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Garden Guru


Jim Boxberger Jr.
Posted 12/2/22

The smell of that turkey roasting in the oven or the stuffing on the stove, the smells of last week will last in our memory until next Thanksgiving. What smells do you remember from Thanksgiving the …

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Garden Guru



The smell of that turkey roasting in the oven or the stuffing on the stove, the smells of last week will last in our memory until next Thanksgiving. What smells do you remember from Thanksgiving the most? What smells do you associate with Christmas? 

Smell is a powerful sense and is usually overlooked, but aromatherapy has been becoming increasingly more popular even though it has been around forever. The smell of a freshly peeled orange or fresh cut watermelon, immediately conjure up images of somewhere you were while enjoying those items. Smells can make you hungry, like the fresh basil and garlic bubbling up in a tomato sauce or chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven. Scented candles have been popular for years as we try to recreate our favorite scents and let’s not forget the multitude of different varieties of potpourri. 

Many of us buy items that will bring pleasing scents into our home, whether it is scented candles, wall plug-ins, sprays, wax melters or potpourri, but there are many other options as well. There are many plants that can be used both live or dried that can produce months of pleasing scents. During the winter months I have scented geraniums in my southern facing windows that produce pleasing scents naturally. Likewise many herbs like thyme, basil, rosemary and lavender can be grown indoors over the winter and beside a pleasant aroma will also help season your favorite dishes. 

There are two major theories that attempt to explain the mechanism by which aromatherapy works. The first is a more physical approach where essential oils are absorbed through the skin and into the somatic tissues. When massaged into the skin, essential oils may activate the skin’s thermal receptors and destroy fungi, bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms. Some individuals believe a number of essential oils possess anti-inflammatory effects and provide soothing relief for arthritis, burns, and muscular pain. The second theory poses that essential oils stimulate the olfactory nerve and send signals to the brain’s limbic system, which is a complex neural network that is closely associated with memories, emotions, and instincts. This stimulation is believed to trigger the release of chemicals that contribute to feelings of calm, relaxation, or stimulation. Different scents produce different results. 

In real estate, when showing a house to a potential buyer, you should have cookies baking in the oven to bring back childhood memories and make the house seem homier. The smell of lavender has widely been used for relaxation and sleep. Sandalwood, peppermint, and orange essential oils can have a calming effect and may help aid in relaxation for people with autism. Lavender, eucalyptus, and sweet marjoram essential oils were found to help relieve discomfort and improve sleep for patients with chronic pain. Many of these essential oils can be found at your local drugstore and even some grocery stores as these items have become increasingly more popular. 

This fall, we put in a wood pellet stove in our dining room, and since then I have been experimenting with different scents that I put on the stove that get circulated around the house with the warmth. Orange peels will produce a wonderful scent for days as the essential oils in the peel evaporate. This week I tried a cinnamon stick with vanilla extract and as yummy as it sounds it smells just as good. But unfortunately it is making me quite hungry, I need something that smells like brussel sprouts or cabbage instead. Who am I kidding, I like brussel sprouts and cabbage too.


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