Scents stimulate important mental and physical functions. They trigger the release of neurotransmitters, chemicals that send signals to the brain. Here is just a taste of what scents can do for you.
You will be surprised to know how powerful scents are, and you can try some of the techniques below to put them to good use for you.
Smells Good, Feels Good
Scents Control Appetite – In a study of 105 people, those who inhaled a chocolate-like aroma whenever they felt like eating lost nearly 3 pounds in 2 weeks. Another study of over 3,000 people found that regularly sniffing banana, green apple or peppermint scents resulted in an average weight loss of 30 pounds in 6 months.
This research suggests that sniffing these scents, as well as smelling any food prior to eating it, will make your brain believe that you are eating more food, thus suppressing your appetite.
Scents Increase Energy – Research has discovered that certain scents stimulate the part of the brain that promotes wakefulness, including the following:
Jasmine, which causes an increase in the brain’s beta waves, a sign of alertness. Jasmine tea has noticeable energy-boosting abilities.
Strawberries, which cause exercisers to burn more calories, especially when coupled with buttered popcorn.
Peppermint, which works on sensory nerves and increases alertness. Peppermint candy, gum or tea is a great way of putting this one to the test.
Freshly brewed coffee, which is a great stimulant for many people, probably due to the fact that we associate the aroma with the energizing effects of caffeine.
Scents Boost Romance – It is true that both men and women alike are sexually stimulated by scents, but the scents vary for both sexes. Men love the scent of lavender or pumpkin pie, which increases blood flow to the penis by a surprising 40 percent. Men also get a rise from the smell of donuts, black licorice, vanilla and women’s perfume (any scent). Women, on the other hand, love the scent of cucumber and licorice; while scents like cherries, barbecued meat and men’s cologne tend to turn women off.
Scents Improve Memory – People who sniff floral scents remember newly learned information by 17 percent. To test this theory, try sniffing a floral odor when learning something for the first time, and then sniffing it again when you want to remember it. This exercise is known as state-dependent learning, in which the material you learn in one state will be more accessible when you replicate it in the future.
Scents Reduce Anxiety – Generally, fresh, natural scents induce calm. A surprising study discovered that confining individuals in coffin-like tubes, though initially producing great anxiety, caused the participants to calm down and relax when the tubes were infused with the smells of green apple and cucumber.
It’s believed that these scents seem to have an impact on the limbic system, the emotional center of the brain. If you anticipate an anxiety-producing situation in your near future, try washing your hair with a shampoo or wearing body lotion scented with green apple or cucumber.