Aromatherapy & Overcoming Trauma

“The emotional trauma from accidents, death of loved ones, assault, abuse, etc., can implant its devastation deep within the hidden recesses of the mind, causing life-long problems that seem endless. Being able to release such burdens can bring about a new “lease on life” with a return to motivation and vitality.”Essential Oils Desk Reference, Sixth Edition, © 2014

Consider that a pure therapeutic grade essential oil knowledgeably distilled from properly cultivated aromatic plants, contains unique and complex constituents that facilitate each of the top self-care practices (sleep, nourishment, exercise, breathing, grieving, relaxation, and focus) to assist in overcoming the effects of trauma in it’s many and varied forms.

“An essential oil of a single plant species typically contains 100 to 400 different chemical compounds”, writes Dr. David Steward, Ph.D., D.N.M. in his brilliant book on the chemistry of essential oils. “Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) is [a] good example of a thoroughly studied, thoroughly analyzed oil whose constituents have yet to be all discovered…There are over 200 known compounds identified so far and scientists expect that this is only half of the constituents present in Lavender.”1

Q. How are pure therapeutic grade essential oils distilled from aromatic plants, able to impact the emotional brain through olfaction (our sense of smell) and act as clearers of emotional baggage, uplift, improve mood, and lower depression?

A. Because of the active chemical constituents found naturally therein, and the way our noses are wired into the brain.

Did you know that we do not actually smell with our noses, but rather, with our brain?


We “smell” with our olfactory system – the nerves that connect directly to the amygdala, the “diencephalon” – or Limbic System. It involves several organs, including the thalamus, hypothalamus, pineal gland, and pituitary gland, all known as the central brain or “emotional brain” and includes not only neural cortex, but endocrine glands as well. It functions, therefore, both electrically and chemically via hormones. (Not surprising to learn that the emotional brain secretes hormones, while the intellectual brain does not).

The Limbic system is the storage center for our feelings and emotional experiences. This part of our brain cannot be communicated to with spoken or written language. Because it responds only to smell, therapeutic grade essential oils provide a powerful means to contact this non-verbal portion of our brains.

Commenting on how the emotional brain works, Dr. David Stewart, Ph.D., D.N.M., writes, “Think of the central brain as a librarian that files and catalogues our emotional memories. Our body is the library. Whenever we experience an emotion, the central brain takes it and files it somewhere in  your body. It could be in your heart, your intestines, your lungs, a specific joint or muscle, or some organ like the liver or kidneys. In order to recall and access that memory, the emotional brain (the librarian) has to locate it in its card index and call it up from wherever it has been stacked in your body. It can then pass it on to the frontal lobes of your brain where it can be consciously recalled, revitalized, re-experienced, and/or articulated.”2

Specific molecular constituents in therapeutic grade essential oils, because of their infinitesimally small size, have the ability not only to cross the blood-brain barrier, but also to stimulate this center of emotions, uplifting, relieving, and releasing deep buried emotion and grief, improving mental awareness, depression, and attitude.

These active molecules are in three classes of oxygenated hydrocarbons, including terpenes, phenols and phenylpropanoids.
The molecular chemistry of properly distilled Frankincense essential oil, for example, includes up to 82% Monoterpenes, a most important group of oxygenated hydrocarbons found in essential oils, thought to restore or awaken the correct information in the cell’s memory (DNA). Other essential oils high in Monoterpenes include those properly distilled from Citrus peel (Lemon / Orange / Grapefruit / Bergamot), Cypress, Black Pepper, Lavender, Rosemary, Juniper, Ravintsara, and Fir. 3  In terms of the aromatherapeutic properties of essential oils Monoterpenes tend to be analgesic, antiseptic, decongestant, and to act as driver oils amplifying the effects of a previously applied oil.4
Myrrh, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Vetiver, and Ylang Ylang essential oils, when properly harvested, distilled, and bottled, are high in Sesquiterpenes, another group of infinitesimally small oxygenated hydrocarbon molecules, thought to actually delete or erase the bad, miswritten information from cellular memory (DNA), or unscramble it so cells can function normally. Aromatherapeutic properties of Sesquiterpenes include being analgesic, sedative, anti-anxiety, and antidepressant.5
Therapeutic grade essential oils also contain purgative Phenolic compounds. Phenols and phenylpropanoids have a purifying effect cleaning the Receptor Sites at the cellular level, and are thought to be the initiators of healing processes. Full of energy and very stimulating, Phenols have a purifying effect at the cellular level, cleaning cellular receptor sites, and clearing the way for the many other types of healing compounds in the oils to carry out their divinely designated assignments. Clove bud essential oil contains 67% Phenolic compounds, not to mention it’s incredibly high Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity rating. Other therapeutic grade essential oils high in Phenolic compounds include Cinnamon, Thyme, Tarragon, Basil, Fennel, and Oregano.

In a November 2011 in the Yale Scientific Magazine, Cynthia Deng explains how essential oil molecules stimulate olfactory receptors and are linked to specific memories…

“Olfactory sensory neurons carry the signals from the receptors to the olfactory bulb, which filters and begins processing the input signals of the [essential oil]. Mitral cells then carry the output signals from the olfactory bulb to the olfactory cortex, which allows you to perceive and recognize the [scent of that specific aromatic]…Interestingly, the mitral cells do not only lead to the olfactory cortex, they also carry the signals from the [essential oil] to other areas in the brain’s limbic system. Some mitral cells connect directly to the amygdala, the brain structure involved in emotional learning and memory. Indeed, the olfactory system is the only sensory system that involves the amygdala and the limbic system in its primary processing pathway. This link explains why smells are often linked to specific memories.”6

In an August 2016 article posted on ‘Aces Too High News’, science reporter Donna Jackson Nakazawa asks another century-old Question….
Q. “…Shouldn’t physicians consider the whole patient – body and mind – so that they can suggest [behavioural] health tools that will alleviate both the root causes and the symptoms of disease?”7
Research begun in 1996 and over 1500 peer-reviewed studies since, have replicated the same findings…that women who faced three types of childhood adversity had a 60% greater risk of being hospitalized with an auto-immune disease as an adult.
Similar links exist between childhood stressors and adult heart disease, diabetes, migraines, irritable bowel disease, cancer, and depression.
Nakazawa writes, “All disease is multifactorial. Past trauma is one of those factors. I can’t help but think of how my own story might have been different if the medical community had been trauma-aware…and had offered therapeutic interventions.”8
A. Unadulterated therapeutic grade essential oils provide an answer to how we might be able to help ourselves to better health and to non-medically offload deep burried emotional experience, trauma, and grief.


See contact below for information on how you can learn more about, and access pure therapeutic grade essential oils such as those mentioned within this article.

1. The Chemistry of Essential Oils Made Simple, David Stewart, PH.D., D.N.M. ©2015, Care Publications
2. Healing Oils of the Bible, David Stewart, Ph.D., D.N.M. ©2015
3. Essential Oils Desk Reference, Sixth Edition, © 2014, Life Science Publishing. p.78
4.5. The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness, Nerys Purchon and Lora Cantele. ©2014. Robert Rose Inc.
7.8. Adverse Childhood Experiences News website
Essential Oils in Colour, Caddy Classic Profiles, Rosemary Caddy BSc Hons ARCS MISPA, ©1997 Amberwood Publishing.
Optimize Your Mind, Master Your Emotions – Effective Natural Solutions for Stress, Anxiety, Depression and Mental Fatigue. School Of Nature’s Remedies, ©2012. Life Science Publishing.

For further information on how to obtain the finest Essential Oils produced with utmost purity contact Ounces Of Prevention at:

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