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Fixing the Brain with Essential Oils

By Jodi Cohen

An illustration of a human brain beside a small bottle labeled "vibrant blue oils parasympathetic.

Do you ever walk into another room in your house to grab something, only to get there and forget what you were looking for?  Or perhaps your stamina for intense mental concentration like reading something complicated or driving for long distances is starting to suffer. Learn how to fix the brain with Essential Oils and get a clearer mind.

Fix the Brain with Essential Oils

Fatigue and brain fog are often two early warning signs of early brain degeneration.  Constant stress and inflammation heavily contribute to brain degeneration and addressing them early through diet and essential oils can often help reverse the trajectory and preserve brain function.

Stress and the Brain

We talk a lot about how stress impacts the body, triggering the release of adrenal hormones and setting off a cascade that turns off the parasympathetic “rest and digest” state to free up available energy and resources to help us manage a perceived physical, emotional, psychological or environmental threat.

But not as much is written about how stress impacts the brain and its command over the autonomic nervous system which regulates all the body’s functions that occur without conscious input, including digestion, breathing and circulation.

I was fortunate enough to start studying functional neurology with Dr. Datis Kharrazian who literally wrote the book on brain health.  It has really shifted my focus to both the necessity of supporting the brain along with nutrition and the critical role that essential oils can play in supporting the brain.

Brain’s Response to Stress

Signals from the brain to the body are sent primarily through a network of neurons located in the lower brainstem.  It is through this network that the brain stimulates the parasympathetic “rest and digest” system which triggers the optimal digestive cascade.  Signals sent through this network also dampen the body’s sympathetic “fight or flight” response, which while critical in an emergency, can lead to other problems not dampened during times of low stress.

Constant stress leads to brain degeneration, decreasing signal activity from the brain to the nervous system.  This reduces the stimulation of the parasympathetic system and the dampening the dampening of the sympathetic signal.  Increased activation of the sympathetic  state further triggers a downward spiral of brain function and creates even higher levels of stress and generating symptoms like high blood pressure, anxiety, irritability and the general state of being stressed out.   To stop this vicious cycle, you need to address the underlying issues of stress to help reset the pattern.

Brain Inflammation

Inflammation is a key trigger for stress in the mid-brain region which is concerned with survival, mating and primitive emotions such as anger in love.  This area also stimulates the sympathetic response through an area of the spinal column.  It is rich with receptors for the immune messenger cytokine which spikes in response to emotional, physical or physical stress which saturates the receptors in the mid brain.  This excites the mid-brain/spinal column channel which then turns on the sympathetic system.  So, the combination of inflammation and stress in the brain triggers the sympathetic response on many fronts – both failing to dampen the sympathetic signal and further exciting it.

Brain Patterns of Stress

A number of physical and emotional triggers, including everything from a heated argument, inflammation, over exercising or lack of sleep can spike Cytokine levels and trigger a sympathetic response.  Often these spikes can last several days.  If the midbrain is bombarded with these spikes too often, it develops a negative plasticity for stress.

When stress repeatedly activates the midbrain, it becomes increasingly efficient at responding to stress, so that it takes less stress over time to create same response.   This is why you might observe people who get stressed out more easily over seemingly small issues.  Over time, the midbrain becomes permanently active and can easily generate a stress response with very little stimulus.  A good example of this is PTSD, where the midbrain is flooded with Cytokine over a long period of extreme stress, making it increasingly sensitive to stimuli.  Eventually benign triggers like sound, light or a strong emotion can a trigger an inappropriately large stress response.

Stress Contributes to Systemic Inflammation

As the brain becomes more plastic for stress, or more efficient at responding to stress, chronic inflammation takes root, impacting not only the brain but contributing to inflammation in the body, including the joints and the gut.  In fact, pain from chronic abdominal inflammation which can actually be caused by Brain inflammation.

Here’s why:  a chronic sympathetic stress response leads to a vicious inflammatory cycle, promoting systemic inflammation which then promotes brain inflammation which then promotes further systemic inflammation leading to chronic inflammation of the brain.

To reverse this vicious cycle, consider essential oils to balance the brain.

Fixing the Brain with Essential Oils

Herbs like holy basil, ginseng and ashwaganda have proven extremely effective in supporting the brain and are often suggested as part of a brain supporting nutritional protocol.  The essential oils of plants can be equally balancing and supportive for balancing a stress response when topically applied.

Key Brain Balance blends that can support optimal brain function include:

  • Parasympathetic® –Helps to trigger the Parasympathetic Response and dampen the Sympathetic Response when applied to the vagal nerve (on the mastoid bone behind the earlobe)
  • Anti Inflammatory™ – Helps to manage systemic and brain inflammation when applied to the brain stem or the bottom of the feet, especially on the big toe which is the foot reflexology point for the brain.
  • Histamine Balance™ – Helps to modulate immune responses and systemic inflammation when applied to the brain stem or the bottom of the feet, especially on the big toe which is the foot reflexology point for the brain.
  • Stress Support Kit™ – Including Hypothalamus™, Adrenal® and Circadian Rhythm® which helps modulate the stress response in the body.

We hope this helps you balance your brain, reduce inflammation and enhance your resilience to stress.  We invite you to share this article with anyone in your life who might benefit from a little brain balance.

As always, please feel free to leave a comment below or share your feedback in our Facebook Discussion Group!

 

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About The Author

Jodi Cohen

Jodi Sternoff Cohen is the founder of Vibrant Blue Oils. An author, speaker, nutritional therapist, and a leading international authority on essential oils, Jodi has helped over 50,000 individuals support their health with essential oils.