Many of our posts talk about awesome ways to caress the senses with lovely colors, music and scents. However, it’s almost impossible to appreciate the benefits of these sensual stimulants if you have no perception of them.
First a small definition: Your sense of taste is located on your tongue. Tastes include salty, sweet, sour, bitter and umami*. Flavors are what allow us to differentiate one food from another such as a lemon from a lime. When you say can’t smell or taste, you probably mean you can’t smell or know the flavor of foods.
*Umami is a Japanese word loosely translated into “delicious.” It comes from a receptor on your tongue that is responsive to organic compounds like glutamate like that found in meat and in MSG flavor.
Why you can’t smell or taste
There are a variety of reasons including:
- Injury to your head
- Sinus problems including allergies
- Respiratory infections
- Hormonal imbalances
- Chemical exposure
- Dental problems
- Nasal polyps and tumors
- Brain tumors
- Depression – Studies indicate the cause is an autoimmune response
- Age – Usually associated with diminished sense of smell and flavor.
Here’s what to do when you can’t smell or taste
- The first thing to do is figure out why you are suffering from anosmia (loss of smell). Sometimes it will be obvious sometimes not so much.
- If you get a cold or suffer from nasal allergies, you may well lose your sense of smell or taste until the cold goes away or the allergy situation is resolved. Also, just as a word of warning, you can permanently lose or diminish your sense of smell and taste (flavor) with persistent nasal infections.
- If you fall down and bump your head. You may lose your sense of smell. How long before you get it back is determined by the extent of nerve damage.
- If you smoke and notice the roses don’t have near the aroma they used to, in addition to the many other reasons, you may want to quit.
- If you’re on a medication, check with your doctor to see if that might be the problem.
- If you find the scent of your perfume isn’t as intense as it once was or food doesn’t taste quite the same, you may be suffering from a treatable medical condition. It’s time to see your doctor.
Once you’ve identified why you can’t smell or taste, the treatment might be obvious. You quit smoking, change medications, clear up your allergy symptoms, treat nasal infections, etc.
In addition, there are some things to help improve your sense of smell. They include:
- Take 200 mg lipoic acid three times a day. One study showed marked taste and smell improvement in a human trial.
- Drink plenty of water
- Humidify the air in your home in the winter
- Keep your nose unblocked with nasal spray
- Wear your seatbelt to avoid head injuries
- Avoid really bad odors, they numb your sense of smell
- Train your nose – To do this check out the post Homemade Perfume Part I
Important note – Don’t take Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel or Nasal Swab. These two products have been associated with anosmia.
If you are a goddess who has lost her sense of smell and there’s little chance of getting it back or you are waiting for it to come back, there is still much to make your spa day a great experience. You can enjoy the wonderful effects of music and colors. And don’t forget that oh so soothing bath and the luxurious softness of your towels and linens.
Now go have fun and relax.