Aromatic plants, like rosemary, lavender & rose can offer deep levels of healing through their medicinal benefits, and also through their fragrance.
When you breathe in the aroma from these plants it has a direct connection to your brain, specifically the limbic system which is related to emotions and memory. Your sense of smell is the only sense with this direct path. It’s also the most mysterious and elusive sense that science is still seeking to fully understand.
You don’t just have olfactory receptors in your nose, you have different subtypes of olfactory receptors in other organs and tissues of the body. Understanding how these receptors throughout the body impact our health is an exciting area yet to be explored.
From a practical perspective, breathing in a fragrance can become a way to connect with your body when you’re feeling detached or stuck in your head with repetitive thoughts. It’s a path to embodiment, which is a term many of us hear but may not know how to achieve.
Through your breath, the scent and your attention, you are present in the current moment. Even if it’s just for that moment, you are in your body.
You’re also having an emotional response to the scent before you consciously process or identify the aroma. This response can quickly shift the state of your nervous system and emotions.
Nervous system health is vital to your overall health, impacting areas such as your sleep, how you think, feel and how your body functions. An imbalance in your nervous system can hinder or plateau your wellness journey. You essentially can't get well if you're in a constant state of stress. Tending to the nervous system is an important step, and should often be the first step to health and wellbeing. Your favorite smell can be an easy and valuable way to help you do this.
Cathy Skipper and Dr. Florian Birkmayer, two leading teachers in aromatic medicine, call aromatic molecules the ‘molecules of connection'. It’s easy to see why when you consider the many ways smelling these aromatic molecules links your inner world and the natural one.
Consider your favorite aromatic plants and ways you like to work with them. Are there plants whose fragrance calls to you? How might you bring aromatic plants and the power of scent more into your life?
Suggestions for ways you can work with aromatic plants:
- Drinking a cup of tea
- Taking an aromatic salt bath
- Burning botanical incense
- Applying your favorite aromatic body serum or botanical perfume
- Putting some digestive bitters in some water for an after dinner drink
- Use an herbal salve or balm
- Inhaling your favorite essential oil
How amazing and poetic that breathing in the fragrance of the plants you love in these various ways can be such a simple and powerful tool to carry you between worlds & experiences, impacting so many aspects of your wellbeing. We are not separate, but are part of the magic and mystery of nature itself with each inhalation. Linked through invisible molecules of connection.
Shop the Apothecary for aromatics!
To learn more about the teachings of Cathy Skipper and Florian Birkmayer, MD visit, www.aromagnosis.com