Imagine having no sense of smell.
It's hard, because we actually use our sense of smell for much more than we realize. For example, without a sense of smell, it's impossible to taste what we're eating.
A sense of smell is necessary to enjoy ice cream...
.. or a spring morning
.. or a flower
.. or the scent of fresh baked bread.
Now, imagine going in for an operation and waking up after the anesthesia with your sense of smell gone.
And it doesn't come back.
That's exactly what happened to Birthe.
AnosmiaThere's a term for not having a sense of smell. It's called anosmia.
Although I was aware some people suffer from anosmia, I'd never really given it much thought until I met Birthe, who told me a fascinating account of how she got her sense of smell back by a rather unusual method.
She used essential oils.
"Essential oils? Must be some kind of alternative voodoo method," some might think.
It was in fact Birthe's regular doctor who recommended she use 4 specific essential oils to help restore her sense of smell.
She was instructed to open and sniff each bottle 3-6 times a day for 3 months.
This precise choice of oils represents 4 distinctly different categories.
- eucalyptus = woodsy
- lemon = citrus
- clove = spicy
- geranium = floral
Anyone with a sense of smell would be able to distinguish the difference. Not so much a person with no sense of smell.
Birthe struggled with the task she was set.
'I couldn't tell the difference from one to the other in the beginning. I had the bottles so close to my nostrils that the skin got irritated - and I still couldn't smell a thing.'
But she was determined to give this a chance, so she continued. And after a few short weeks, she began to be able to tell the difference between them.
And it just kept getting a little easier every day after that.
Today, she says her sense of smell is 'pretty much back to normal'.
Is it true?Can essential oils really help restore the sense of smell? I was fascinated by Birthes story and did a bit of digging around.
It does indeed look like it's true that essential oils can help restore the sense of smell.
Not only that, but science seems to be taking an in-depth look at the human olfactory system and what it means to have a functioning sense of smell.
Did you know certain odour compounds can even impact our skin function and influence stress levels?
This is definitely one area of research I will be following with interest. Meantime, I have a new appreciation for the many functions my nose performs on a daily basis.
Do TellDo you know anyone with anosmia? I'd love to hear about it in a comment below!
A Few of The Places I Found InfoAltered taste and smell after anestesia
Physiological effect of olfactory stimuli in humans
Essential oils and fragrance compounds in single healthcare
Assessing the impact of anosmia - Steve van Toller
Anosmia - Wikipedia
Anosmia what it is and how it impacts humans - WebMD