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Your Brain on Lavender Oil

There is more to essential oils than their ability to make our homes smell nice. There is actually solid science behind the effect that essential oils can have on our brain and ultimately our physical and emotional health. Over twenty-thousand studies can be found on PubMed

Speaking of science, the patient in this qEEG (quantitative EEG ) map had a history of stress and anxiety as indicated by the white areas in the ‘before’ map showing that the brain was in park or on vacation. After inhaling the lavender oil for 5 minutes, the green and yellow areas show that the brain is back at work and the stress response has been down regulated. The patient also reported feelings of relaxation and focus without any drowsiness. 

The neuroscientist who did this brain map (and others) said the results were the equivalent of what he’d see after six months of neurofeedback sessions, 40 sessions at $160 each. You need to keep using the oils to entrain the brain but it only takes 22 seconds for the oils to reach the limbic system (our emotional brain) and begin down regulating our stress response. That is oh-so cool! 

Because the limbic system begins to form when we’re in utero during the second trimester, patterns that result from early trauma (c-section, forceps, separation from mom, premature birth, incubator, etc) are laid down in that part of the brain very early on in life. This can result in hypervigilence, not feeling safe in the world, reactive behaviours, difficulty in trusting life and that good things will come our way, relationship/abandonment issues, health conditions, and an inability to develop a core self, to name a few. These patterns can ultimately show up on a qEEG map. Essential oils can hack the limbic system and cause a complete shift in global brain activity. Lavender oil also happens to be the oil to help shift feelings of aloneness and abandonment or as we refer to in this work, a “Break in the Bond” or issues related to attachment. 

Every essential oil is made up of a unique combination of constituents that impact the brain and body in different ways. More posts about the science of essential oils coming soon.

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