Managing Dementia’s Side Effects with Essential Oils
Now, more than ever, many are turning to a more holistic approach to medicine. For generations, essential oils have been used to ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Some research suggests that aromatherapy and the use of essential oils may be useful in the treatment of certain symptom’s of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.
Essential oils may be inhaled, applied to the skin, or ingested depending on the type of oil and its level of concentration. It is important to note that although essential oils have been used for generations and are thought to be safe, they are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so you should always consult with your doctor before using to ensure that specific oils will not have any negative reaction with medications.
Some of the essential oils that been shown to be effective in alleviating different symptoms of dementia are:
Lavender is said to be calming and able to balance strong emotions. It is also an antidepressant and useful in cases of insomnia. Use it in the evening to promote better sleep, or any time of day to promote better mood.
Peppermint is energizing and can be used to stimulate the mind. It is best used in the morning, and can be inhaled directly, diffused in the room, used as a massage oil, or even placed in a bath.
Bergamot can be used to relieve anxiety, agitation, mild depression, and stress. It is a mood elevating and calming oil, that can also be used to relieve insomnia. It can be placed in a bath, used as a massage oil, diffused through a room, or sprayed on clothing or linens.
Much like peppermint, Rosemary is an uplifting oil used to stimulate the mind and body. It may help improve cognitive performance and mood. Rosemary has also been known to ease constipation, symptoms of depression, and reinvigorate the appetite.
Ginger oil is helpful for anyone struggling with digestion issues. It is commonly used to treat a loss of appetite and constipation and can help promote good eating habits. Ginger oil can be applied directly to the skin as an abdominal massage, diffused, sprayed or placed on a compress.
Lemon oil is one of the most studied and effective oils. It has been shown to help calm and relax people who are dealing with anxiety and insomnia, improve memory and ease digestion. Lemon oil can be dropped in a bath, inhaled directly, diffused, sprayed or applied directly to the skin as a massage oil.
- Ylang Ylang
Ylang Ylang oil can help ease depression while also promoting good sleep. This is a great oil not only for the person living with dementia, but also for caregivers struggling with restlessness and lack of sleep. Ylang Ylang is often combined with lemon oil and can be placed in a bath, inhaled, diffused, or sprayed.