Aromatherapy is a holistic treatment that has been proven to help with a wide variety of health-related issues. But did you know that there’s an ideal scent for every personality type? Here’s everything you need to know about introducing aromatherapy to your wellness routine.
Every weekend, you leave all your work troubles behind, switch off your phone, and get a relaxing coconut oil massage, or perhaps you like to calm yourself with a cup of peppermint tea after a long day. No matter what your scent of preference is, it is a well known fact that our sense of smell affects us as much as all the other senses. This is because our mind associates scents with particular emotions; for example, chamomile may evoke a sense of relaxation, while something zesty like lemon may leave you feeling refreshed. But did you know that aromatherapy can legitimately improve your health?
According to research by Dr Mi-Yeon Cho, Eulji University Hospital, South Korea, lavender suppresses heart stimulation and lowers blood pressure; therefore, it is useful in the treatment of heart acceleration and high blood pressure, while chamomile has a calming effect and is effective in relieving anxiety and stress. Dr Cho tested a group of participants suffering from insomnia and after the study, he found that aromatherapy significantly reduced anxiety levels and increased sleep quality among the subjects. Science may have recently declared aromatherapy as a valid treatment for mild health-related issues but that doesn’t mean the practice is newborn. In fact, humans have been using aromatherapy for thousands of years. The practice of using fragrance to treat both physical and mental ailments has been a mainstay in ancient Egyptian, Chinese and Indian cultures. The concept of picking out an essential oil according to your needs and even your personality isn’t exactly new either; it was a fairly common procedure in 19th century France.
Aromatherapy according to your personality
Let’s have a look at some of these broadly categorised personality types and what fragrance suits them best.
If you are an optimist at heart: Bergamot
Citrusy fragrances like bergamot are known to liven up your mood in an instant. Research also suggests that bergamot can help support healthy cortisol levels and keep dark thoughts and feelings of doubt at bay. According to a study by Dr Simone Perna, Department of Biology, University of Bahrain, Bahrain, bergamot essential oil plays an important role in treating the human nervous system and has been proven to reduce anxiety and stress levels.
Another alternative: Sweet orange
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If you are laid back and down to earth: Lavender
When it comes to aromatherapy, lavender is the first fragrance that most people go for, thanks to its relaxing properties. After all, the medicinal plant is commonly used to treat anxiety, depression and insomnia. Research by Dr Peir Hossein Koulivand, Shefa Neuroscience Research Center, Tehran, Iran, suggests that lavender essential oil has been proven to induce a sense of calmness in patients that suffer from anxiety. In addition, lavender improved associated symptoms such as restlessness, disturbed sleep, and shortness of breath.
Another alternative: Chamomile
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If you are a cheerful morning person: Grapefruit
According to a study by Dr Celso A R A Costa, Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Biosciences, São Paulo, Brazil, grapefruit oil contains a compound named limonene, which can help you balance your mood. Grapefruit oil is also touted for its antioxidant properties, which make it the perfect addition to your morning routine. Along with inhaling the fragrance, you can also apply grapefruit oil to your skin by mixing a few drops into your everyday moisturiser. Just make sure that the oil you are using is safe for topical use.
Another alternative: Lemongrass
If you care about your health more than anything else: Eucalyptus
For years, eucalyptus oil has been used to treat health-related issues like cough, throat infection, congested nose, among others. According to a study conducted by Dr Yang Suk Jun, Department of Basic Nursing Science, Korea University, South Korea, inhalation of eucalyptus oil was effective in decreasing pain and blood pressure in a group of people that had just undergone knee replacement surgery. Eucalyptus oil is also anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory, which makes it the ideal aromatherapy oil for people that often fall sick.
Another alternative: Tea tree
If you like to stay rooted in nature: Sandalwood
Anyone that has grown up in India, knows how valuable sandalwood is, both aesthetically and culturally. The aromatic woody scent doesn’t just smell great, it’s also good for your health. According to research by Dr Hanns Hatt, Department for Cellphysiology, Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology, Ruhr University, Germany, skin cells possess olfactory receptors and when activated, sandalwood oil appeared to promote wound healing by increasing skin cell growth. This further proves that alternate holistic therapies can be beneficial in treating a wide variety of health problems.
Another alternative: Cinnamon
How to practice aromatherapy?
Now that you’ve selected an oil that suits your personality the best, you must be wondering how you can make it a part of your routine. Aromatherapy works both by utilising your olfactory senses and also through skin absorption. Here are some common ways to use it:
Essential oil diffusers
Hot and cold compresses
Creams, lotions or face masks for topical use
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