Tea and Aromatherapy

Often I am asked why we offer so many teas and scents at ScentbySpirit.com rather than focusing on one or the other. For me the answer seems easy, but the more thought I put into it, the dawning realization is that maybe some people havent made the connection.

In an effort to connect the dots for myself and others, here are some random thoughts about tea and scents and their perfect marriage to one another.

Our complex olfactory system is constantly on overdrive and hard at work for us. Primitive man was able to smell danger literally hundreds of yards away and prepare for attack if need be. An opportunity not only to stay safe, but to find food and water as well shelter. The olfactory system smells scents even before you are aware of them and transmits the information to our brains so we can disseminate what action or non action to take.

Take fire for example, as a form of aromatherapy. The ability to smell smoke, elicits a wide variety of emotions or thoughts. To name a few, warmth, food, danger or other human activity. This is a large scale example to “aroma therapy”. Knowing that there is warmth near by and potentially shelter can be very therapeutic in nature for the travel weary and hungry!

To narrow it down a bit more, lets think of roses and notice what you feel/think as you read this paragraph. The old adage, “stop and smell the roses” may come to mind. For many the scent of the rose brings about a variety of feelings or emotions based on memory. Some wonderful and some, shall we say not quite as pleasant. To say, a rose is a rose is a rose in regards to scent, is just not accurate on many levels, especially when you take in to account several factors. Such as, each person has a unique olfactory pattern, each human brain relates data in different ways there by affecting the range of emotions that could be potentially experienced. Being the unique individual that you are, when you first read the word “roses” you may have had an immediate thought or memory of them. Or perhaps you read the word and could actually smell roses. Or one step further maybe you had an unpleasant experience with roses that caused to you to recoil in an instinct to protect yourself based on that memory. It is apparent that scents and aromatherapy can be quite powerful in our lives. And that it plays a continuing roll in how we interact with the world whether we realize it or not.

Moving right along, when thinking of scents, perfume, herbs and the lot, one may wonder, which came first the plant or the fragrance? In a word, both. Plants are quite aromatic in and of their own nature as we saw in the example of the roses. It is easy to enjoy the scent of flowers and other aromatic herbaceous plants all year round depending on your location. At some point, humans became enamored of scents and the emotions they illicit. With a desire to capture those scents and have them with them at all times whether the plant was in season or not, came the quest for creating a way to capture this olfactory beauty.

Cultivation or harvesting of aromatic substances has been around for thousands of years. Whether it be for cooking, spiritual ceremonies, disease control, healing or simply for pleasure. Humans found that certain plants were excellent for healing certain ailments. Often the plant material was eaten raw, or in some cases boiled or infused as a beverage. Plant materials contain oils that are essentially the chemical make up of the species. Those essential oils can be released and capture in several ways. Crushing or bruising a leaf or flower will release the “essential oils”. This method could be used for ingestion of non toxic plants or even as a compress for wounds and other afflictions.

Infusing plants in water also releases essential oils or boils them out. The essential oils in plants are what potentially elicits healing or pleasure from the plant in question through smell and ingestion.

Hence the birth of herbal beverages and the one in question today, tea. Tea is a caffeinated beverage, infusion made by steeping the dried leaves or buds of the shrub Camellia sinensis in hot water.

Now that the eating and drinking of plants had commenced, at some point humankind sought to keep these scents with them and perfume their bodies. What may be the worlds oldest known perfumery, set atop a Cyprus hillside, was excavated by a team of archaeologists from the Italian Institute of Technologies Applied to Cultural Heritage, this last March. Showing that the desire for perfume has held strong for literally thousands of years.

We have talked about the benefits of smell and various ways to incorporate them into our lives, but how do you choose which medium is right for you?

Personally I use a combination approach. Others wouldnt dream of leaving home without a spritz of their personal favorite perfume. Still others would not function without their morning tea and an aromatic shower.

Some situations where perfumes or scents would not be appropriate would be a work place with a scent ban. You can rest assured that you can still have your aromatic fix without violating any rules or offending other olfactory palettes near by. If you love vanilla and would bathe in it all day if you could, you can have your vanilla in the form of tea. This allows you a subtle yet still powerful connection to your favorite scent. The oils from the tea are released into the air and your olfactory system finds comfort in them, before you even realize it your body and emotions may relax. Really, the possibilities of olfactory bliss are endless, chai spices, jasmine green tea, herbal remedies, you name it, it can be yours.

So, what about the scenarios which dont allow you to have a cup of your beloved tea or herbal beverage? The answer quite simply is perfume, lotions or oils worn on the body to illicit the desired effects. Just as there are thousands of teas to choose from, there are even more scented perfumes to fill that gap.

So, the short and the long of it, is that you have many ways to harness the powerful effects of scent at any time and in any place. Therefore, tea and scents made sense to us, and thus ScentbySpirit.com was born!

Use of this article is permitted as long as there are clickable links back to us at: http://wwws.scentbyspirit.com and all credit is given to the author.

ScentBySpirit.com is a woman-owned and family-run business in the heart of the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Scent by Spirit was born from the desire of owner Rachel Johnstons vision to combine the tactile sensations of blending fragrance, herbs and, most of all, teas. Use of this article is permitted as long as there are clickable links back to us at: http://wwws.scentbyspirit.com and all credit is given to the author.


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