(NaturalNews) It's no secret that one whiff of a flower or food can take an individual back in time, eliciting certain memories that take them right back to a specific place, person or even popular song from the past. Scent experts know this well, and as such, have identified a multitude of ways that scent can be used to help bolster overall wellness.
Why scents create strong memories
Without getting overly scientific, the reason for the scent-memory connection is rooted in the portion of the brain associated with memory, the hippocampus. The olfactory nerve, which is responsible for detecting smells, is very close to the hippocampus. Consequently, research shows that when areas of the brain associated with emotional memories, like the hippocampus, are damaged, the ability to identify smells is compromised. In other words, the ability to identify a scent is supported by memories of the scent from the past.
What all of this means for well-being is that the power of scent can have emotional healing powers that help calm, promote learning and manage pain.
Three fruit and herb scents that promote health and wellness
1) Citrus fruits to reduce stress and increase positivity
"The scent of a fresh fruit can do amazing things," says Barbara Thomley, lead coordinator for the Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program at the Mayo Clinic. Thomley explains that the fruit need not be just an orange; almost any citrus will do depending on the situation where stress needs to be addressed. For example, grapefruit is ideal for appetite control, producing a calming effect that eases feelings of anxiety and reduces cravings for dieters facing temptations.
Lemon scents have been shown to boost mood and create feelings of positivity. Research has shown that lemon balm helped to improve mood and cognitive performance.
2) Rosemary to learn a new skill
Studies show that people exposed to rosemary oil performed better on memory tests and were more alert. Buying fresh rosemary was suggested to maintain a focused level of thinking in one's place of work or study.
3) Lavender or peppermint to manage pain
When New York University Medical Center doctors applied lavender oil to their face masks during surgery, it was noted that the patients required significantly less analgesics and morphine afterwards.
As for peppermint, another study showed that it helped relieve headache pain as effectively as acetaminophen, a drug used to relieve pain and reduce fever.
About the author: A science enthusiast with a keen interest in health nutrition, Antonia has been intensely researching various dieting routines for several years now, weighing their highs and their lows, to bring readers the most interesting info and news in the field. While she is very excited about a high raw diet, she likes to keep a fair and balanced approach towards non-raw methods of food preparation as well.