Can You Still Benefit From Essential Oils, Even If You Have No Sense of Smell?
A Question I Needed Help With & The Resource That Answered It.
As a congenital anosmic, I didn’t think much of candles, perfumes and essential oils. I would avoid buying anything aromatherapy-related and shrugged every time I would take a hollow whiff of a candle during get-togethers where they were being sold. I remember thinking to myself. “I can’t even smell these things… I mean, what’s in it for me?”
Looking back, I lumped every scent-related product into a huge category that was “off-limits” to me, relating everything to the same function.
For example…candles? They’re a luxury item used for relaxing and pleasing people’s noses.
Perfumes? They’re a nice gesture, a way of smelling great and pleasing people’s noses.
Essential Oils? Another type of luxury item used to enhance the fancy environments during spa treatments and for pleasing people’s noses.
That’s all these products were good for (I programmed myself to think)! They can’t help me. I’m not buying any of this stuff. Plus, look at the bright side, Yaz…you’re saving money because these things can be expensive!
If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you’ll notice a common theme. Putting a positive spin on all my scent dilemmas growing up, helped alot. It was a way for me to deal with my anosmia. I also used jogging (still do). I love it! In fact, because of jogging, I became more and more involved in learning about my health. The only problem though? Dealing with the aches and pains of exercising. I am always hurting my ankles…It sucks…I knew taking a lot of ibuprofen wasn’t something I wanted to do so I looked for alternatives.
…So it was so weird and a bit confusing for me when I started noticing more and more websites recommending essential oils as pain alternatives. I would glance at the titles and go what? Do you sniff them and the pain goes away? I thought these things were only for spas? Hadn’t I lumped them with candles and perfumes? I had but maybe they had a second function I wasn’t aware of.
I was intrigued.
I purchased a set and sniffed the oils a couple of times. Nope. Can’t smell them. Why did I even buy these? I stashed them away and that was that.
So had I purchased my essential oils set in vain? If I can’t smell, my nose surely can’t pick up on any of the special power these oils have, so what’s the point? They probably won’t work on me the way they do for people who can smell…Or wait a minute. You learn by questioning.
Was it possible for essential oils to work on me even without a sense of smell?
My question isn’t geared towards the aromatherapy aspect, but the physical one (for example, for inflammation, aiding in tense muscles, and antibacterial effects to be more specific). The question lived and didn’t pay rent in the back of my mind. I meant to research it but, most of the essential oil websites I visited before never discussed or even mentioned if they worked for anosmics. Sigh, I guess I would never know.
[Enter my super helpful Designated Nose, Certified Aromatherapist and Fragrance Industry Expert, Frauke Galia.]
The world works in mysterious ways and meeting Frauke has been such a godsend. Frauke and I connected recently because she wanted to learn more about my experience growing up without a sense of smell (she also interviewed me btw, and you can find the link to her post here).
She of course, has an excellent website: Falkaromatherapy.com that is all about aromatherapy and essential oils. So YOU BET I knew I could turn to her to find out about essential oils and anosmia.
Frauke, I learned, has an entire blog post adressing this question! I was ecstatic! And on her post titled, “Will Essential Oils Work If You Can’t Smell,” she provides a clear-cut answer:
“Yes. Essential oils can work even if you don’t have a sense of smell. Whether you use them by inhaling them or applying them on the skin, in both cases there is increasing scientific evidence that certain chemicals in the essential oils can have a physiological effect that can support you. .”
So, let’s just pause for a minute. First of all, even knowing there’s an answer is good news, and then finding out that the answer has potential, is EXCELLENT NEWS!
Even as anosmics, it is possible we can physically benefit from essential oils if we choose to use them. Now, the psychological effects remain unknown…but the physiological effects are being tested more and more.
What I was mostly surprised to learn was that there are TWO ways essential oils are processed by our bodies. You can either inhale them (by way of a personal inhaler or room diffuser) with the oil molecules traveling through our nose, into our lungs and carried onwards by our bloodstream AND the second method, via our skin (which is a slower, time released application method btw). This for me, was MIND BLOWING.
It never occurred to me that I could apply the oil on my skin…(never directly on the skin FYI. Make sure to use a carrier oil such as jojoba oil or coconut). Also, it’s important to learn with the guide of a specialized essential oils rep.
Clearly, I was misinformed about essential oils and I had never taken the time to fully understand how they work. Of course, there’s always room to learn more but I’m so happy to know this now.
What do you think? Will you start learning how to use essential oils now that you know they have potential to physically benefit you as someone who can’t smell? Let me know! And if you do, I would highly recommend visiting falkaromatherapy.com for more info.
The Girl Who Can’t Smell
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