Essential Oils & Neurotransmitters – How The Former Trigger Our Brains To Release Serotonin And Dopamine

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Essential oils for aromatherapy has been used for centuries and there are claims that they do a lot of things. Across the years, essential oils have been claimed to be a cure for a number of ailments, and while some claims are unfounded, the benefits of essential oils in helping against certain mental health issues have been studied and verified scientifically quite a few times. Essential oils carry anxiety, stress, and pain relief properties, and have been shown to help against depression, insomnia, and a myriad of similar problems. The question, however, is how do they work? To answer that, let’s first look at neurotransmitters.

Dopamine and Serotonin – Brain Chemicals

You’ve probably heard of dopamine and serotonin before. They’re both neurotransmitters, which are certain molecules that are released from neurons, and help regulate certain bodily functions. They are often dubbed as the happy hormones because of the effect they have on the body, especially on mental health. These two neurotransmitters together play a huge role in many vital body processes.

·       Dopamine – Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays an integral role in the reward centre of a brain, which regulate processes that help with motivation, desire, and cravings. It also plays a role in important processes like movement, sleep, arousal, memory, attention, and cognition, among others. The reason why it is known as a feel-good hormone is because it gives people a sense of pleasure, which also helps with motivation.

·       Serotonin – Serotonin also plays similar roles in your body, and plays a part is many important functions as well. Serotonin helps regulate mood and plays a vital part in digestion as well. Lack of serotonin is believed to play a vital role in the development of depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions.

How do neurotransmitters work?

To understand how essential oils help with relief from mental health issues, it is important to understand how neurotransmitters work. Don’t worry, we won’t go into the hard science of it. Neurons don’t directly touch each other. Rather, there is a small gap between them, called a synapse. Neurotransmitters are released from the cells into this synapse. These neurotransmitters can then travel to a cell receptor, which can be another neuron, but can also be other cells and tissues. The neurotransmitters then binds to the receptors, which in turn triggers reactions to carry the signal further.

How do essential oils trigger dopamine and serotonin release?

Medicines that are meant to trigger the release of these neurotransmitters work by binding to the cell receptors, essential interfering with the way these messages are sent or received by the brain or mimicking the actions of neurotransmitters. Essential oils work through the olfactory system. By inhaling essential oils, the brain can be stimulated to exert neurotransmitters, including dopamine and serotonin. These are what helps regulate mood, lowers stress and anxiety, and can help with depression, insomnia, and other mental health issues. Essential oils are often more effective for such cases because their molecules are able to traverse the blood-brain barrier quite effectively, allowing for faster relief compared to traditional pharmaceutical medicines.

Essential oils for dopamine and serotonin boost.

·       Lemon – Lemon essential oil is great for anxiety and stress release as it boosts both dopamine and serotonin.

·       Lavender – Lavender essential oils have a chemical structure which allows it to balance serotonin in the body. This can be great for mood balancing, promoting happiness, and regulating appetite and sleep.

·       Clary Sage – Clary Sage is an age-old solution for boosting the pleasure hormones in the body. It can work as an antidepressant, and helps reduce stress and anxiety by elevating the serotonin levels in the body.

In Conclusion

Mental fatigue is a very common problem in most working adults, and certain essential oils can be a wonderful natural way of improving mental health. By balancing dopamine and serotonin levels in the body, essential oils can help regulate mood, help reduce stress and anxiety, help promote better sleep cycles, fight against depression, and just help create a positive atmosphere. 

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