The complete loss of sense of smell is known as anosmia. Smells, fragrances and odors are very much a part of our normal lives without which the whole aspect of life seems insipid and characterless. The ability to detect odors is a process in which a molecule carrying the odor is released by a substance which stimulates the olfactory nerves situated in the nose.
The nerve cells then send signals to the brain which detects and identifies the particular smell of the substance. If these nerve cells get damaged or if there is a blockage due to nasal congestion it interferes with our ability to smell. Food is all about flavors and aromas and if we are unable to smell the food becomes tasteless and bland.
The sense of smell is crucially needed to detect dangers from fires, gas leakage, tainted food and other similar situations. The most common causes of anosmia are nasal congestion due to cold, sinuses, small benign growths that block the nasal passages, certain medications, exposure to harmful chemicals and certain diseases.
Garlic is full of antibacterial and antiviral properties which help to clear nasal congestion and open up the blocked passages. Its anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce the swelling in the olfactory nerves and widen the nasal passages. Crush four cloves of garlic and add it to a cup of boiling water. Boil for two minutes, add a pinch of salt and drink the mixture while it is hot. Drink this twice a day and your sense of smell will be soon restored.
Hot steam does wonders for anosmia due to nasal congestion. Boil some water in a pan. Sit at a table with the pan of boiling water and bend your face over the pan.
Drape your head with a big towel in such a way that the steam does not escape outside the towel. Inhale deeply and continuously till the water loses steam. The moist steam will soothe the inflamed olfactory nerves, reduce their swelling and clear up the blockage in the nasal passages. Do this at least two times every day.
Lemon is rich in vitamin C which is an excellent antioxidant. It enhances the body’s immunity and helps it to fight diseases and infections.
Squeeze the juice of one lemon in a glass of warm water. Stir in two teaspoons of honey and drink the warm mixture two or three times daily. The congestion will clear up soon enough and will open up the nasal airways.
Castor oil is a very safe and natural home remedy for anosmia. It has pain relieving, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which discourage the growth of nasal polyps and help in keeping the nasal passages open and wide. Put a drop of warm castor oil in each nostril before going to bed. On waking up in the morning put the drops of castor oil again in your nostrils. Regular use will gradually restore your sense of smell.
Carom is a great cleansing agent. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which destroy infection, reduce the swelling and keep the blocked pathways clear and open.
Take one teaspoon of ajwain seeds and place them in the centre of a thin cloth. Tie the seeds to form a small sachet. Heat a griddle and place the sachet on it. When it is sufficiently hot, bring it close to your nose and inhale deeply the hot fumes of ajwain. Do this several times, every night before going to bed.