By Laurel House
Some people consider themselves to be major "foodies." But have you ever heard someone say they are major "smellys?" May sound strange, but your sense of smell makes up about 70% of your experience of food. That's because the sense of smell is 10,000 times more accurate than the sense of taste.
Beyond enjoying your meals, your most basic behaviors-like feeding, fighting, even addiction and sexual pleasure-are triggered by certain smells. Smells have a lot of power over you. But don't feel helpless, you can use the power of smell to your advantage. If you know where to look (or what to smell) you can lower your stress levels, improve brain function and physical performance, relieve pain, even appear 6 years younger!
Take a whiff of these advantageous aromas.
Enliven Your Libido
Scent: Black Licorice
Next time you are in the mood to get randy, ask your guy to bring over some candy! A study conducted by Alan R. Hirsch, neurological director, Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, revealed that women who were exposed to the scent of black licorice reported a 13 percent increase the blood flow to the nether regions compared to a 1 percent reduction from the scent of men's cologne!
Energize Your Exercise
From treadmill with peppermint diffusing fans to athletes who use peppermint inhalers, even a sports bra designed by Reebok that smells of peppermint, clearly there is something to this refreshing scent! What's with these weird trends? One study found that college basketball players who sniffed peppermint vapors before a game had more energy, confidence, speed and motivation.
Maybe it's time you carry a candy cane in your sports bag!
Curb Your Appetite and Lose Weight
Scent: Your Favorite Scent
I know this one is vague, but it really can be whatever you like. Smelling a fragrance you love can help kill your cravings. And what happens when you don't give into how calorie cravings? You can lose weight. In one study, participants were given a banana, peppermint or green apple to sniff anything when hungry lost more weight than those who did not sniff during a snack attack. Take it one step further and create an entire scenario around that scent- smell that coconut, picture yourself on an island, sipping a fruity cocktail, feeling the gentle breeze from the palm trees… creating an entire experience in your mind has been proven to be even more effective at nipping those unnecessary cravings in the bud.
Scent: Pink Grapefruit
From age-defying hair styles to skinny jeans and wrinkle serums, there are tons of tricks out there that promise to instantly peel years off your looks- no exercise or plastic surgery required. But there's one trick that really does make you appear younger- even standing stark naked without any makeup; and that's grapefruit. A study conducted by the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago found that the scent of the pucker-provoking fruit can actually trick the male brain into believing that the women around them are six years younger than their actual age. Oh, and it can actually help you lose weight too (not just in his imagination). Here's how
Scent: Orange or Lavender
In one study, scientists sent the scents of lavender and orange into a room. Participants felt less anxious and more positive after being exposed to the smells than those who were provided no fragrance. Lavender is also a proven sedative, helping calm the mind and ease you into sleep.
If your grandmother grows an herb garden, her memory might last a bit longer. In one study, 48 college students were exposed to rosemary oil before an exam and out-performed the control group who just smelled their books, or the cafeteria…or whatever college students normally smell.
Scent: Lavender or Peppermint
How would you like your anesthesiologist to come in with a bouquet of lavender before your surgery? Not such a bad idea, actually. At the New York Medical Center, patients undergoing gastric bypass surgery had lavender oil applied to their anesthesiology mask. These patients required less morphine than the patients with the plain old anesthesia. Peppermint has some pain-relieving properties too. Next time you have a headache, sprinkle a little lavender or peppermint oil in a handkerchief and sniff.Smelling is believing!