Ayurveda And The Limbic System: The Ready Reckoner


The Limbic system???……. Feel like you’ve heard this term somewhere…. Stop wondering and you’ll be amazed to know that it is an incredible part of our brain, which is one of the first part to develop as a fetus. The sense of smell or an odor, the most significant among the five sense organs according to Ayurveda is often vested with the limbic system. We can call it as a ready reckoner as it helps in recollecting the older thoughts or persons in our life when we come across a smell or fragrance associated with a person or a place or a special incident in your life.

Vital constituents of the limbic system: The three major parts or the constituents of the limbic system otherwise known as Paleomammalian brain are hypothalamus, hippocampus and amygdalae, which is mainly linked in mental conditions like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Other vital components are thalamus, olfactory bulb, pituitary, nucleus accumbens, orbitofrontal cortex, fornix, mammilary body, cingulate gyrus, parahippocampal gyrus and dentate gyrus, all the three gyrus are collectively known as the limbic lobe.

Essence and importance of the limbic system: The ancient science of brilliance known as Ayurveda has an intense knowledge about the mechanism of the human body even before 5000 years when the modern machineries and lab apparatus in this contemporary world of medicine is by far a dream or not thought of. Ayurveda considers human brain as a vital organ in determining the health physically, emotionally, mentally and socially. It says that human beings act according to the commands given by their brain. The start or the activation of the limbic system triggers the function of the central nervous system, enabling various other functions like blood sugar levels, respiration process, determining the body temperature, controlling heart rate, awake and sleep response, sexual feelings and much more.

Ayurvedic ways of healing through the limbic system: Each and every part of the limbic system is responsible for several functions. Few noteworthy functions among them are thirst, hunger, pain, pleasure, emotional reactions, memory, fear, defensiveness, anger and other facial expressions. The ancient Ayurvedic texts prescribe the use of aroma therapy or aromatics as a vital means for holistic healing and prevention of diseases.

Aroma can affect our senses and can have an upper hand in stimulating and balancing our motions. This is mainly done by the odor-bearing molecules that set off the receptors in the nose at the time of breathing. These molecules are then transformed into nerve impulses and attain the olfactory bulb that is considered to be a part of the limbic system in the brain. This reaction then slowly passes on to the entire limbic system constituting the hippocampus, in charge of memory, hypothalamus, directing emotions, amygdalae, known as the archaic arousal center and few other essential parts.

When you inhale the aroma of Ayurvedic essential oils with therapeutic properties like sedative, aphrodisiac, stimulating, calmative, balancing and energizing, the molecule of the essential oil passes through the nasal passage and reaches the limbic system as nerve impulses through the olfactory epithelium. After which the hypothalamus and other parts of the limbic system receives the information and passes the respective message or commands to the entire system to relax, rejoice, stay calm, foster thirst, control hunger, boost immunity, control hormonal imbalances and much more.

The thoughtful relationship between aroma and the limbic system through the age old method of healing, known as Ayurveda, the ‘Science of life’ leaves me speechless!!! Feel like reviving my senses through the enlivening Ayurvedic essential oils…and….. I’ve started now…

Reference Links:

  1. Limbic System by Wikipedia
  2. The Limbic System by Suzanne Bovenizer CMT, CST
  3. Ayurveda and Aromatherapy by AllHealthyFamily News
  4. Ayurvedic Perspectives on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder by Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula

Ayurvedic Importance of Fragrance and Aroma


Fragrance plays an important role in determining your mood and mood swings are often controlled by sweet smelling odors in the field of Aromatherapy, which is an incredible part Ayurveda. A celebrated book on Aromatherapy states that fragrance can aid in alleviating pain and have a significant impact on your behavior and personality. We cannot disagree with the fact that ‘Odors vest deeply within our minds even after many years’. If you ask me about my memorable fragrances I would tell you the fresh, elite and the exquisite fragrance of red roses that reminds me about my favorite time in my aunt’s garden during my childhood days and the relishing smell of fried potatoes make me feel like being with my Mom. At this juncture, let’s have a look at the Ayurvedic importance of fragrance and aroma in healing mankind.

1. Aroma for complete care: Aromatherapy is one of the significant methods of Ayurveda, which is used to treat the individuals according to their Ayurvedic body types like vata, pitta and kapha. For this purpose, Ayurveda suggests the use of essential oils and the natural aroma of herbs. This is trusted to enhance the function of the brain and promote well-being from within.

Most of the times these Ayurvedic essential oils are applied to the skin or used in some form or the other in which the skin comes in contact with the aroma. Human skin is the effective channel through which the benefits of these aromatic oils pass through the bloodstream making the system hale and hearty. Many researchers have proved that the natural aroma augments the functionality, relieves pain, supports mood fluctuations and revives the human body, which is a part of nature.

2. The healing properties of Ayurvedic essential oils: Ayurveda trusts in nature and any form of healing using nature’s gifts falls under Ayurveda. According to this thought, essential oils are extracted from leaves, stem, flowers, roots, bark or from other parts of a plant and essential oils is the backbone of Aromatherapy that is used to boost physical and mental fitness. There have been instances in which Ayurvedic essential oils are used to treat innumerable conditions and the gentle aroma of a handful of essential oils is proven to enhance the function of heart and blood circulation.

3. Ayurvedic Tea: Nothing other than a refreshing cup of tea with an enriching aroma can give the right start to your day. The three types of Ayurvedic tea according to the individual body types are anti-strain tea, stimulating tea and balancing tea. These teas are caffeine-free and grant you the real freshness while maintaining the right metabolism of your body.

4. Expert Ayurvedic Massage therapy: An expert Ayurvedic massage therapy with the right essential oils can offer you plenty of health benefits. These essential oils are chosen in such a way that they are infused with a heartening and soothing aroma, which would help you chase out stress, depression, fear, anxiety, insomnia, nervous disorders and many more. An Ayurvedic massage aids in revitalizing your mind, reducing muscular pains, relaxing your nervous system, improving the texture of your skin and striking a perfect balance between your mind and body.

Ayurveda is a spiritual medicinal system that has been practiced for more than 5,000 years and if this historical healing art states that aroma has a greater impact on our health, how can we refute it?? Try using any of the above mentioned ways to experience the power of a natural fragrance.

Reference Links:

  1. Ayurveda and Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide To Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Bryan Miller and Dr. Light Miller
  2. Aromatherapy for the heart and Circulation by healthy.net
  3. Ayurvedic Teas by Tea Blossoms