Imagine the most important person in your life. The person you want to spend the most time with. The person you care for most in the world. Does the smell of their laundry detergent on their clothes remind you of all the fond memories you have together? Can you remember what their shampoo smells like? Why?
Why do smells trigger memories and emotions? Why does the smell of pot-roast remind you of Sunday night dinner at your parent’s house? How does the smell of hot dogs and burgers link to the memory of the perfect summer barbecue you hosted at your new place?
The human sense of smell is much more influential in the brain than it is normally given credit for. The reason that certain aromas trigger memories and emotions is the unique impact they can have on the mind of a person. While there are many scents that attach themselves to memories or feelings that are based on an individual’s personal experiences, there are some scents that have been shown to have a fairly similar effect in a wide range of people’s health. A good example of this is peppermint. Peppermint has an awakening and focusing effect on many people. Thus, it is recommended to use in the morning, during times of intense focus, and when the mind needs a mental cleanse.
Another good example is lavender. Lavender is a calming, soothing scent that tends to relax the mind and body. Many people use this scent to help them fall asleep or ease the mind during stress and anxiety.
These scents that consistently serve the same purpose with the majority of people are used in what’s called aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is the practice of utilizing essential oils and other aromatic compounds to foster mental and physical health. What’s truly amazing about aromatherapy is the multitude of ways that it can help people in so many different ways.
A great example of this is the popular essential oil diffusers. Essential oils in different scents and combinations have been shown to improve mood, help with sleep, fight bacteria, treat migraines, ease digestion, and even relax sore joints and muscles. Because of these properties, people love to diffuse the oils in rooms that they spend a lot of time in thus utilizing the benefits by breathing it in.
Another great way to incorporate aromatherapy into your routine is through the everyday scented products that you use! As aromatherapy gains popularity and recognition, more and more brands are incorporating the ingredients and scents associated with aromatherapy success.
One product that is incredibly easy to use as an aromatherapy tool is your soap! When you shower, you’re in a more confined space with a lot of steam that acts as a powerful scent carrier. That’s why your body wash, shampoo, and other scented products have such a powerful aroma in the bathroom after someone showers with them! Just as the scent of your products wafting through your bathroom after a good bath or shower is so powerful, switching your ordinary soap to an aromatherapy can have a strong effect on both your mental and physical health!
So what scents should you choose when browsing through different soaps? This all depends on your intended goals. Not only do the scents provide certain qualities, but the actual application on your skin can have an impact as well!
According to your desired benefits, you’ll want to target your scents towards ones that have been shown to provide relief in those areas. Here’s a small guide to help you get started!
Although it’s not comprehensive, it will provide you with a little bit of guidance as you enter the world of aromatherapy! Keep in mind that a lot of scents have more than one use!
1. For Anxiety and Depression:
Anxiety is a common feeling that many people struggle with, as is depression. Thus, the scents associated with calming the mind and easing anxiety are fairly easy to find! Lavender is probably the most popular as its pleasing aroma is very relaxing to the mind, the muscles, and the joints. Another great one is chamomile! Although chamomile’s scent isn’t very strong, using it as a soap on your skin is very calming. Jasmine, basil, and rose are all great choices as well! Each person finds differing levels of relief through different scents, so try a few!
2. For Headaches and Migraines:
Headaches and migraines are extremely painful, and people who suffer from them have found several reliable ways to prevent and alleviate them. Although nothing replaces medication based on the individual’s needs, aromatherapy is a great way to naturally promote wellness in this area! Peppermint is great for clearing the mind and relieving headaches and migraines. Eucalyptus is awesome as well and so is rosemary! Using a soap featuring these scents can help prevent headaches and migraines while also leaving your bathroom smelling super clean! Use the soap all over, and if safe, use on the temples of your head to utilize both the aroma and the contact benefits!
3. For Digestion:
With the multitude of food choices available to us every day, it’s no surprise that many people struggle with digestive issues. Aromatherapy can help! Cinnamon, ginger, basil, lemongrass, and basil can all be used to help ease digestion. The smell can calm your stomach if any of it is emotion related and focusing the soap on your abdomen will allow the oils to work their magic through the skin!
4. For Sore Joints:
Sore joints are usually the result of inflammation around the area. This means that if we can get the inflammation to go down, we can help reduce the pain. Soap is an amazing way to utilize aromatherapy for this purpose as it allows for direct contact to the skin in a form that doesn’t leave oily residue behind. Ginger, eucalyptus, frankincense, and even basil are known to help reduce inflammation and joint pain!
5. To Boost Immunity and Fight Germs:
One of the best properties about essential oils used in soaps for aromatherapy is the general wellness they promote through boosting the user’s immunity. Simply letting these oils waft through the air of your bathroom and house will help battle any germs that might be waiting for you! Lemon especially is great for this purpose. It has many natural antibacterial properties. That’s why it’s used so commonly in household cleaners!
Another awesome one is tee-tree oil! It is antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral so it will clean your skin and help you stay healthy! Peppermint is a great anti-germ scent as are rosemary, oregano, and eucalyptus! There are many ways to practice aromatherapy, but using an aromatherapy based soap is a wonderful and easy way to incorporate it into your daily routine while gaining the scent based benefits and the direct contact benefits as well! Additionally, handmade soap is so much better for your skin than typical store-bought soap as most handcrafters use more natural ingredients that aren’t harmful!
Whether you’re a morning shower person, a night shower person, both, or even a bath person, soap that incorporates aromatherapy ingredients will be a great addition to your routine and a lovely way to take care of yourself through promoting your mental and physical well-being.