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Jul 19, 2009

Adapted from original article by Mel, selected from Natural Solutions magazine Jul 15, 2009
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It’s common knowledge that smell effects how we feel. What we consider as “good” smells can lift our spirits while “bad” smells can drag us down or even agitate us. In fact, the French word sentir means both “to smell” and “to feel.”
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We tend to “feel” scents rather than logically process them—understanding them more through associations and images than by analytical methods. This is because the human brain processes smells in its limbic region, which appears to be primarily responsible for our emotions. Interestingly, the limbic system is often called the rhinencephalon or “smell part” of the brain.

Several studies show that emotion and odours are directly linked and have been found to produce some of the same electrical impulses.
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Essential oils contain natural phytochemicals that impact the limbic system.
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When you inhale the scent of an oil, the brain releases various neurochemicals to create physiological changes in body, mind and spirit. When you smell lavender, for example, serotonin gets released, producing a calming influence in the body.
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Pure essential oils are extracted directly from plant parts, including flowers, leaves, stems and roots, as well as the rind of their fruits. Outside of their direct healing properties these oils simply smell good, make us feel happier and serve as great stress and pain relievers.
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The easiest and most common way to benefit from their essence is through aromatherapy:
— place a few drops of diluted oil directly on your skin and inhale the aroma. Note: always cut the essential oil with a base oilsee suggestions below and in original article.
— add drops to your bath or add drops to an aromatherapy diffuser which heats the oil and allows the smell to permeate the room.
—choose from a multitude of oils, ranging from bergamot (Citrus bergamia), which has a balancing effect, to sandalwood (Santalum album), which is known for its sensuous properties.
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Base oils, also called carrier oils, make essential oils more versatile by cutting their strength without greatly reducing their effectiveness or aroma.
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Some recommended base oils:
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SWEET ALMOND OIL (Prunus dulcis, P. amygdalus)
With no scent of its own, sweet almond oil is mild and well tolerated by most people.
—Use this oil by itself or blend it with other carrier oils.
—A good base for massage oil.
Use caution if you have nut allergies.
Make sure you have sweet almond oil, not bitter almond. 
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ROSE-HIP SEED OIL (Rosa rubiginosa)
Rose-hip seed oil is like liquid velvet. It especially nourishes and benefits the skin.
— Use this oil by itself or blend it with other carrier oils.
— Good for facial oil blend.
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AVOCADO OIL (Persea nubigena, P. americana)
Excellent as a softener for hair and skin, avocado oil absorbs nicely and is rich in vitamins A and B.
— Use 10-30 percent avocado oil with other carrier oils. 
— Good for body or bath oil.
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JOJOBA OIL (Simmondsia chinensis)
Jojoba is actually a liquid wax; it resembles our own skin sebum. Hair, nails and skin respond well to it. Jojoba also gives a longer shelf life to products, perfect for blending into more expensive oils.
— Use up to 95 percent jojoba oil with other carrier oils.
— Good for sea salt scrubs, massage oils.
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ESSENTIAL OIL RECIPES
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Refreshing Massage Oil
3 drops bergamot
2 drops grapefruit
3 drops rosewood
— Add oils to 1 ounce of base oil and mix well.
— Store in a dark glass bottle and avoid exposure to heat, light and air.
This blend can provide a refreshing boost when you’re feeling weary... neither over-stimulating or sedating.
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Return-to-Earth
Foot Massage Oil

3 drops patchouli
3 drops sandalwood
4 drops lavender
— Add oils to 1 ounce of base oil and mix well.
— Store in a dark glass bottle and avoid exposure to heat, light and air.
This deep, rich, earthy blend is a perfect foot massage oil for those times when life leaves you up in the air. These pure essential oils are believed to be relaxing, centering and calming.
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- For the original article, check out http://www.care2.com/greenliving/mood-menders.html

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Posted: Jul 19, 2009 3:48pm

 

 
 
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Jenny Dooley
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