What is smell…

by in Well-being January 11, 2017

For something to smell, it must exist as a gas or vapour and be carried into the nose by air. Smells enter the nose by inhalation through the nostrils, but odours can also flow from the mouth into the nose from the odorous components of the flavour of the food.

Only a very small proportion of inhaled air reaches the Olfactory organ, but when it does, the odours can cause us to suddenly recall events from the past, when we associate the odour with a previously experienced emotion.

It is possible to train the mind to focus on the sense of smell, so establishing and developing an Olfactory memory and the power of discrimination of odours.

Essential oils and Olfactory

When inhaled, essential oil particles are taken directly to the roof of the nose, where the receptor cells of the Olfactory system are situated.  From each receptor cell protrude thin hairs called cilia, which register and transmit information about aromas, via the Olfactory bulb, to the centre of the brain.  From here, electro – chemical messages are forwarded to the area of the brain associated with smell.
These trigger the release of Neuro chemicals,  which may be sedative, relaxing, stimulating or euphoric.   Other messages may be relayed to other parts of the body registering the oils effects.  Aromatic particles also travel down the nasal passages to the lungs.
Most people can detect 10,000 different odours (many flavours are smelled rather than tasted).  Research has identified primary smells to be Fragrant, Fruity, Spice,  Resinous, Burnt or foul.

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, said that “the way to health is to have an aromatic bath and scented massage every day”

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