Aromatherapy has played an important role in holistic health and wellness practices for centuries. But recently, its effects have been shown to help seniors suffering from a range of health problems.
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 common age-related health conditions and the essential oils that can help alleviate them.
Essential Oils for Arthritis and Other Inflammatory Conditions
Arthritis and painful, inflamed joints are common problems for many seniors. Certain essential oils can be used to help ease the pain and inflammation, and even the excess fluid, found in the joints. The best solutions for arthritis and other inflammatory joint conditions are ginger, rosemary, roman chamomile, and marjoram. These oils work because they have outstanding anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. For people with excess fluid in their joints, juniper berry essential oil works very well at removing the fluid build-up.
Essential Oils for Aiding Digestion
Seniors will sometimes refuse to eat because their digestive systems don’t work as well as they used to. But, by mixing certain essential oils with a carrier oil (like vegetable oil) and rubbing the mixture onto your abdomen, this has been shown to smooth out digestion problems. Ginger, chamomile, and marjoram also work well here, as does essential oil of orange and mandarin.
Essential Oils for Improving Blood Flow
Circulation problems are common in seniors because older adults simply aren’t as mobile as they once were. But, using essential oils like peppermint or black pepper has been shown to help improve poor circulation and these oils have been shown to help patients suffering from Reynaud’s Disease.
Essential Oils for High Blood Pressure
Another common problem among older adults is high blood pressure. Ylang ylang, lavender, and clary sage, all of which have potent sedative powers, have also been shown to be just as effective at lowering one’s blood pressure. These oils are also commonly used to help seniors suffering from sleeping problems, including insomnia.
Essential Oils for Reducing Alzheimer’s and Dementia Risks
As we age, Alzheimer’s and dementia concerns increase. But, research has been conducted that shows certain essential oils, like rosemary, peppermint, basil, and lemon, can improve mental alertness and memory function and this may help reduce a senior’s risk of developing these conditions.
Essential Oils for Anxiety and Depression
A large number of older adults are afflicted by anxiety and depression on a daily basis. To help curb these conditions, try citrus oils like orange, lemon, grapefruit, bergamot, or neroli. Citrus essential oils work well because they have natural anti-depressant properties. If you suffer from panic attacks, try essential oil of rose.
Essential Oils for Respiratory Problems
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 eucalyptus smithii, ravensara, peppermint, tea tree, lavender, rosemary and thyme.
Essential Oils for Skin Conditions
Seniors suffer from a wide range of skin conditions, from cuts and scrapes to skin irritation and wrinkles. If you get a cut or a scrape, using an oil like lavender, tea tree, or chamomile works because they each have antifungal, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties. For wrinkles, try essential oil of carrot, frankincense, rose, or rosemary. These are effective against wrinkles because they contain powerful antioxidants which help improve skin health.
Considerations for Using Essential Oils for Senior Wellness in Wilmington NC
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, like vegetable oil, before being applied and seniors should use half the recommended percentage of oil for an adult. We also found a super useful guide on all things you should know about essential oils written by the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy’s director for the state of Louisiana to reference when considering the use of Essential oils. 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.