COVID-19 has made us aware of so many things such as physical distancing, how to wash your hands, how to isolate and quarantine, Zoom meetings, but also smell training. Smell training with essential oils was in use long before COVID hit us. There are several disorders that can affect your smell that can be caused by a sinus infection, viral infection, head trauma, surgery, exposure to a toxic substance or you can just be born with one.
Anosmia is the inability to detect one or more smells and can be temporary or permanent. This is the long-term symptom some people suffer with after COVID.
Parosmia is when you experience normal odours as unpleasant smells.
Phantosmia is when you smell something that isn’t there.
Hyperosmia (or super smellers) is when you are oversensitive to smells.
And finally, hyposmia which is a reduced sense of smell.
In anosmia, aromatherapy can still be used to help physiologically (inflammation or pain) but not psychologically (stress, anxiety).
So how does smell training work?
Smell training is actively smelling (with short sniffs) four essential oils, twice a day, every day, for 20-30 seconds while concentrating on the scent. This can take 2 weeks to 6 months, but most people regain their smell in 2-3 months. Looking at a picture of the scent you’re smelling and trying to imagine what it used to smell or taste like can also help.
So, what scents should you use? It turns out that it doesn’t really matter. Some propose:
- Rose, lemon, clove, eucalyptus
- cypress, pine, cedar, juniper, bergamot, green tea, jasmine, thyme
- Flowery, fruity, spicy, resinous
- Coffee grinds, fresh ground pepper, fresh herbs
- Scents that are familiar to you that have strong memories
Smell training can work for anosmia and hyposmia and may help parosmia and phantosmia.
Hopefully your nose knows. If not, have you tried smell training?