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Why do certain scents remind us of holidays and special events?

If you're like me, one sniff of pumpkin pie, stuffing or turkey and you're back in your grandmother's kitchen on Thanksgiving Day. What is it about smells that can trigger memories so strong and real it feels like you've been transported back in time?   

Blame it on your scent memory. Just like muscle memory, we can develop scent memory. When you smell something, chemicals (good chemicals) go into your nasal cavity and your olfactory membrane. The olfactory membrane is very close to your limbic system, which is where you store thoughts and emotions. So, when you smell an aroma, a scent memory is created!  

Because scents can be so impactful, they can be used to help heal you. Clinical aromatherapy is a part of integrative medicine that involves the use of essential oils to promote health and well-being. It can be used to help a variety of health concerns, including:  

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Pain
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia

If you're experiencing any of these health concerns, consider trying these popular aromatherapy scents backed by research from the Penny George™ Institute for Health and Healing:   

  • Lavender: Lavender is one of the most popular stress-relieving essential oils. Inhaling its aroma can help decrease anxiety by as much as 47 percent.
  • Sweet Marjoram: The aroma of sweet marjoram is woodsy and can help reduce pain by as much as 32 percent.
  • Ginger: Inhaling ginger essential oil is helpful in reducing nausea by 50 percent. 
  • Mandarin: This is one of the many citrus essential oils that are great for energizing our bodies and minds.

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