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Natural Awakenings

Good Scents for Winter Blues: Aromatherapy for the Spirit

Feb 01, 2008 03:00AM

When cold and dark run deep, remember that aromatherapy offers a fragrant pharmacy of natural scents able to temporarily lift mood and spirit. Though not claiming to provide a miracle cure for deep-seated emotional issues, various cultures throughout the world have for centuries prized the concentrated essences of certain flowers, fruits, herbs and trees for their gentle healing powers.

Because the naturally occurring chemicals in pure essential oils work directly with the brain they can act as positive triggers to both uplift mood and ease feelings of depression and anxiety. The scent of sweet orange, for instance, is used to balance emotions and bring about a positive outlook. Lemon and tangerine refresh and stimulate. The oils of geranium and bergamot help alleviate stress. Lavender and sandalwood have a soothing, calming quality.

Essential oils may be applied alone or in custom blends depending on personal preference and desired effect. Commonly used in diffusers to scent a room, they also may be added to unscented massage oils applied to the skin. To learn more consult with a local aromatherapist.

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