Does aromatherapy work

Have you ever smelt something and had it affect your mood? Made you relaxed, or hungry, or maybe even angry? 

Deep in our nasal passages lie two olfactory patches consisting of roughly 5 to 6 million olfactory receptors (or, odorant receptors). These receptors are responsible for transmitting information about odor to the brain. This in turn gives rise to the sense of smell. Although the number of olfactory receptors we have pales in comparison with a dog who possess about 250 million of these receptors we can still sniff out thousands of different scents at minute concentrations. Humans are capable of detecting certain substances in dilutions of less than one part in several billion parts of air.


Interestingly, the olfactory receptors are directly connected with the limbic system. The limbic system is an ancient and very important set of structures in the human brain responsible for emotions and memory. It is also involved in reinforcing behaviors.

For some time, researchers have been interested in examining whether aromatherapy proffers health benefits. With conflicting scientific results we currently rely on our own personal experience and the testimonies of other friends and families.

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