How To Restore The Loss Of Smell With Essential Oils
The loss of smell, also known as anosmia, can be devastating and is caused by a variety of factors, ranging from acute medical conditions to more long-term health issues related to a cold or flu. To improve the sense of smell, inhaling essential oils may be beneficial. Studies have shown that the olfactory nerves responsible for smell can be stimulated through aromatherapy, making this an effective treatment for those suffering from a loss of smell. Keeping in mind, professional medical advice should be sought before beginning any treatment.
In this article, we will learn about how the sense of smell works, a personal story regarding my own experience with anosmia, and three powerful, specific breathing techniques that may help support respiratory health.
In order to understand how anosmia occurs, it's vital to understand how the sense of smell works. The olfactory system is made up of several parts that work together to detect odors: the olfactory cells, the olfactory nerve, and the olfactory bulb. When a smell is detected, these components work together to send a signal to the brain, which is then interpreted as a particular smell. Anosmia generally goes away on its own depending on the severity of the condition. But, in the meantime, we can use natural alternatives such as essential oils to help ease symptoms.
As a clinical aromatherapist, I had always relied on my keen sense of smell to help me formulate products, detect rancidity in essential oils, and to simply appreciate the small things in life. Then, one day when I was battling a respiratory infection, I noticed that I had lost my sense of smell. I couldn't pick up any distinct scents and everything seemed dull and muted. I was concerned. I felt like I had lost a part of myself, my superpower that I have trained for over ten years. My sense of smell was vital to my wellbeing.
For the next three to four days, I was unable to smell or taste anything. I tried smelling strong aromas like clove or cinnamon, and eating pungent flavors like garlic and onions, but still nothing. Then, something miraculous happened. Through my clinical aromatherapy studies, I learned breathing techniques, that I will teach you, that helped me regain my sense of smell. It was as if my senses were slowly and gradually awakening. I was ecstatic to be able to smell and taste again. This life-changing experience humbled me to never take my sense of smell for granted. I'm grateful for the therapeutic power of essential oils, which helped me recover quickly.
If you are suffering from the loss of smell, please speak with a medical professional before incorporating any of these specific breathing techniques. It is important to understand the underlying cause of your condition before using immune-stimulating essential oils.
A few essential oils I highly recommend for respiratory health includes lemon, basil, peppermint, rosemary, cypress, and fir.
- Alternate nostril rotation.
Hold the left nostril while breathing in an essential oil through the right nostril then visa versa. Hold the right nostril while breathing in from the left nostril constantly rotating between the two sides for several breaths.
- Cup hands over the nose and mouth.
Add 1-2 drops of a single essential oil to the palms of hands and rub together to evenly distribute oil. Cup hands over nose and mouth, while being mindful not to touch the face with any undiluted oil, and breathe.
- Isolated steam inhalation.
In a large bowl, add hot water and 3-4 drops of essential oils. Place a towel over your head and lean over the bowl. Inhale the steam for 5-10 minutes, taking breaks between deep breaths.