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Life expresses itself through breath and odours
Everything breathes in the relative world of existence. Even plants breathe – yes, even stones.
“All which smells gives molecules into the air according to vapour pressure on the molecular level. They come to our nose by breathing. Only when we breathe we smell. We smell until the last breath of our life.” – Prof. Hatt, University Bochum / Germany
Man breathes out carbon-dioxide and breathes in oxygen. Plants breathe in carbon-dioxide and breathe out oxygen, clearing and cleaning the atmosphere nearly since the beginning of time on our planet. The breathing of plants on our “Planet Plant” 🙂 prepared the breath of all organic vital expressions on Earth. Without plant oxygen we would have no air to breathe, no food to eat, no life on Earth. And without the later coming more and more complex species also the plants would have a very poor existence. One nourishes the other in our Universe… …In every leaf, with the help of photosynthesis, the Sun has taken shape and colour – beautifully refined, magically transformed – alchemy of the Cosmos, Spirit in Light to create the blue skies of the world and to give food and oxygen to our planet thanks to this „green breathing“ through eternities.
But plants, being rooted in the soil, also have a strong connection with the densest element which is earth. And earth – the original word for “soil” – is linked to the sense of smell according to the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda, the thousands of years old natural medicine of India. No wonder therefore, that plants exhale scent, odours, fragrances… . They exhale the blessings of Mother Earth.
Many of these fragrances are due to essential oils which the plants store in glandular cells and which have numerous functions in the life of plants. And when we smell… …the fragrant molecules of the essential oils dock on to the sensory hairs in our nasal cavity which stimulate thereby the receptor cells. The message in turn is transmitted via the olfactor bulb to the brain – mainly to the limbic system. It is just amazing : Our sense of smell is thousands of times more sensitive than our sense of taste – and we can detect more than 10,000 odours.
When we smell, the small molecules of essential oils penetrate our body easily through inhalation via the respiratory tract from where they are transported into the blood stream. They directly pass the blood-brain barrier without being broken down by the liver. Our nose being located close to the brain there is an immediate impact of olfaction on our brain cells making it possible for certain essential oils to directly influence the production of neurotransmitters like dopamin, serotonin, noradrenalin etc. This can play a vital role in social interaction, emotional responses, learning, memory… and reprograming our mind and emotions “caught in action” – caught in often senseless obsessional repetitions of the wrong “code of inner behaviour”.
YES, in Nature breathing and smelling are intimately linked. We breathe and we smell without end, connecting the space and air elements with the earth element – the light and the dense dimensions – enjoying the polar connection of opposites for our own inner and outer wellbeing. Inhalation, we can say, is more for the lungs and our respiratory system, for our vital system of exchange, our rhythmic system so to say – and therefore also for the heart. The elements of air and akasha (space) predominate. Smelling is more for the brain and our psycho-spiritual and “emotional “system”. The element of earth predominates. And yet, both pathways are deeply interconnected. Thus, our brain is able to capture the fragrant “Earth” molecules of essential oils through the act of smelling. And these molecules are created in the plant by the alchemy of Cosmic Light.
It needs the roots (the brain) of the plant to absorb the world of the minerals, to transform these into organic matter and then – via the floral processes and the element of heat (alchemy : “sulfur”) – make matter volatile and fragrant again. And the master engineering of this dynamics lies in the “hidden organ” of the sap, pumping up like a heart the nourishing liquids from “below to above” – against the pull of the gravitational force… …magic symbiosis of Earth and Heaven.
Did you know that the male sperms – in order to find the female ovum – are guided by smell ? The ovum emits a fragrance of lily of the valley for the sperms to find it… …connecting through scent: The “fragrant earth” element is preparing the future incarnation of the “earthling” in spe.
And did you know that cancer cells have up to thousand times more odour receptors than normal healthy cells. This is not always to their advantage. Certain fragrant molecules (i.e. d-limonene as in Lemon oil) when reaching the cancer cells cause them stop growing or even kill them. (cf. Research of Prof. Hatt, Bochum University)
Yes, they are miraculous allies of us humans, the essential oils. Especially when we breathe them in, smell them, inhale them, they will help to restore our vital energy and protect us in many secret ways. Their fragrant molecules of cosmic Light energies are imbedded in a specific dynamics, beautifully expressed by the polarity, as we have seen, of high volatility and fragrance. The French scientist René Gattefossé, who is considered to be the founder of modern Aromatherapy, once said:
„Today like in old times we can call volatile substances ‘vital substances’. Volatility and fragrance are signals of considerable physiological activity and energy.”
Therefore we can say : We find in the essential oils and their „fragrant volatility“ a perfect example of unity of opposite values – the „heavy“ and the „light“, the „below“ (matter) and the „above“ (energy) are synergistically combined and bestow to the olfactive side of aromatherapy its very special impact. The olfactive, energy-restoring plant medicine of Aromatherapy expresses physically the ancient „as-above-so-below“ principle of all primordial healing methods.
Healing through soul harmony
That means in more modern terms : In Aromatherapy we invite the subtle realms such as quantum field energies and what is “behind” to participate in the healing destiny of our human psycho-physiology. And this healing is – first and above all – a healing through Spirit, through “soul harmony”. We also can say: In its essential oil the medicinal plant expresses the more subtle energy levels of life in a very direct, in a very sensual way. This is what the alchemists meant when they spoke about liberating the “quintessence” in matter. They meant this subtle, yet secretely present element of Spirit-energy which is by far the real “master of ceremony” in all healing processes.
And it has to do with PRANA – the subtle “cosmic breath” or mover of energy/intelligence entering our system through respiration – from the most expressive form of it in “breathing” and its most secret and hidden form “behind breath” and in yogic breathlessness. And this – as we know – has to do with SOMA or OJAS, the energy principle in all living systems according to Ayurvedic medicine, so intensely present in the medicinal plants and their essential oils.
“The Sanskrit word for the medicinal plants, OSHADHI, means literally a receptacle or mind, ‘dhi’, in which a burning transformation of light, ”osha = Ojas, takes place. In the Vedas this can mean not only medicinal plants but all entities in creation.” (Vasant Lad, The Yoga of Herbs”)
The seers of ancient times understood that breath is the entrance door to the soul. Between our first and our last breath and in the countless times of breathing in and breathing out of our lifetime the soul completes its cycle of physical existence. The quality, the depth of – and also the “knowledge” about – breathing determines also the quality of our human life. The Vedic term for the “soul” is Atma or Atman. We can find connections within the Indo-European cultures to the notion of breath
- ATMA(N) Sanskrit (Vedic) = “soul”
- ATMEN German = “to breathe”
- ATEM German = “breath”
- ADEM Dutch = “breath”
- ATUM old German = “breath”
- ODEM poetic German word for “breath”
- Maybe also: ODIN Germanic mythology – the “Father of the Gods”
And – in the same context:
“PSYCHE” in Greek means “breath”
Our “psychology” has a connection with our breath – specifically with our “inner breath” of life.
“Breathe free” – an example of a blend
- Lavandin abrial 10 %
- Silver Fir 20 %
- Niaouli 20 %
- Myrtle 20 %
- Bay Laurel 20 %
- Cardamon 10 %
Soft inhaling an essential oil from a flacon or a cotton handkerchief or a perfume stripe automatically leads to mindful breathing – breathing into the “eternal” moment of just being here right now. Breathe in slowly – smell – hold the breath – exhale. So, you breathe away, smell away your fatigue, your exhaustion, your depression, your anger, your pain… …just 1 drop or 2 of your Jasmine oil on your fingertips for example will blow it all away… …And maybe even blow away an addiction to cigarette smoking…
“My name is Richelle and I suffer from anxiety and stress… I found my anxiety, on some days, was out of control… I received great information about many different aromas. The one that caught my attention was Bergamot. I was very hesitant at first to try this type of therapy… I have been using the Bergamot and noticed such a difference in my mood. When I feel that I am in a stressful situation, I take some deep breaths of the Bergamot and my mood shifts to a calm feeling and my anxiety starts to disappear.” Richelle – New Mexico
Since 1982, the Japanese government has designated 48 official Forest Therapy trails to encourage citizens to spend more time amongst mainly Conifer trees to bolster the health of the population. Shinrin-yoku, the Japanese practice of „forest bathing“, or „forest breathing“ harnesses the medicinal power of fragrances to stimulate our breathing and thereby our health. Japanese scientists, needed quantifiable evidence of the health benefits of forest bathing and designed an experiment where 12 businessmen went on a three day hiking trip in the forest. Blood and urine samples were collected and tested on all the men before and after the trip. Their hormone levels, blood pressure, and levels of Natural Killer cells were tracked.
Former theories on health benefits were confirmed:
In all 12 men, blood pressure and cortisol levels dropped, and most notably, the men’s Natural Killer cells increased by 40%. A month later, the cells were still elevated. Natural Killer (NK) cells are a type of lymphocytes which are vital for immune health. They stealthily kill off stressed and infected cells and tumor forming cells. Cf. http://www.puregreenmag.com/pure-green-blog/forest-bathing
If we look at the so called “signatures” of the Conifers, their intricate network of branches and needles can remind us somehow of the internal structure of our breathing organs, the lungs. Conifer essential oils are indeed very good allies to help us with any issue we can have regarding the respiratory system and have very good expectorant properties helping the release of mucus.
Taking a “ketonic breath”
An experience with Hyssop oil
“I poured the Hyssop oil in my hands and much more poured out than I expected. I breathed in very deeply several times from my cupped palms. In about 10 minutes I felt my body being rocked from inside. As if I were knocking against the container of the body… Visually the room jolted a bit. I sat down and relaxed a bit. About 20 minutes later we drove bak to our hotel and within a hour of breathing in the Hyssop we were in bed. When I lay down with my head on my partners shoulder, at once the roof was gone off the room and I was floating with the stars. I was out in the night sky surrounded by the stars of the night. I could have explored this place and chose to just be with the incredible peace and soothing feeling that I experienced while floating amongst the stars. I opened my eyes and was immediately back in the room with the ceiling over my head and walls around. Closing my eyes again I was in the open starry sky surrounded by night sky’s full of stars all around me. The feeling was comforting and I was aware that I had no sense of hot or cold. It felt physically comfortable, mentally soothing and very peaceful.” Melanie Smith, Ashland, Oregon, USA, Jan. 2, 2015
Could there be a connection of ketones like in this Hyssop oil experience and the“body of light” in us humans ? Is it not remarkable that the ketonic oils count among the most efficient parasyte killers in Nature such as worms, nematodes etc. ? These creatures are definitely linked to the Earth element whereas ketones, sesquiterpenic compounds etc. are linked to the etheric or astral sphere. Also the fact that they dissolve fat belongs to this same view. Ketonic plants and their essential oils such as Hyssop, Mugwort, Tansy, Sage, Wormwood, Arizona Cypress, Artemisia annua, and the many other Artmisias, and with them many other plants from the Asteraceae family… …they all have their word to say in the same context of raising spiritual energy in man and ”lighting up” matter fields in the body which have become “corrosive” through the impact of numerous interior and exterior stress factors. They are often – it is true in a spiritual sense – “des-incarnating” energies – one of the reasons why they are strongly abortive and not to be taken by pregnant mothers or young children. But they are powerful vibrant energy carriers with multiple functions on the connection of the “body of light” and the physical body in humans.
And the eucalyptol oils ?
We remember : “Psyche” means “breath” in Greek language. A healthy psychology has a lot to do with healthy breathing. Also essential oils rich in oxydes give us great help. The major oxyde in Nature, 1,8-cineol (or eucalyptol) has its name from the greek words “kine” = moving and “aeol” = wind. 1,8-cineol is a major compound of many essential oils such as Cajeput oil, Niaouli oil, different Eucalyptus oils, Myrtle oil, Bay Laurel oil, Spike Lavender oil, Cardamom oil, Ravintsara oil, etc. The association with the element air is obvious. Combining such oils together or with with other oxydic oils – like for example with Mountain Hyssop oil (Hyssopus decumbens) and its dominant compound translinalool oxyde – synergistically enhances their properties on the “aerial” system of our physiology, the lungs.
Such oils are good to balance a dishamonious vata element (Ayurveda) and uncramp the heart, so often encaged in rhythmic imbalances and cramping – and thereby open up the flow between spirit and matter, consciousness and physiology. With „psyche“ our inner „breath“ being the mediator between the subtle and the gross, it is important to recur to the oxydic actors in Nature in order to bestow balance and empower the element of movement in the body. Many factors such as wrong diet, immobility during work or, on the contrary, too much mobility during travelling, “seasonal stress”, psychological or social problems etc. may easily lead to respiratory cramping or congestion and therefore may need bio-chemical and subtle energetic keys to open up the system. Phyto-oxydes such as 1,8-cineol are wonderful helpers for this. They uncramp us, make us air out rigidity and breathe in space.
Open up with the ethers
In terms of holistic biochemistry, ethers, like the phenylethyl-methylether, so much present in Kewra oil, or fenchol and anethol in Fennel and Anise oil, methyl-chavicol in tropical Basil etc. are powerful compounds to bring the space element or “Akasha” (sanskrit) into the body. They help us to open up, to release what makes us shrink, what keeps us stuck in problems without being able to see solutions. They give more space, bestow a feeling of lightness, of letting-go.
Kewra oil is a real champion of an “ether” essential oil. In Ayurveda it is considered a heart opener.
Just a whiff of Kewra, and we experience immediately something as if the heart connects with the brain, as if the nerves let go the tenseness of pent-up stress, and a wave of clarity coming from deep within ourselves “rolls” through the entire system allowing the soul to breathe. And that is exactly what we would need so often: An “instant reprogramer”, not a hasty, gesture of anger, bad mood, despair, but something which makes us see any situation with more clarity – and then go into a better place where we can take clearer decisions. Kewra is that subtle enhancer of the inner witness, the “sakshi” (sanskrit for ‘witness’) in us, a natural “bio-coach” for mindfulness and relaxed awareness…
A study: Fragrant Diffusion or “Indirect Breathing for Health”
Vanderbilt University Medical Hospital’s emergency department took the lead in forming an aromatherapy pilot program aimed at lowering the staff’s stress, increasing energy levels, and minimizing the typical hospital smell. They began to diffuse oils throughout the department to increase atmospheric oxygen, naturally clean the air of microbes, bacteria, mold, and viruses, and inhibit bacterial growth by increasing ozone and negative ions in the air.
A survey answered by 100 members of the hospital staff both 30 days before the program’s launch and 30 days after, produced persuasive results:
- Stress: Before the program started, 41% of the staff reported high stress levels. 30 days after they began diffusing oils, stress levels dropped to 3%.
- Frustration: Before the advent of the program, 60% reported feeling frustrated in their work. After, frustration dropped to 6%.
- Tiredness: 40% reported feeling tired at work, and that dropped to 13% after breathing diffused oils for a month.
Thrilled with how they felt at work, some of the hospital staff began diffusing oils at home, and the hospital administration is working through the protocol of diffusing oils in patient rooms to bolster patient health. www.livinglibations.com
Helichrysum and PTSD
An experience with Helichrysum of a student of Dr. Malte Hozzel
“I wanted to write you a note of infinite thanks. Remember all that talking we did about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Helichrysum?…
I had such an incident last week and it was an intense one. It lasted for days, continuously intensifying. Even though I was conscious enough about it to try to control my thoughts, I was failing… …and failing utterly. Finally, days into the incident, I remembered our conversation and decided to go for the ‘big guns’ and diffuse Helichrysum. It was perfect. For the next half hour I could feel days of pent-up stress draining out of my body with each (extremely deep) breath. The effects were incredibly dramatic.
Soon after, I was able to get my spiritual perspective back and see the truth about the source of my stress and then, finally, the Source of myself again. The whole renewal took about 45 minutes with incremental, noticeable improvements every moment. Quite miraculous, really…”
Dr. Malte Hozzel