How This Neuroscientist Likes To Use Her Essential Oils

Firstly, Swart notes it’s important to get high-quality oils. Look for 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils. “That guarantees it’s got the potency of the aroma, where that essential oil is actually going to have an affect on your brain,” she says.

She recommends diluting the oil in a carrier and then massaging it onto your skin, specifically to your major organs, “your lungs, your heart, your kidneys, your liver,” she says. “Make it a sot of ritual […] Maybe you’ve done some dry body brushing and then you massage the body with it,” she adds.

Swart notes that some oils can also be incorporated into your bath or shower, but she prefers putting them on the body (again, diluted in a neutral carrier oil for safety—learn more about those here.)

And as far as which scents she goes for, “Lavender is nature’s strongest neuromodulator,” she explains. “If you’re feeling anxious, it can calm you down—and if you’re feeling tired, then it can actually perk you up.” (She’s associated the smell of lavender with going to bed so strongly, it’s now a big part of her jet-lag regimen.)

Swart is also fond of citrusy smells like grapefruit in the morning but adds overall, it’s about “listening to your body and figuring out which smells you’re attracted to.”

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