Good Health in Scents

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Aromas obtained from plant essences or oils have been used for therapeutic purposes for thousands of years. This technique is based on the fact that different scents produce different effects in people. Today, experiments performed using electroencephalography (EEG), which identify electrical signals inside the brain, have shown that certain odors can have desired effects on the brain. Smelling certain aromas sets into action some unidentified systems in the brain. As a result, developments affecting heartbeat, blood pressure, respiration, the memory, stress levels and certain hormones all take place.

But how do plants know which aromas will benefit human health? How can they establish the most highly advanced laboratories to produce health-giving aromas inside their own tissues? How do they create aromatic scent molecules, capable of containing up to 500 different chemical substances and with exceedingly complex structures? How are they able to squeeze their pleasant aromas into the limits of a scent-perception system—which they are not acquainted with and whose functions they are unaware of—can perceive? How do they determine the ideal concentrations for human beings?

The aromas obtained from plants are used in the treatment of many diseases.

When the question is examined from the other side, we encounter these questions: How is the human sense of smell able to distinguish among the individual aromas of thousands of plants? How do scent-receptor cells without the slightest knowledge recognize molecules the first time they encounter them? How can unconscious proteins, cells and nerves establish extraordinarily complex systems among themselves to perceive dizzying aromas from the world of plants?

The answers are so plain as to leave no room for doubt: It is God, the Lord of the worlds, Who created the mechanisms that produce the flowers' attractive aromas in great harmony, and Who created the scent-perception system that detects them, and Who gave plants their health-giving properties.

It is revealed in the Qur'an that sweet-smelling plants are a blessing:

He laid out the earth for all living creatures. In it are fruits and date-palms with covered spathes, and grains on leafy stems and fragrant herbs. So which of your Lord's blessings do you both then deny? (Surat ar-Rahman: 10-13)

How people should behave in the face of the blessings they are given is revealed in another verse:

Say: "It is He Who brought you into being and gave you hearing, sight and hearts. What little thanks you show!" (Surat al-Mulk: 23)

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