A smell isn’t just a fragrance. For instance, certain smells may invoke feelings and moments that are reminiscent of a strong past experience. Well, smell isn’t just useful for its memory-inducing powers; it has many benefits for the mind and body too. Make good use of these scents accordingly
1. Lavender may help you sleep
As a go-to scent for relaxation, lavender can help calm the mind and body almost instantly. But perhaps its most useful benefit is its ability to help treat insomnia in students. The fragrance effectively eases sleep problems and depression. Next time you’re having trouble getting your shuteye, try turning to the soothing scent for a little help.
2. Cinnamon may sharpen your mind
This sweet-smelling spice not only invokes a pleasantly warm feeling, but it can also help you feel more alert too. Researchers at Wheeling Jesuit University, US, linked smelling cinnamon with improved visual motor response, attention span, and working memory.
3. Pine alleviates stress
There’s more reason to use your pine Christmas tree even after the holidays. A pine scent can decrease your anxiety according to research. In one Japanese study, participants who went on a walk through pine forests reported significantly lower depression and stress levels. The research also discovered that anxious subjects had a greater feeling of relaxation after indulging in the scent.
4. Fresh-cut grass may make you more joyful
You may think mowing the lawn is an annoying, menial task, but the fresh scent the chore yields may be making you happier. Scent researchers found that a chemical released by a newly-mowed lawn can make people feel joyful and relaxed.
The aroma may also prevent mental decline as you grow older. The smell apparently is so powerful that neuroscientists came up with a perfume and air fragrance that matches it so the lawnless can also reap the benefits of the feel-good scent—no lawn mower required.
5. Citrus can help you feel more energised
If you’re looking for a little pick-me-up, you may want to forget the cup of coffee and opt for citrus instead. Scents such as lemon and orange are not only well-known for their Vitamin C properties, but simply sniffing the fruit can help boost energy and alertness. The strong smell is definitely invigorating.
6. Vanilla can elevate your mood
The warm, delicious smell of vanilla is more than just a pleasantry for your nose. Researchers have actually found that a whiff of vanilla is quite the relaxant. In a medical experiment, cancer patients undergoing Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) reported 63 per cent less anxiety when the scent was present during the procedure.
Meanwhile, researchers who developed Mood Mapping, which ‘reliably measures the mood associations of aromas’, found that the scent of vanilla bean was able to elevate the participants’ feelings of joy and relaxation, and was overwhelmingly rated in self-reports as being ‘happy’ and ‘relaxing’.
7. Peppermint may boost concentration
Lacking focus and feeling sluggish? Peppermint may do your brain a favour. A study by Wheeling Jesuit University found that smelling peppermint could be linked to greater cognitive stamina, motivation and overall performance.
Known for invigorating the mind, it has even been used as an aid for students when taking tests. There is also a small bit of research to suggest that the menthol scent in peppermint even tricks the brain into thinking that it alleviates stuffy nasal passages—just the thing you need when you’re feeling a little under the weather.
8. Jasmine may ease depression
When you’re feeling a little down, the subtle, floral fragrance of jasmine is the trick to help with depressive thoughts. A 2010 study found that not only does the smell of jasmine create a sense of alertness, it can also serve as a way to help with depressive thoughts. Pretty powerful for a tiny flower.
9. Apples may mitigate a migraine
You know what they say, an apple a day keeps the doctor away — and that may be more true when it comes to headaches. Research has suggested that the smell of the crisp fruit may actually help ease a migraine. One 2008 study showed that those who found the scent appealing had a noticeable reduction in headache symptoms as well as shortened migraine episodes.
10. Eucalyptus may ease respiratory tract infections
Most liniments and vapour rubs contain eucalyptus. It is effective for treating a number of respiratory tract infections including cold, cough, running nose, sore throat, nasal congestion, bronchitis, and sinusitis.
The anti-inflammatory properties of cineole in eucalyptus essential oil help relieve asthmatic symptoms. The soothing effect of the aroma and vapours calm the throat and dilate the blood vessels, which allows more oxygen into the lungs and thus, help restore normal breathing.