Monday, March 10, 2014

Olfactotherapy: Fortification of Memory through Smelling Sense

The smelling sense is the most mysterious and exclusive among the five senses of our body. Our smelling sense is linked with emotions and memory. If you look through the pages of history you would find many people addicted to smelling a particular essential oil or perfume. Napoleon was addicted to Eau de cologne. Olfactotherapy or aromatherapy is mainly used to recover the memory of patients who have suffered neurological trauma. Various essences (essential oils) and/or scents/fragrances are used in olfactotherapy. The olfactotherapy is said to be evolved and practiced in France in 19th century, however first Osmotheque (Repository of Scents) was founded in 1990 in France.

Olfactory system of our body is directly linked to central nervous system. The central nervous system develops very early in our fetal life. The neuronal groove is the very first groove that appears on the embryo. The stimuli of smell are brought to olfactory lobes of our brain by the olfactory cilia (miniscule hairs in our nasal cavity). The stimuli of smell are interpreted as sensations of fragrance by experience and recorded in the memory. An average person can recognize at the most 100 fragrances/aromas/scents/odors whereas a trained "Nose" (perfume maker) is capable of recognizing several thousand fragrances/aromas/scents/odors.

 The scents or fragrances used in olfactotherapy or aromatherapy are developed from more than 300 natural and synthetic essences/fragrances. New and old formulae of perfumes are archived at Osmotheque in France. There are very experienced Osmocurators at Osmotheque for creating and preserving perfumes. All perfumes/scents are preserved at 20oC under argon gas to avoid evaporation.

The olfactotherapy acts through limbic system of our brain which controls emotions and memory. It has proved to be effective in reviving the lost memory in patients with neurological trauma. It is also effective in retarding the ageing process of our body and modifying mood & attitude. The fully functional smelling sense is a sign of good health.

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