Aromatherapy has been around for centuries, and it continues to play an important role in holistic health practices. Recently, there has been more focus on how it can help with a variety of health issues that seniors commonly experience.
At Davis Community, we use essential oils as part of our wellness program to help facilitate improved health and senior wellness in Wilmington NC. Here are some ways essential oils can be used to ease discomfort and promote better health.
Relief From Arthritis and Other Inflammatory Conditions
Almost half of people over 65 have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis. Essential oils may be able to ease pain and inflammation associated with this condition, and they can even help when excess fluid builds up in the joints. Oils with anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties can be used to treat inflammation. Some oils that may be effective in treating joint inflammation include:
- Roman chamomile
Juniper berry essential oil can be used to remove fluid build-up.
Simply mix a few drops of oil, or a combination of oils, with a carrier like coconut oil or sweet almond oil and apply to painful joints for relief.
Digestive trouble can discourage seniors from eating and can have negative long-term effects if it prevents them from getting adequate nutrition. Any of these oils can be mixed with a carrier oil and applied to the abdomen to promote better digestion:
Better Mental Health
Some oils can improve mental alertness and memory function and may even reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s or dementia.
For seniors suffering from anxiety or depression, essential oils can be soothing and uplifting. Citrus oils have natural anti-depressant properties and can provide relief. Try any of the following:
Oil of rose can be useful to help with panic attacks.
Better Cardiovascular Health
Partly because older adults aren’t as mobile as they used to be, poor circulation is a common issue for seniors. To improve circulation (or to help treat Reynaud’s disease) try:
- Black pepper
- Ylang ylang
- Clary sage
- Sweet marjoram
Because of their calming properties, these oils can also help with sleep issues, such as insomnia.
Treating Respiratory Issues
Seniors are at a much higher risk of developing colds, coughs, and the flu. But these conditions can be alleviated by using essential oils with strong anti-viral, anti-bacterial, decongestant, and expectorant qualities. These include:
- Tea tree
These oils can be mixed with a carrier oil and applied to the skin, used in a diffuser, or added to a bath.
Treating Skin Conditions
Oils with anti fungal, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties are useful to promote healing. The following oils can be used to treat minor cuts or scrapes:
- Tea tree
Essential oils can even be used to treat wrinkles. Many of them contain powerful antioxidants, which help to improve skin health. Natural wrinkle-fighters include:
It is important to note that some essential oils can be very strong and thus they can cause a reaction with the skin when applied. To help prevent this, essential oils should always be mixed with a carrier oil before being applied, and seniors should use half the recommended percentage of oil for an adult. Seniors on medication should also always consult with their doctors before using an essential oil as some may interact with certain medications.
For more information about Davis Community or our programs for senior wellness in Wilmington NC, just give us a call today at 910-566-1200.