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Aromatherapy - The Science of Smell


Aromatherapy is both an art and science as it uses natural essential oils and extracts from plants that chemically balance the body, mind and spirit. Aromatherapy uses essential oils from plants, either applied in a lotion and absorbed by the skin or inhaled and absorbed into the lungs and nasal passages, to improve physical and mental health.

Aroma enters through the nose through olfactory hairs/bulbs to the limbic system of our brain. This primitive area of the brain bypasses the local or reasoning part of us. Memory and emotions are housed here. The limbic system also directly communicates with the master glands -- the hypothalamus and pituitary glands regulate many body functions including hormones and the immune system.

Aromatherapy workings

Studies have found that aromatherapy can help seniors with anxiety and depression issues, as well as encourage a better quality of life. Aromatherapy specifically helps those diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease relieve agitation and improve sleep. One study used various essential oils on 28 patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease for a 30-day period and the results found were a significant improvement in personal orientation and cognitive function.

Essential Oils Are Effective For:
  • Mood Changes
  • Behavioral Issues
  • Appetitie
  • Sleep
  • Wounds
  • Infections
  • Colds and Flu
  • Weight Maintenance

Some oils such as Peppermint, Rosemary, Jasmine, Lemongrass and Grapefruit stimulate and have an uplifting effect on the body. Others such as Lavender, Rose, Geranium, Lemon Balm, Sandalwood and Ylang-Ylang have a relaxing or sedating effect on the body. With Alzheimer's individuals, using uplifting oils in the morning can stimulate appetites, moods and energy levels.

Essential Oils
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A sensory system to improve the symptoms of Alzheimer's and dementia...

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The Best Essential Oils For Alzheimer's and Dementia

Aromatic oils have been used for over 5,000 years; ancient Egyptians used them as perfumes and there are many references in the Bible to their use in mental and physical healing. While essential oils are not a cure for dementia, they can do a great deal to improve quality of life. Certain oils have proven effective for depression, anxiety, restlessness, focus and insomnia, all of which are symptoms of Alzheimer's and other conditions caused by the onset of dementia. Here are some common scents:

  • Lavender: one of the better known scents, lavender is used to calm feelings of anxiety, depression and general mood swings.
  • Rosemary: this is a fresh aroma that is used to uplift the mind and body, improving cognitive performance.
  • Lemon Balm: this oil gives those who use it the ability to relax and improve memory and digestion.
  • Peppermint: this essential oil has energizing properties, calms nerves and improves brain function and focus.
  • Bergamot: is an excellent and popular option for relieving anxiety, nervousness, mood and mild bouts of depression.
  • Ylang-Ylang: is an essential oil that calms the mind, combats stress, anxiety and insomnia and is likely to improve focus and concentration.
  • Ginger: can stimulate the mind, improve mental clarity and focus.