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.
If you use a diffuser to infuse the essential oils in a setting, 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 centre 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.
Essential oils – cedarwood, lavender and frankincense, in particular – can possibly aid in relieving the symptoms of sleep apnea and insomnia.
Lavender also helps the mind to relax, which is crucial to a good night sleep and overall mental and physical well-being. This may also potentially reduce your anxiety symptoms.
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.