Do Essential Oils Affect the Brain? You betchya!
When you smell an essential oil the small molecules are inhaled and they dissolve into the roof of our nose, the epithelial tissue.
At the same time, these molecules stimulate our olfactory receptors. Which, in turn, triggers our sensory neurons that carry signals from the receptors to the olfactory bulb. The olfactory bulb filters the signals of the scent of the essential oil.
The mitral cells take the signals from the olfactory bulb to the olfactory cortex. This is why we recognize the particular scent we are smelling.
The essential oil scent is carried from the olfactory cortex to the limbic system (the non thinking part of our brain) which is responsible for heart rate, blood pressure, memory, respiration, etc.
True Aromatherapy is only with pure, therapeutic grade essential oils. Not from fragrance oils. Most people don't know how effective aromatherapy treatments can be in addressing behavioral issues, moods swings, etc. along with changes in lifestyle and diet.
The essential oils can be very effective since their small molecules can cross our blood-brain barrier. This is a membrane around our brain whose job is to protect it from virus, bacteria, etc.
Please consult a professional aromatherapist when using essential oils as therapy.