Apparently the part of our brain that controls our sense of smell is linked to the part of our brain that controls memory and emotion. That is why when we get a whiff of certain scents we often have vivid memories of places or people from our past. For instance, the smell of bread baking or certain spices like cinnamon, can evoke pleasant childhood memories, or a certain cologne or perfume may remind us of a first love who used to wear that scent.
What is even more interesting is that certain smells can actually be used to make us feel more alert, help us relax or improve our memory. In fact, a recent Harvard University study has shown that when volunteers smelled the rose scent while they were sleeping after a study session, they were able to recall the material much better than those that were not.
There is also evidence that certain scents can also affect physical performance. For an example,the smell of peppermint has been shown to increase the intensity and endurance and performance of weight lifters when they are exposed to it. This is what the the practice of aromatherapy is all about – using natural essential oils to bring about physical and emotional well being. Just think how you as a parent could use this powerful tool to help your child to retain more of the material when they study, or help them have a much more restful sleep each night. I use lavender essential oil on my son’s pillow case when he has trouble sleeping 🙂
Donna Chisholm knows all about aromatherapy and has written a wonderful book “The Smelly Little Oil Company” to teach your child the benefits of this “alternative practice” – presented in a colourful and beautifully illustrated fashion. Donna uses delightful ‘oil characters’, such as Lozzie Lavender or Penny Peppermint to explain the therapeutic uses for each of the oils, while stressing that none of these oils should be used without adult supervision. You can also purchase this book from amazon.com.
We at KidsGoals think it would make a lovely gift for children 10+.