Did you know that the human sense of smell can identify thousands of aromas and is 10,000 times more accurate than our sense of taste? We have millions of smell receptors in our noses. When they detect an odor, they fire the information to the olfactory bulb, a pea-sized group in the brain, which sorts the signals and transmits them to the limbic system.


Scents that improve your memory, mood, energy and libido

This primitive part of the brain, smell, governs many memories and emotions; some of our most basic behaviors: feed, fight or run; as well as sexual arousal, pleasure, and perhaps even addiction. Due to their proximity, the neurological controls of these behaviors are often entangled. That is why, for example, during the early stages of attraction, dinner is often a prelude to intimacy as a couple.

It also explains how the smell can help lower stress levels, improve physical and mental performance, relieve pain, end insomnia and even help us lose weight, according to research.

Here’s how to use your sense of smell to your advantage.

1. Green apple aroma

A fragrance you love can help curb cravings, according to Alan Hirsch, MD, founder of the Chicago Odor and Flavor Research and Treatment Foundation. In one study, Dr. Hirsch gave overweight people banana, green apple, and mint to smell when they had a craving. They lost more weight than those who didn’t smell anything.

Try this: keep a bottle of your favorite scent on hand throughout the day and try sniffing instead of snacking.

2. Aromas of orange or lavender

In an Austrian study, researchers eliminated oranges for some participants and lavender for others. The two groups felt less anxious, more positive and calmer, compared to the participants who were not exposed to any fragrance.

Try this: add a few drops of oil to a room diffuser and use it in your office on stressful days.

3. Romero

The next time a presentation or a new software program drives you crazy, think of poor Shakespeare’s Ophelia. After Hamlet drove her crazy, she walked around the castle collecting rosemary, muttering, “That’s to remember.” Researchers at the University of Northumbria in the UK discovered that she knew something. After exposure to rosemary oil, 48 college students outperformed a control group on memory tests and felt more alert throughout.

Try this: buy a plant or two for your window, so that you can pluck a branch to smell while you study or memorize something for work.

4. Aromas of lavender or mint

In search of ways to use fewer pain medications, doctors at New York University Medical Center exposed patients who underwent laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery to lavender oil (applied to anesthesiology face masks that used during surgery). Those patients required substantially less morphine and needed less pain relievers afterward.

Peppermint helps too. After a review of several studies, a researcher at Wheeling Jesuit University concluded that it can relieve headaches, and German headache researchers report that the strong odor is as effective as acetaminophen.

Try This: The next time you have a headache, inhale the scent of a handkerchief sprinkled with a few drops of lavender or mint .

5. Essential oils

A 2006 study in Korea divided women with severe menstrual cramps into three groups. One group received a daily 15-minute abdominal massage with essential oils for 1 week before their menstrual periods, another group received the same fragrance-free massages, and the last group received no therapy. Those in the aromatherapy group reported that their discomfort decreased by half.

Try this with these scents : add 2 drops of lavender oil, 1 drop of sage oil and a drop of rose oil to an almond oil base and massage the abdomen once a day for a week before your period

6. Smell of baby powder

This, along with the smell of cucumber and licorice, has been shown to “turn on” women, increasing vaginal blood flow by 13%. The spicy fragrances of pumpkin pie and lavender increase blood flow by 11%.

Try this: soften your skin with a little baby powder after bathing. Or to top off a romantic dinner, serve a pumpkin pie and keep a cucumber-scented bag next to your pillow.

7. Pink grapefruit

This fresh citrus scent can influence perceptions of age . When volunteers viewed photos of 20 models after being exposed to the smell of pink grapefruit, they perceived that the models were 3 years younger than the people who judged the photos without smelling anything.

8. The scent of mint gives motivation

In a study at Wheeling Jesuit University , peppermint fumes gave college basketball players more motivation, energy, speed, and confidence. Some athletes use peppermint inhalers, and at one point Reebok even created a minty scent in some sports bras.

Try this: When you don’t really feel like doing your usual walk, or whatever you do to exercise, put some peppermint essential oil on a tissue and inhale for moments.

9. Smell of lavender

There’s a reason people have filled pillows with lavender flowers for centuries: Research shows that lavender increases deep slow-wave sleep, and studies from England and Korea show that the flower also helps people with insomnia. mild.

Try this: spray your bed with lavender scent just before you go to bed.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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