Therapeutic-grade essential oils affect the brain in positive ways. The brain is protected by a membrane called the blood-brain barrier, which separates it from the blood circulating around the brain. This barrier blocks damaging substances from getting to the brain and into the cerebrospinal fluid. The American Medical Association did some research on whether or not positive agents could cross the barrier to help treat certain diseases and degenerative conditions that affect the brain. They discovered that sesquiterpenes, found in some essential oils, had the ability to go beyond the blood-brain barrier. These sesquiterpenes increased oxygen in the brain, which in turn increased antibodies, endorphins, and neurotransmitters.
The easiest way to to put oils in the air for inhalation is with an aromatic diffuser. Cold-air diffusers work best because they do not alter the chemical makeup of the oil. The cold air breaks the oils up into an oxygenated microfine mist that improves the quality of the air. When diffused, essential oils reduce airborne bacteria, fungus, mold, and chemicals.
Depending on the mood you want to create or the health issue you want to address, there are endless essential oil blends to use with your diffuser.
Here are some tips for choosing which oils to diffuse:
- Oils like lavender, geranium, and chamomile are helpful if you have trouble sleeping.
- If you need an energy boost, try rosemary, juniper, nutmeg, balsam fir, lemongrass, and clove.
- For clarity, diffuse basil, peppermint, ylang ylang, bergamot, and jasmine.
- If you need a little harmony in your life, try lavender, sandalwood, orange, rosewood, lemon, and frankincense.
- To give your immune system a boost, use hyssop, citrus, oregano, clove, cumin, and tansy.
Source: Reference Guide for Essential Oils, 2017 Edition, pp. 11, 27, 639–42.