy.
Sage is another ancient-style remedy used medicinally to treat skin conditions, bacterial infections, muscular and joint pain, and digestive issues. It also eliminates toxins, eases tension, and clary sage helps to control cortisol levels in women. Since high cortisol levels can increase the risk of getting anxiety and depression, clary sage can potentially help prevent these health issues when inhaled or massaged onto the skin.
Vetiver Oil is a popular essential oil in India and Sri Lanka, where it is famed as the “oil of tranquility.” The sweet, smoky scent can be described similarly to sandalwood oil and is mainly used to alleviate anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and overall emotional stress – perfect for those who struggle with anxiety after TBI.
Ylang Ylang Oil
Ylang Ylang OIl has a strong tropical scent that feels calming, soothing, and uplifting. If you desperately need to boost your emotional wellbeing and mentality, Ylang Ylang oil could be the solution for you. Additionally, it can reduce blood pressure and also has mild sedative qualities that can contribute to better sleep.
The sweet, rosy scent of Geranium oil promotes positivity and encourages the balance of hormones. As a result, one may experience reduces stress, anxiety, fatigue, tension, and sadness with increased concentration, cognitive function, and emotional balance.
For centuries, Jasmine oil has been used to treat anxiety. Even studies have shown that it can stimulate your brain, thus improving your mood. It also has the power to calm your nervous system and increase your energy levels.
The lavender essential oil can also positively impact TBI through decreasing heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature levels.
The key to a healthy brain and a happy heart possibly lies within the use of essential oil lavender.
Choosing The Right Oils For You
If you’re worried that you won’t experience the benefits due to no sense of smell, don’t fret. It is a known fact that essential oils can also penetrate the skin barrier.
You can still benefit from other means of essential oils, such as through lotions.
In terms of choosing the right essential oils, it can vary depending on your symptoms. There are numerous ones out there, and it can be confusing to know which is best for you.
For oils that are high in sesquiterpenes, the compound previously discussed, you can try cedarwood, sandalwood, ginger, frankincense and vetiver essential oils.
If you need something for anxiety, agitation and hypersensitivity, try lavender, chamomile, sandalwood, or sage essential oils.
Those experiencing strong difficulties with concentration and memory, rosemary, peppermint, lemon and basil is recommended.
To try and reduce your pain and for neuropathy, peppermint, wintergreen and helichrysum are suggested essential oils.
How & When To Use
You can apply essential oils in a few different ways. They can be inhaled, diffused or used topically on your skin.
They don’t generally have any side effects, unless, of course, you have allergies with a particular substance.
An aromatherapy diffuser is recommended as a way to efficiently disperse the essential oils, so that one can experience both the associated benefits and pleasant aroma throughout their home or office.
Otherwise, you can try lotions and other topical applications. For diffusing, remember not to overdo it at any one time, which can potentially cause adverse effects by overwhelming your system. Try 20 minutes per hour, and no longer.
For a good night’s sleep, let it diffuse for this amount of time before bed. Turn it off as you feel yourself relaxing to the positive effects, and enjoy a well-rested sleep.
With substantial scientific research backing the potential benefits of essential oils, especially with the concentrated sesquiterpenes ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, there’s no reason why you can’t try essential oils for your brain health or TBI.