- Healing Oils of Ancient Scripture: Part 1 | Sandalwood
- Healing Oils of Ancient Scripture: Part 2 | Cassia
- Healing Oils of Ancient Scripture: Part 3 | Cedarwood
- Healing Oils of Ancient Scripture: Part 4 | Cypress
- Healing Oils of Ancient Scripture: Part 5 | Hyssop
- Healing Oils of Ancient Scripture: Part 6 | Galbanum
- Healing Oils of Ancient Scripture: Part 7 | Myrtle
- Healing Oils of Ancient Scripture: Part 8 | Onycha
- Healing Oils of Ancient Scripture: Part 9 | Cistus
- Healing Oils of Ancient Scripture Part 10: Spikenard
- Healing Oils of Ancient Scripture Part 11: Myrrh
- Healing Oils of Ancient Scripture: Part 12 | Frankincense
The past two months have been full of valuable information as we’ve explored some of the incredible properties of essential oils. This week, let’s dive into the way essential oils access and impact our emotions.
One of the brilliant things about essential oils is the fact that they pass easily through the blood-brain barrier. As we discussed in Part 3, the molecules that make up essential oils are incredibly tiny. So tiny, in fact, that one drop possesses about 40 million trillion molecules.
When we inhale essential oils, the molecules travel directly to the back of the nose. From there, they travel through the limbic system to the portion of the brain that stores our emotional experiences. This part of the brain cannot communicate via language and doesn’t even understand words. It does, however, respond to smells, which is why scents activate old memories so powerfully.
The limbic system also controls the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is important because it releases hormones that control multiple functions in the body. Serotonin, sex hormones, growth hormones, and others are all controlled by the hypothalamus. This puts aromatherapy in a unique position. When you inhale essential oils, they admit you to a non-verbal portion of your brain and give you the ability to access all the emotional memories for which there are no words, and they also enable your brain to produce hormones to soothe anxiety, stimulate growth, and a number of other therapeutic functions. Because of this, essential oils profoundly influence our emotions. They can help us heal from trauma, relax, feel grounded, and a plethora of other things.
In the Bible, aromatherapy often took the form of incense burned during times of worship. One of the ingredients in incense is onycha (Exodus 30:34). Shrouded in mystery, we aren’t entirely certain what onycha was in Bible times. Most likely, it was the “lid” of a type of shellfish found in the Red Sea. It was dried, then treated to remove the fish smell and used as a fixative to bind incense ingredients together. It is still used for this purpose today!
Onycha works as an anti-inflammatory, expectorant, antioxidant, astringent, and sedative. It is used to treat arthritis, stress, gout, colic, bronchitis, and much more. To use, apply topically or to Vita Flex points, diffuse, or inhale directly.
As always, if you are pregnant, please consult your doctor before using essential oils. If you have any questions, please contact me!
Photo Credit: Heal With Oil