It’s true what they say: your nose knows. Neuroscientists have found that the human sense of smell is 10,000 times more precise than our sense of taste. In fact, people are capable of singling out thousands of odors. Some aromas have more of a profound effect on our memory, mood, and overall health! Here are a few of those Super Smells, which we read about in Prevention magazine.
- First, if you want to relax: Sniff some citrus. Researchers found that the aroma of oranges helped people feel less anxious and more positive. So if you find yourself constantly stressed at work, sprinkle a few drops of orange oil on a light bulb to diffuse the scent or peel an orange.
- Next, to improve your memory: Sniff some rosemary. A study by the University of Northumbria – in the U.K. – found that the scent of rosemary helped college students feel more alert, and perform better on memory tests. So put a rosemary plant on your windowsill. Then pluck a sprig and inhale the aroma whenever you sit down to study, or memorize a new manual for work.
- If you want to reduce pain, try: Lavender. Doctors at the New York University Medical Center exposed patients undergoing major surgery to lavender oil, and those patients needed 44% percent LESS anesthesia during the surgery, along with fewer painkillers afterward. In fact, lavender is relaxing enough that a few drops on your pillow can help you fall asleep faster! Why? Because it increases deep, slow-wave sleep, which helps people who suffer from mild insomnia.
- Finally, if you want to lose weight: Take the time to smell your food! Dr. Alan Hirsch runs the Smell & Taste Research Foundation in Chicago. He found that certain intense aromas – like Parmesan cheese – trigger your brain to feel full, faster. He calls this phenomenon “smell satiety.” In a recent study, overweight people who ate food sprinkled with intensely scented crystals lost an average of 30 pounds over 6 months! You can achieve the same effect at home simply by savoring the aroma of every bite before you put it in your mouth!