Aromatics which include essential oils, perfume, centred candles and incense, have been used for centuries to affect the mind (and also, ultimately, the body) in a positive way. This practice finds its origins in religion and primitive beliefs. Aboriginal Australians burned the leaves of eucalyptus to fumigate an area from viruses. Aboriginal Americans use sage and cedar and the Slavs, such plants as sunflower, pine and garlic peels for the same purposes. This was done because occult powers were thought to be sensitive to fragrances and could protect against fever, sorcery, epidemics and demonic charms.
Today scents are often used to calm, uplift or sedate a troubled mind. This is called the psyche-soma effect. The theory is that the bloodstream might absorb scents entering the nose and cause a chemical effect in the brain. Here is a list of common scents you can find in the form of incense, perfumes and oils that might help you to cope with certain unpleasant emotional states.
Orange: In tenth century Europe, Arabia and China orange scents were used to aid with nervousness, epileptic fits, melancholia and depression. It helps one to relax, regenerate and calm down. It is comforting, refreshing uplifting and warming and is used by some to calm down hyperactive children.
Patchouli: This "hippie scent', which originally came from India has been used since the 1800s has been used to treat headaches and nausea. It has an earthy, grounding quality that is excellent for those who feel spacey, dreamy and detached from their physical bodies.
Mint: The Greeks and the Romans used mint to stimulate the circulation, the heart and boost intellect and memory. It is helpful for headaches and migraine. If you are dozy and have a big report or deadline, this is this scent you want to have wafting through the room. It has a soothing and stimulating effect on the brain. It is also has a long-standing reputation as an aphrodisiac. This includes both Peppermint and Spearmint.
Vanilla: Made from the seedpods of orchids, vanilla is a warming, cheering scent that is good for depression, sorrow, and grief. Its effects are warming and uplifting. It also has a longstanding reputation as an aphrodisiac.
Cedar: Cedar has a stimulating, elevating and opening effect on the mind and psyche. It helps relieve anxiety and quell anxiety, irritation and fear. Cedar is frequent mentioned in Biblical and Arabic texts as a fragrant wood that enhances "spiritual power."
Lavender: Cultivated since ancient times, this classic floral is used to treat headaches, nervous tension, depression, sorrow and grief. It is also used to induce peaceful sleep and increase feelings of well being in general.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon was brought to central Europe at the time of the crusade where it was used as an aphrodisiac and for heart problems. Cinnamon is thought to be good for faintness, weakness, depression, nervous exhaustion and other stress related conditions.
Eucalyptus: This Australian herb is thought to relieve blocked states of mind as well as balance out the emotions and relieve mood swings. It is good for sluggishness and the fresh aroma is thought to have a revitalising, stimulating effect on the nervous system as a whole.
Frankincense: This scent, which is also known as olibanum finds its origins in Eygptian, Persian, Babylonian, Green, Roman and Christian culture. In aromatherapy it is currently used to relieve depression, poor memory and to strengthen the nerves. It is also used as a psychoactive substance to expand consciousness.
Ginger: A stimulant and an aphrodisiac, ginger are considered to be a powerful nerve tonic that is good for exhaustion and metal fatigue. It has a comforting, warming and uplift effect on the mind and soul.
Jasmine: This scent, which is known as the Queen of the Night in India because the scent of the flower is stronger at night, is thought to be a natural anti-depressant. This sensual scent is thought to release inhibitions and liberate the imagination. It is used for depression, nervous exhaustion, apathy, indifference, listlessness, lack of confidence and impotence.
Rose: Psychologically, the scent of rose has a powerful effect. It is used to increase concentration, regulate the appetite and overcoming obesity. It creates a feeling of calm, well-being and in some, even happiness. It is used to treat grief, sorrow, frigidity, jealousy, shock and depression.
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