Aromatherapy is the practice of using natural oils to enhance physical and psychological health. Recent studies have shown that the use of aromatherapy on patients with Alzheimer’s disease can improve cognitive function without any negative side effects. Natural essential oils have been used for centuries as relief for anxiety, depression, insomnia, and stress. Today, these oils are found to do so much more. Alzheimer’s patients who underwent aromatherapy experienced boosts in memory and increased mood. Before using aromatherapy, it’s crucial to know what oils to use and how it works.
Effects of Aromatherapy on Alzheimer’s
Aromatherapy using certain essential oils may temporarily relieve emotional disturbances and anxiety in seniors with dementia. The use of natural essential oils on the body can have a healing effect, helping to put the patient in a positive mood while improving memory and cognitive functioning.
Best Essential Oils for Dementia Patients
There are several essential oils that have been deemed effective in managing various dementia symptoms. Lavender is known for its calming properties and ability to help with anger, depression, and irritability. Peppermint stimulates the mind, calms the nerves, and provides an energy boost. Other excellent oils to try include lemon balm, rosemary, bergamot, ginger, and ylang ylang.
How Essential Oils Work for Alzheimer’s
Aromatherapy produces a calming effect in many seniors with Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers believe that inhaling the essential oils are thought to trigger the smell receptors in the brain that stimulate the amygdala and hippocampus. These two areas of the brain are responsible for memory, emotional responses, and mental health.
Precautions When Using Aromatherapy
Essential oils are highly-concentrated and should always be used with caution. When using essential oils on the skin, always dilute the liquid to avoid severe skin sensitivities. When using a new essential oil for the first time, test it on a small area of skin to check for irritation. Only a small amount, usually 1 to 2 drops, of oil is needed to see results.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and can cause many side effects, including loss of brain function as the disease progresses. While aromatherapy cannot reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s, it has been proven successful in managing its symptoms.