LIFE

The Symbolism Behind Your Favorite Stress-Reducing Scents

Smell is a highly underrated sense.

We often speed through our days without honoring the power and specificity of things like smell, but carefully curated sensory enhancements can positively influence mental health, sleep, and general well-being. Oftentimes, these healing properties can be the result of scientific effects as well as associations rooted in mythology, medicine, and even capitalism.

Here's a look at the deeper meaning behind some of our most beloved scents.

3. Lavender

The word "lavender" comes from the Latin word "to wash," so it's always been linked to cleanliness. Lavender is typically associated with purity and innocence of the body and the soul, which is perhaps why we tend to associate it with relaxation and safety.

In ancient Greece and Rome, lavender was a status symbol, so you can see why it was later associated with purity and refinement. The flower has also been historically used as a cautionary signal, often given to soldiers about to leave for war as a reminder to exercise caution or restraint.

Because of its purple color, the flower is commonly linked to the third-eye chakraand is frequently incorporated into various meditation and yoga practices. Contemporary research has found that lavender can be helpful in combating insomnia, anxiety, and depression, which aligns with the ancient belief that lavender can help reestablish emotional and spiritual balance.

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