Thursday, October 11, 2007

Know Your Nose

Sense of smell is such an important aspect in life, yet so overlooked (a lot like Recueilli this past month). Well, luckily researchers are furiously at work in odor to bring your sniffer (and theirs) to the lime light. Today we're going to go over some the the latest news, tips, and tricks.

Whether or not there is some type of magical scent or pheromone that will bring you love and happiness, the fact is odors are able to alter our emotions! According to my favorite and always trusted source wikipedia, Aromatherapy was coined by a Frenchy who plopped his burning arm into a vat of lavender oil and felt better. While the term is used a little differently today the stuff going on is still as crazy. One scientist in Philly tested people's moods after sniffing rags that had been rubbed under different people's armpits (no deodorants etc allowed). The findings: armpit smells of elderly ladies make most people feel good while smells from young testosterone filled teenagers make most people depressed. Moral of this one.. Gramps please stop bathing in your 1950's perfume and live free with your arms held high knowing your making the world a happier place.

Speaking of pheromone's a group of hard working scientists found that the brain processes male sweat and female pee differently. Man, I sure hope so...

Ok, back to Aromatherapy. Most people hate the dentist, it's too bad really if you are fortunate enough to have regular visits you hate it, those less fortunate line up for miles and wait for days for five minutes and a lot of pain. But I digress, somebody decided to change the smell of the dentist office just to see what would happen. That person was a scientist and found out that patients sniffing orange or lavender had a lower level of anxiety, a more positive mood, and were more calm than those not sniffing at all. Moral: Be grateful you can go to the dentist, and do a little bit more to help those less fortunate (they really are all around you). But, when you do go to the dentist or after a stressful day pull out some orange and lavender and slowly sniff away.

PS. Tips from University of Texas Cancer Center: "Lavender is now used to treat insomnia, migraines and provide stress relief. Rosemary relieves muscle pain, low blood pressure and cold feet and hands. Spearmint aids digestion and eases nausea and vomiting. Scents such as bay, laurel, and ylang-ylang appeal to men for their deep scent. They also treat skin rashes, rheumatism and stomach ailments.

Recipes:
Muscle Relaxation Bath Salts - 2 cups of Epsom salts, 5 drops of each oil - lavender, lemon grass, tea tree & orange. Use 1/2 cup mixture per bath.

Room Spray Diffusion - Use any oil 5-20 drops along with 2 to 4 ounces of distilled or spring water. Common sense precaution - don't spray in your eyes.

Energizing Carpet Cleaner - Combine pink grapefruit oil with baking soda and sprinkle before vacuuming.

Natural House Cleaner - Blend lemon and ravensara leaf oils with distilled water and non-sudsing soap.

Quality oils, which are light and heat sensitive, will be in a blue or brown light protective glass. Labeling on the bottle should provide should provide both the common and botanical name for the oil. Steer clear of concentrated oils with rubber eyedroppers since the oils react with the rubber causing it to break down and contaminate the oil."

Road trip coming up? Start sniffing peppermint or cinnamon. They both have been proved to increase alertness and decrease fatigue, frustration, and boredom while driving.

Want the maximum benefit.. science says your sniffer works best if you are sitting or standing.

Last and probably least (there's no science backing on this one).. don't overload your sniffer, and steer clear of the fake commercial stuff.

Ok, ok references after the jump

September issue of the journal Physiology & Behavior
The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston
New Scientist magazine
Association for Chemical Reception Sciences Conference
www.medindia.net


5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, seems cool.

Joe joestain13@yahoo.com

Rich said...

Thanks Joe, I'm still testing the smells out myself.

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