Alzheimer’s Disease is the only cause of death in the top ten that cannot be prevented or cured. For many families, a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease is more devastating than any other diagnosis.(1) Many people are searching for holistic options that may help improve symptoms or slow progression of the disease. Essential oils have been used for generations to manage symptoms of depression, anxiety and even insomnia. Caregivers are finding comfort in using oils to treat similar symptoms in relationship to Alzheimer’s Disease.(2)
Essential oils provide sensory stimulation that helps decrease agitation, improves sleep and overall quality of life associated with Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia!
Oils can be applied to the skin, inhaled or even placed in food or beverages if the oils are safe for human consumption. In addition to the benefits associated with the oils themselves, studies also show that sensory stimulation helps decrease agitation, improves sleep and improves the overall quality of life associated with the disease.(2) One study found that used rosemary, lemon, lavender and orange essential oils for 28 days on patients with Alzheimer’s Disease. All patients showed significant improvement in cognitive function following aromatherapy. Researchers used the Gottfries, Brane, Steen scale, Functional Assessment Staging of Alzheimer’s disease, and the Touch Panel-type Dementia Assessment Scale to assess progress following aromatherapy.(3)
Study found that essential oils was an effective non-pharmacological therapy for dementia and may have potential for improving cognitive functioning in patients with Alzheimer’s Disease!
Patients experienced no known side effects associated with the aromatherapy. The study concluded that aromatherapy was an effective non-pharmacological therapy for dementia and may have potential for improving cognitive functioning in patients with Alzheimer’s Disease.(3)
Seven essential oils that could provide comfort for patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia!
If you or someone you love is struggling with dementia or Alzheimer’s, consider using the following oils.
- Lavender: Lavender is thought to help calm and balance emotions and has been found helpful in managing depression, anger, irritability and insomnia.(2)
- Peppermint: Peppermint can be used to energize and stimulate the mind, as well as calm nerves. (2)
- Rosemary: Rosemary is similar to peppermint and can be used to stimulate the mind and body. It may help improve cognitive performance and mood. (2)
- Bergamot: Bergamot is a citrus oil that can help relieve anxiety, agitation, mild depression and stress. (2)
- Lemon Balm or Melissa Oil: This is one of the more expensive oils but has been shown through studies to be effective in calming and relaxing people who deal with anxiety and insomnia. It also may help improve memory and ease indigestion.(2)
- Ylang Ylang: Ylang Ylang can help ease depression and promote quality sleep.(2)
- Ginger: Ginger is helpful to digestions or loss of appetite or even constipation. (2)
If someone you know is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, consider the benefits of aromatherapy. It may help your loved one find more comfort within their diagnosis. Sources included: (1) http://www.alz.org/facts/ (2) http://www.alzheimers.net/10-10-14-essential-oils-dementia (3) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20377818
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