Using essential oils with the elderly and infirm is an emerging branch of aromatherapy that’s getting a lot of attention by the medical community.
Scent is being used to calm anxiety and agitation in the elderly and infirm, as well as to boost memory recall.
Studies showed that your sense of smell is, “Closely connected with your brain function and health.” It’s also been discovered that, “Losing your sense of smell as you age can be a sign that you’re at greater risk of developing dementia.”
Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is currently ranked as the third leading cause of death among people over 65 years of age, after heart disease and cancer.
Worldwide about 44 million people have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. That number is expected to triple over the next three decades. There are approximately 500,000 new cases of AD diagnosed each year. Only 1-in-4 people who have Alzheimer's are diagnosed with it. AD is most common in Western Europe and North America and women are more likely to have Alzheimer's than men.
Should you be concerned?
A research study on using aromatherapy on patient’s with Alzheimer’s disease was published in PubMed. The aromatherapy consisted of the use of rosemary and lemon essential oils in the morning, and lavender and orange in the evening.
All of the patients showed significant improvement in their personal orientation related to cognitive function. There were no side-effects associated with the use of aromatherapy.
Melissa oil (lemon balm) was also shown to relieve dementia agitation. A recent study cited in The BMJ (one of the world’s oldest weekly peer-reviewed medical journals) reported Melissa oil to be a safe and effective treatment for the management of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease and has a positive effect on agitation in such patients.
Evidence based studies for using simple lifestyle changes to reverse Alzheimer's disease (even late stage) were also shown successful.
One such study was conducted at UCLA which showed remarkable results. "What they found was striking. Although the size of the study was small, every participant demonstrated such marked improvement that almost all were found to be in the normal range on testing for memory and cognition by the study’s end.”
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READ my next article in this series, Medical Aromatherapy "Comfort Care" Pharmacology & Essential Oils.
READ my first article in this series, Aromatherapy Dominates Global Market - Healthcare Revolution!