7 Best Essential Oils for Dementia

essential oils for dementia

While researchers and other medical experts continue to search for a cure for dementia, there are some essential oils for dementia that can help improve some of the symptoms that persons with this neurodegenerative disease experience.

The use of essential oil is not a new concept.

For years, people have used these oils to ease symptoms of insomnia, anxiety, and depression.

Because these are some of the symptoms that persons with dementia may get, it implies that essential oils are good for dementia.

Nowadays, persons living with dementia can use the oils for various reasons that may include:

  • Easing anxiety and depression symptoms
  • Improving sleep
  • Enhancing memory
  • Appetite stimulation
  • Improving cognitive function
  • Decreasing agitation
  • Production of endorphins and serotonin that can decrease pain in the brain
  • Stimulate creativity
  • Improving the quality of life

How Essential Oils are Made

how essential oils are made
Essential oils are generally extracted from plants and herbs.

There are two ways this is done.

One of them is through expression which uses mechanical pressure to force the oil out. The other is distillation where the steam releases compounds from the plants.

A cooling system is then used on the vapor as the stream converts back to the water. The oil will float on top when the mixture cools.

Best Essential Oils for Dementia

Let’s check out some of the essential oils that are best suited for persons with dementia.

Lavender

lavender
Lavender is known to balance strong emotions and it also produces a calming effect. It can be used for persons who have anger issues, irritability, or depression.

In some cases, it can also help people with insomnia.

Rosemary

rosemary
Rosemary belongs to the group of essential oils for dementia that is worth mentioning. It is considered an uplifting oil that stimulates both the body and mind.

Some say that it can also improve mood and cognitive performance.

A study by Lorraine Oliver and Mark Moss reported some persuasive evidence that exposing people with dementia to rosemary oil improves cognitive performance in both accuracy and speed measures.

Additionally, rosemary is thought to increase appetite, ease constipation, and even relieve depression symptoms

Lemon Balm

lemon balm
A quick market search reveals that lemon oil is among the most costly essential oils. Nonetheless, it is one of the most studied oils, thanks to its effectiveness.

The oil has been shown to help people with insomnia and anxiety to relax and remain calm. It is also known to ease indigestion, and improve memory.

Ginger

Oil made from the ginger root also belongs to the category of essential oils for dementia. It is particularly helpful for individuals suffering from digestion problems.

For generations, the oil has been used to treat constipation, and loss of appetite. Ginger is also known to help people eat well.

Ylang Ylang

ylang ylang
Ylang Ylang oil is great for two major functions. It can help promote good sleep and it can also ease depression symptoms.

In addition to people with dementia, caregivers looking after ill individuals can also use it if they are struggling with a lack of sleep and restlessness.

It is advisable to combine this with lemon oil for maximum benefits.

Bergamot

bergamot
Bergamot oil is a mood-elevating oil that also has a calming effect.

The essential oil helps with several symptoms including stress, agitation, mild depression, insomnia, and anxiety.

Peppermint

It is not possible to discuss essential oils for dementia without mentioning peppermint oil.

It is categorized as an energizer that stimulates the mind as well as calms nerves. Experts advocate for its use in the morning.

Note that there are many other essential oils that can benefit persons with dementia, but the above are the ones that have the most clinical support.

The other oils include oregano oil which is antifungal, anti-parasitic, antibacterial, anti-viral, and antimicrobial.

Sandalwood, frankincense, eucalyptus, thyme, and chamomile are other oils that can help reduce inflammation.

It is also important to note that scent has the potential to activate various emotional and physical responses. Specific aromas can bring back memories that a person might have forgotten.

 

Comparison/Review of Barefut Oils and Rocky Mountain Oils

There are many companies selling essential oils. The 2 companies we have reviewed offer 100% pure organic premium oils. All the oils discussed in this article are sold by both companies.

 Barefut Essential OilsRocky Mountain Essential Oils
Company NameBAREFUT ESSENTIAL OILSROCKY MOUNTAIN ESSENTIAL OILS
Selection/RangeAll oils in this article available100 single oils, plus 75 blends. All oils in this article available
Customer Reviews4.9 STARS averageBetween 4 and 5 STARS
Organic100%USDA Certified organic
QualityEvery batch GC/MS Tested & analysed by chemistsProvides GC/MS test results from an independent 3rd party lab
Chemicals & PesticidesChemically freeChemically Free
ExtractionSteam distillation or cold press
Artificial Ingredients, filters and additivesNilNil
Purity100%100%
Guarantee30 days satisfaction money back Guarantee90 days satisfaction money back guarantee
Shipping CostsFree shipping with orders over $25 in USAFree shipping USA
Rewards programYesYes
Packaging & storagePrevents oxidation with nitrogen cap, and cool dark storage. Amber bottles.Amber glass bottles
Delivery Posted day after purchase3-7 business days in USA
PriceAverage/moderate eg Lavender oil $14.00/15mlAverage/high eg Lavender oil $23.95/15ml
BUY BAREFUT OILS HEREBUY ROCKY MOUNTAIN OILS HERE

 

How to Use Essential Oils for Dementia

how to use essential oils for dementia
There are different ways that a person with dementia can get the benefits that come from using the essential oils.

In most cases, the oils are used for aromatherapy where persons inhale the oils or they are used for a massage. Look at some of the most common ways the oils are used.

Massage

Massage combines the therapeutic benefits of touch with the oils. This helps to improve and relax muscle tone as well as improve lymph flow and blood circulation.

Direct Inhalation

For this, a person puts essential oils in a cloth or tissue and inhales through their nose.

Ambient diffusion

This is where you use a dispenser to disperse the oils into the air.

Bath

An individual can opt to use the essential oils in their bathwater. It is one of the best ways to relieve emotional and muscular stress while soothing skin conditions at the same time.

It can be a full bath or foot bath depending on what a person desires.

Body oil

It is where individuals benefit from aromatic treatment through absorption of the skin. The oils in this case are best used after a bath or shower in a bid to deep condition the skin.

Misting

This is another way the essential oils can be dispersed in the air. For this, you will add drops of oil to a mister and vigorously shake to mist the air.

Gargling

At times, an expert may advise a person to gargle the essential oils.

Compress

It is also possible to use essential oils as a compress.

For this, an individual needs to add drops of oil to warm or cold water. Soak a cloth in this water, wring it, and apply the infused cloth on the skin.

Spraying on linens or clothing

Some oils, especially the ones used to promote sleep and relieve stress are best applied to pillowcases or clothes for the best results.

What to Look For When Purchasing Essential Oils?

Ensure you are buying high-quality oils. Essential oils are not regulated by the FDA and have therefore have no quality control guidelines in place. It is up to the buyer to do their own due diligence.

  • Best to buy organic. Ensure the product has a USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) certified organic label.
  • Read the label. The label should include where the plant originates, where the product was made, the Latin name, as well as how the oil was extracted. The label should also include safety data.
  • Jar color: dark blue or amber bottles protects the aromatic and therapeutic properties.
  • Be wary of companies claiming their product can cure Alzheimer disease, dementia, or other diseases. Be cautious.
  • Tightly sealed bottles.
  • Do not buy synthetic oil products. These have none of the health benefits that pure essential oils have.
  • Look for 100% pure essential oils. Pure oils will not be greasy/oily or leave any residue on paper. Pure oils do not have artificial substances in the formulas

Closing Remarks

As much as essential oils for dementia may offer a wide range of benefits, they are not regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).

For this reason, it is important to consult a professional doctor before using any of the oils to make sure they will be safe and effective.

Aromatherapy and Dementia Patients

aromatherapy and dementia

Researchers for some time now have been conducting studies on aromatherapy and dementia.

This has led to the discovery that people with dementia can benefit from aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries, and now persons with dementia can enjoy some of its benefits.

Read on to find out how.

What is Aromatherapy?

what is aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils or aromatic plants to enhance wellbeing through scents.

The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy states that it is a science and an art that uses extracts from plants and essential oils that chemically balance the spirit, mind, and body.

There are different ways to release these scents, such as:

  • Using oil burners to warm oils
  • Dripping scents into tissues or pillows
  • Adding the oils to baths
  • Massaging oil infusions into the skin, etc.

How Does Aromatherapy Help Persons With Dementia?

how does aromatherapy help persons with dementia
For centuries, people have used aromatherapy to promote better sleep and relieve stress.

Many people can attest that they sleep better after sprinkling lavender oil on their pillows before bedtime.

Sleep issues are common for persons with dementia because the illness often affects an individual’s sleep patterns.

This can be very stressful not only for the person with dementia but their caregivers as well. Aromatherapy can help to deal with sleep disturbances effectively.

Research has shown encouraging results concerning aromatherapy and dementia. One of the core areas of study was on the effects of lavender oil.

Experts record that applying lavender oil through massage or dripping it on a pillow can help to lengthen the time a person with dementia sleeps.

Lavender is also said to be an antidepressant that can improve mood and balance strong emotions.

Another oil that has been under scrutiny was Lemon balm. Researchers found that rubbing this into the skin also helps people with dementia to sleep for longer.

Additionally, it allows users to relax and stay calm. Both oils were also found to decrease agitation signs like excessive movement and wandering.

Aromatherapy stimulates olfactory receptors

Essentially, aromatherapy stimulates olfactory receptors which in turn stimulate the section of the brain responsible for regulating emotions.

An example of a study that was done concerning aromatherapy and dementia is one from Jimbo D and his team. The study had 28 elderly participants, 17 of whom were living with Alzheimer’s disease.

They went through a 28 day control period and aromatherapy sessions during the following 28 days. The researchers also subjected the participants to a 28 day washout period.

Lemon and rosemary essential oils were used during the morning sessions and orange and lavender during the evenings.

After the study, all the elderly persons recorded improvements in personal orientation regarding cognitive function.

Lab tests also showed that there were no side effects of using aromatherapy.

The researchers then concluded that aromatherapy is beneficial for dementia as it has the potential to enhance cognitive function.

Oils to use for Aromatherapy

oils to use for aromatherapy
In addition to the ones mentioned above, there are other essential oils that people with dementia can try out during aromatherapy such as:

Peppermint

This is an essential oil that you can use to calm nerves and stimulate the mind. Some studies also state that it can stimulate appetite, energize a person and enhance memory.

Bergamot

It helps to relieve stress, mild depression, and anxiety. Additionally, the oil is a mood elevator and can be used to treat insomnia.

Ginger oil

This oil assists persons who have digestion issues. The help can help to promote healthy eating habits because it treats constipation and loss of appetite.

Rosemary

This stimulates the mind and body. A recent study by Lorraine Oliver and Mark Moss uncovered that rosemary oil can boost cognitive performance in both accuracy and speed measures.

Ylang Ylang

It offers a relaxing effect.

Many other oils are beneficial to persons with dementia. Above are just a few that have the most clinical support.

Considerations

considerations of aromatherapy and dementia
When it comes to aromatherapy and dementia, there are a few considerations you must have in mind, such as:

1. Aromatherapy, just like any other alternative therapy, is not a replacement for medical treatment.

2. Individuals with dementia should only use aromatherapy if it brings calm or pleasure. You should also prepare a person well before embarking on this type of therapy.

If they are happy with the process, consider doing this every day because consistency brings out the best results.

3. Some undiluted essential oils can cause skin irritation; thus, it is important to carefully read labels to ensure the oil is ideal for the person it is being used on.

4. Always practice aromatherapy in a place that is good ventilation because the scents are quite powerful.

5. Do not mix or experiment with all types of oils. Pick the one that is the best fitting for the outcome you want and stick to it.

6. Stop aromatherapy if a rash appears. The practice may not be necessary if a person has bruises, cuts, allergies, eczema or psoriasis.

7. Some aromatherapy oils are potent and might lead to headaches or trigger memories that may be distressing or confusing.

Look out for such signs during the practice, especially in cases where the person with dementia may not be in a position to communicate effectively about what is going on.

Closing Thoughts

There is evidence that aromatherapy helps ease some dementia symptoms.

Even though research on aromatherapy and dementia has shown promising results, more studies still need to be done on this subject.

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