How To Use Essential Oils For Brain Health
It has been said that someone will develop Alzheimer’s disease every 66 seconds in the United States. (1) When you combine the other forms of dementia, the global prevalence is every 3 seconds! This is a profound mystery to most scientists and varying theories have been proposed to explain this horrific epidemic. One theme that is central to most research studies is that brain health is rapidly declining across the board, and taking simple preventative measures is paramount.
But what about when dementia settles in? Is there anything that can be done to slow or reverse its progress? And, if so, are there natural solutions?
The quick answer is, “Yes,” and one of the hidden secrets you won’t hear much about at your doctor’s office is the power of essential oil therapy.
Essential Oils and Dementia
Dementia occurs when nerve cells in the brain become damaged. Recognizing that this affects several areas of the brain, most people experience it uniquely. Consequently, there are various types of dementia, which are generally categorized by two factors: the section of the brain damaged, and whether or not the condition worsens. Of all the different subtypes, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common in people over 65, and it’s interesting to note that research suggests essential oils can help Alzheimer’s patients considerably.
In one study, for example, aromatherapy was used with elderly people suffering from dementia, with the majority being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Every morning, the patients were given rosemary and lemon inhalations and then orange and lavender in the evening. Through multiple forms of analysis, it was uncovered that the “patients showed significant improvement in personal orientation” without any side effects. (2)
Professor of Neurochemical Pathology Elaine Perry has undertaken the momentous task of conducting a multicenter trial to give us some insights into how people with Alzheimer’s and related agitation are affected by aromatherapy. (3)
In Professor Perry words, “Controlled clinical trials of aromatherapy in dementia are being initiated because of promising results from open trials of historical medical remedies.” (3)
Yet, we don’t know exactly why. To simply say that essential oils “work” leaves much to be desired and, if aromatherapy is going to be widely accepted treatment to facilitate long-term brain health, we need to know more about the mechanisms of delivery.
How Do Essential Oils Affect the Brain?
This is not to say that we are completely ignorant of the “why” behind the power essentials oils have in helping maintain brain health well into the senior years. Yale Scientific describes what we know so far this way: (4)
- You smell an essential oil because tiny molecules are being dissolved in the mucus lining of the olfactory epithelium that is located on the roof of our nasal cavity.
- These molecules stimulate olfactory receptors, which trigger sensory neurons to carry signals from the receptors to the olfactory bulb that begins processing and filters the input signals of the essential oil scent.
- From there, mitral cells carry the output signals from the bulb to the olfactory cortex, which causes you to recognize and perceive the particular scent of the oil that you are smelling.
- Interestingly, the mitral cells not only lead to the olfactory cortex, but they also carry signals from the essential oil scent to other areas in the limbic system; the primal brain responsible for memory, instinct and mood.
- Most people don’t know this, but the olfactory system is the only sensory mechanism that involves the limbic system and amygdala in its primary processing pathway.
This connection explains why smell is often linked to memory. Take, for instance, how a certain perfume reminds you a long-lost love or how the aroma of apple pie takes you back to Grandma’s house. This also gives us some keen insight into why essential oils are so popular as a non-pharmaceutical intervention for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia!
However, the power of aromatherapy is debated in the context of these patients. The concern is that some patients with dementia have lost their sense of smell, which explains why some scientific studies suggest that lavender aromatherapy has no effect on agitation; while lavender skin lotion worked wonderfully to reduce aggression.
Best Oils for Optimal Brain Health
To help calm the over-stimulated brain, chamomile, frankincense, lavender and vetiver are popular essential oils.
To use them, simply:
- Add 4-6 drops of your favorite calming oil(s) in a water diffuser during the night to help get a better night’s sleep.
- Apply calming oils over specific trigger points on your body such as behind the knees, temples, and the wrists throughout the day. Always remember to dilute with a carrier oil to prevent burning or skin sensitization!
- Use an inhaler or wear an aromatherapy necklace with your favorite calming oils.
Because exercise has been shown to help slow down or reverse the damage done to brain cells, use can oils to boost athletic performance and to help get you in the mood to work out:
- Peppermint oil provides a nice boost in energy and increases oxygen capacity, both of which contributes to optimal brain health. It is also effective at relieving muscle soreness and is anti-inflammatory.
- Simply apply some diluted peppermint oil over your chest and onto the back of your neck before you exercise to stimulate blood flood and to open up your airways. More oxygen means more energy, and more energy means more exercise!
- Instead of the toxic creams on the drug store shelves, try applying some diluted peppermint over tired, achy joints. Wintergreen and fir oils are also very effective for helping with pain that oftentimes keeps people from exercising.
Oils That Can Help with Dementia
According to Professor Perry’s, some of the most relevant research and traditional uses for essential oils include a wide variety of applications and blends to help dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. Here are some key takeaways from her paper: (5)
- One study uncovered that use of lavender increased sleep patterns in dementia patients who were in residential care.
- In another trial, geranium, lavender and mandarin oils mixed with an almond oil base were applied to the skin of 39 patients that resulted in contentment, increased alertness, and sleeping at night; as well as reduced levels of agitation, wandering and withdrawal.
- In a recent trial of dementia patients, the use of several essential oils including ylang ylang, patchouli, peppermint, rosemary and others produced a significant decrease in disturbed behavior in the majority of patients. Fascinating, this led to a reduction in prescribed conventional medicines, thereby delivering cost savings.
- A blend of lavender, marjoram, patchouli and vetiver applied as a cream was shown to significantly increase the mental state of dementia patients.
Results of placebo-controlled clinical trials using Melissa (lemon balm) and lavender for the treatment of advanced dementia have shown that:
- Lavender and lemon balm aromatherapy increased communication and functional abilities, as well as decreased difficult behavior.
- Lavender aromatherapy and massage significantly reduced frequency of excessive motor behavior.
- Lavender aromatherapy can significantly reduced agitated behavior.
- Lemon balm lotion applied to the face and arms is highly associated with significant reductions measured on an agitation inventory and social withdrawal, together with an increase in constructive activities.
To piece this all together, always remember that many of these techniques are not fully tested, however they show much promise. Listen to your body and be aware of changes in your loved ones if you’re a caregiver.
Essential oils are powerful natural therapies and can do wonders. Enjoy the experience!
My good friend Dr Josh Axe has just released an advanced essential oil training video series that goes deeper than any other training I’ve seen taught on essential oils and it’s incredible. I highly recommend you check it out, as it could transform how you live your life and the best news is it’s 100% FREE.
Register For The Free Video Series Here
There are 3 BIG mistakes that most people make with essential oils, and Dr Axe will go through what they are and how to avoid them in the first video of the series. He’ll also be providing a free goal setting workbook to help you map out the life you want to create for yourself.
Become an Essential Oil Expert
Do you want…freedom, flexibility, giving service to others and truly helping them? This could all be possible as a certified essential oil expert!
Dr. Axe’s Essential Oils Institute teaches how to become a certified essential oils coach and turn a passion for essential oils into a new career. This course has been touted as the #1 essential oil certification program in the world, and it’s curriculum covers a wide range of topics from essentials use for pregnancy, internal use, natural medicine, pets, anointing techniques, therapeutic blends, organic farming, breast-feeding, dosage and compliance.
This online program walks you through everything you need to build your essential oil business. Including…
—The Ultimate Essential Oil Reference Manual
—Advanced Essential Oil Profiles
—Advanced Essential Oil Business-Building Tips
—Social Media Secret for Success
—How to Be a “Level 5 Leader” In Your Organization
—How to Do a Wellness Consultation
—200+ Essential Oil Recipes for Common Health Challenges
—Full-color DIY Guides and Step-by-Step Essential Oil Recipes
—And much, much more…
Check out all the details of the Essential Oil Expert Certification training program here
Sources For This Article Include:
1. 2016 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures Link Here
2. Jimbo D, Kimura Y, Taniguchi M, Inoue M, Urakami K. Effect of aromatherapy on patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Psychogeriatrics. 2009 Dec;9(4):173-9. PMID: 20377818
3. Aromatherapy for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease Link Here
4. Aromatherapy: Exploring Olfaction Link Here
5. Professor Elaine Perry (FmedSci) Link Here
On – By Dr. Jockers
Using Vitamins Successfully
A good daily can ensure you get needed nutrients. Keep reading for tips that can lead you in the right direction.
Vitamins must be synthesized in order to be used by the body; therefore, so you need to know about any potential reactions. For example, iron is not absorbed as well when calcium is present.
Supplements can make up for anything you cannot do this.
A lot of people notice body aches but don’t know why they are occurring. Fish oil and vitamin E often make muscles feel much better because they may soften them if they’re strained or tight.
Iron is essential nutrient to build red blood cells. These red blood cells bring oxygen throughout the body. Women will require a higher iron intake than men do. You may be iron in your diet if you feel exhausted or have trouble breathing.
Many women who are not pregnant take prenatal vitamins to help grow out their hair and nails. This is not a great idea for postmenopausal women because they are typically too high in the right dosage.
Vitamin C is plentiful in citrus fruits and other vegetables and fruits. Supplements are great for those who do not receive the recommended daily allowance in their food. This important vitamin can help treat and prevent colds, acne, acne, stomach ulcers, and stomach ulcers. Studies also show that vitamin C might help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and ADHD can be helped with vitamin C.
If you choose to use children’s gummies, make sure you take several. Adults are going to need more of the vitamins than do children, so you’ll need more than one. Don’t take too many though, though!
A healthy diet should also be supplemented with a non-chemical supplement that you will want to add as well.
In the current difficult economic climate, it’s easy to ignore our health and instantly eat fast food devoid of important vitamins and minerals you need. Get some supplements to make sure you’re getting enough vitamins so that you can help your body work on the process of converting fat into energy.
Always ask yourself what the info you receive on vitamins is from. Question all material you hear to make sure you are getting the truth. If you doubt anything, schedule a talk with your doctor before choosing to take supplements.[wpbanner id=633]
Manganese is a wonder vitamin that should consider. Manganese makes wounds heal up quickly. It also used to speed up how the body metabolizes proteins and carbohydrates. You can boost your dietary manganese by eating beans, whole grain foods, whole grains, and drinking black or green tea. You can also find supplements on the Internet or local vitamin shop.
Use caution when you plan to take. Vitamins and nutrients are essential for your health, but you can overdose. This dangerous situation usually happens when you take too many supplements are taken. The results of taking too many nutrients vary depending on the type of vitamin or mineral, but you’re going to find any result unpleasant.
While we can’t live at the gym or eat like rabbits, we can work hard to have good health. Vitamins can be a great way to feel better. Keep these tips in mind so that you can treat your body well.