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If you love essential oils and aren’t afraid to let the world know, chances are friends have asked questions like “Are essential oils a hoax?” and “Do essential oils work?” You can answer “no” to the first question and “yes” to the second with confidence. Peppermint is just one example that essential oils have some real power, but that power goes far beyond a frosty feeling during application.You’ve probably heard others talking about how essential oils work for them or experienced them working yourself, but you may not know how or why. Keep reading for all the answers!
Essential oils in ancient civilizations
For centuries, cultures around the world have turned to essential oils in their ongoing quest for wellness. Ancient Egyptians, Romans, Persians, and Germans used essential oils for things like elevating spiritual and religious practices, enhancing beauty routines, adding flavor to foods, and supporting overall wellness. But is there any science to support those benefits? Yes! Grab your virtual lab coat as we get all scientific.
Sense of smell
Of all the senses, essential oils affect your sense of smell the most. In true science-guy style, let’s dive a little deeper and find out if the nose really knows.
According to a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the sense of smell is one of the first senses humans developed. From the beginning, humans have used their olfactory sense—science’s fancy way of saying sense of smell—to identify food, potential mating partners, dangers, enemies, and more. For most living creatures, smell is a key way we interact with our environment.
So how many receptors are dedicated to the olfactory sense? We thought you’d never ask. You’ll find a whopping 100 million or more receptors packed into an area about 2.5 square centimeters! No wonder essential oils are crazy good at stirring certain emotions or specific memories—you have all those olfactory receptors just waiting to send signals to your brain!