People say they are major “foodies” but have you ever heard someone say they were a major “smelly”? Well, I know it wounds weird, but our sense of smell is 10,000 times more accurate than our sense of taste.
Your most basic behaviors—like feeding, fighting, even addiction and sexual pleasure—are triggered by certain smells. Smells have a lot of power over you. But don’t feel helpless, you can use the power of smell to your advantage. If you know where to look (or what to smell) you can lower your stress levels, improve brain function and physical performance, relieve pain, end insomnia, and lose weight.
Take a whiff of these advantageous aromas.
Curb Your Appetite
Scent: Your Favorite Scent
I know this one is vague, but it really can be whatever you like. Smelling a fragrance you love can help kill your cravings. In one study, participants given banana, peppermint or green apple to sniff when hungry lost more weight than those who did not sniff during a snack attack.
Scent: Orange or Lavendar
In one study, scientists sent the smells of lavender and orange into a room. Participants felt less anxious and more positive after being exposed to the smells than those who were provided no fragrance.
If your Grandmother grows an herb garden her memory might last a bit longer. In one study, 48 college students were exposed to rosemary oil before an exam and out-performed the control group who just smelled their books, or the cafeteria…or whatever college students normally smell.
Scent: Lavender or Peppermint
How would you like your anesthesiologist to come in with a bouquet of lavender before your surgery? Not such a bad idea, actually. At the New York Medical Center, patients undergoing gastric bypass surgery had lavender oil applied to their anesthesiology mask. These patients required less morphine than the patients with the plain old anesthesia. Peppermint has some pain-relieving properties too. Next time you have a headache, sprinkle a little lavender or peppermint oil in a handkerchief and sniff.
Manage Menstrual Cramps
Scent: Essential Oils
One group of lucky ladies in Korea got a 15 minute abdominal massage every day for a week. Why? Researchers were studying the effects of the essential oils used in the massage on menstrual cramps. The women reported having half the pain they usually experienced from menstrual cramps.
Get the remedy: mix 2 drops of lavender oil, 1 drop of clary sage oil, and 1 drop of rose oil to an almond oil base and massage your abdomen with this every day for a week before your period.
Liven Your Libido
Scent: Baby Powder
For some, anything that reminds them of babies will deter them from a session in the sack. But they may not be able to resist once they get a whiff of baby powder…This sweet smelling stuff, along with cucumber, licorice, pumpkin pie and lavender have shown to increase vaginal blood flow. Rub yourself in baby powder before your next date, or try offering the guy some pumpkin pie…
Turning Back The Clock
Scent: Pink Grapefruit
Participants in a study who viewed photographs of models after having sniffed pink grapefruit perceived the models to be 3 years younger than their actual age. Did you just decide on the scent of your next perfume?
Energize For A Workout
Some athletes use peppermint inhalers and Reebok created a sports bra that smelled of peppermint. What’s with these weird trends? One study found that college basketball players who sniffed peppermint vapors before a game had more energy, confidence, speed and motivation.
Get the performance-enhancing Peak Performance Sports Inhaler with peppermint vapors for $10. Or, for a simpler solution, carry a candy cane in your sports bag!
For Better Sleep
The Swedes aren’t crazy for producing bundles of those tiny lavender filled baggies. This flower has been shown to increase slow-wave sleep—the deepest kind—and treat insomnia.
Spray a little lavender essence around your bed before going to sleep.