Your olfactory receptors are 10,000 times more accurate than your next keenest sense, taste. While the nose is designed to sniff out danger, recent research also suggests a relationship between your odor radar and overall well-being. Certain aromas may actually affect stress levels, sleep patterns, pain management, and mental performance.
Get a whiff of these fragrances to bolster your mood… and health:
Lemon oil. Not only did study subjects report feeling a burst of optimism, but their blood levels showed increases in the energy-boosting hormone norepinephrine after inhaling the citrusy scent. Smell a slice of invigorating lemon to kick-start your day.
Rosemary. A staple in Mediterranean cuisine, this robust herb may sharpen your wits. A UK study found that sniffing rosemary oil gave college students a cognitive edge. Keep a plant near your desk so you can reap the mentally stimulating effects.
Lavender. Well known as a calming essential oil, this plant’s scent may also ease pain. Studies show lavender lessens discomfort associated with headaches and menstrual cramps, while another found patients required less post-operative morphine when lavender was added to their anesthesiology preparations. Spray a mist over your pillows for a more restful night’s sleep.