If your loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, you are most likely looking for ways to alleviate their symptoms. One of the treatments that may work for your senior is the use of essential oils. Parkinson’s leads to major changes to a senior’s health and everyday life. Especially since the symptoms can be extremely difficult to manage and impossible to treat. Essential oils may be a great option for alleviating pain and other symptoms, helping your senior take control back when it comes to their everyday tasks and activities. Though every patient is different, it is possible that essential oils can improve your senior’s quality of life. This article will provide you with important information about this type of treatment and the best essential oils available on the market.
According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s each year, amounting to nearly 1 million Americans who are struggling with the disease. At this time, the cause and cure of the disease are unknown, though scientists are working to offer patients combinations of different treatments. Since there are no set ways of treating the disease, symptoms are extremely difficult to control and require inventive solutions. Natural treatments and remedies are just some of the different options available for those struggling with the disease. Essential oils, for example, can greatly reduce some of Parkinson’s symptoms.
Both a chronic and progressive disorder, Parkinson’s significantly affects the patient’s movement. In addition to this, other symptoms are often present. Though there are some common symptoms – such as tremors, rigidity, slow movement, unstable posture – different patients have varying combinations of these. Other than oil therapy, treatments for Parkinson’s include pet therapy, tai chi, art and music therapy, yoga, and even acupuncture.
A Parkinson’s diagnosis usually means that the patient will struggle with three main symptoms: tremors, difficulties with movement, and muscle stiffness. Tremors manifest in shaking of particular body parts, patients may develop a gait or begin shuffling their feet due to slowing of movement, and stiffness can also make muscles inflexible.
There are also other symptoms that patients experience. Some seniors have to deal with depression and anxiety, memory issues, imbalance, and anosmia (or the loss of the sense of smell).
If you are looking for different treatment methods to go along with prescribed, essential oils may be the best way to go for you and your senior. These can help patients with mental health issues, physical difficulties, loss of smell, tremors, and lack of sleep. Oil therapy has been used for centuries to treat physical and psychological problems and it is possible that it may help your senior as well.
Oil therapy for Parkinson’s
Aromatherapy or the process of taking medically-valuable components from natural sources such as plants and making them into medication has been used for centuries. Though it is not conclusive, in some patients aromatherapy can help with diseases and pain in general. Of course, aromatherapy is not something you can rely on entirely, it should be used as a complementary form of treatment to other solutions and medications. This is why it is essential that you consult the doctor who is treating your senior, especially since they may need to provide a prescription for particular products.
Though it’s not a one-fits-all sort of solution, aromatherapy can have significant positive effects on the body. It can be especially effective considering the way it is used. With massage and other possible applications, the oil can penetrate the skin and reach the muscle tissue to relieve different symptoms connected to the patient’s movement. Though these applications and uses may sound simple, it’s important that you consult a medical practitioner. Using essential oils can sometimes cause unwanted reactions with the medicines your senior already uses, this is why caregivers need to be sure about whether or not aromatherapy is the right way to go.
How can aromatherapy help with Parkinson’s?
There is no concrete, scientific proof that any such therapies or treatments work for all patients of Parkinson’s disease or that they can reverse, slow or stop symptoms caused by Parkinson’s. Still, complementary therapies are a common practice and can be extremely helpful. It’s important that you research your options and find which treatments you are most comfortable with or can work for you.
Even if you decide that aromatherapy is something you are interested in trying out, there are several ways of administering it that you can choose from. You can use essential oils in massages, breathing exercises, ointments, creams, lotions, compresses, baths, and more. An aromatherapist can help you choose the best method for your situation and if you book an appointment with a professional, they will most likely use massage.
During massage treatments, inhalation and skin absorption can be combined. The aromatherapist will also use the best oils for your senior’s needs, whether they want something for depression, agitation, or other issues. For safety and best results, aromatherapy should be performed by or under the guidance of someone who understands which oils to use and what the dose and application should be.
Essential oils and symptoms
You have a myriad of options when it comes to essential oils, even within the categories of each symptom or issue. For example, Immortelle (Helichrysum Italicum) and Frankincense (Boswellia Carterii) are best for reducing brain inflammation. Frankincense – along with Basil (Ocimum Basilicum), Sandalwood (Santalum Album), and Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia) – can also help with muscle stiffness and rigidity. Lavender, Frankincense, Basil, Clary Sage (Salvia Sclarea), Marjoram (Origanum Marjorana), and Vetiver (Vetiveria Zizanoides) can assist those struggling with tremors, reducing their frequency.
Roman (Anthemis Nobilis), German Chamomile (Chamomilla Recutita), Neroli (Citrus Aurantium), Rose Otto (Rosa Damascena), Bergamot (Citrus Bergamia), Ylang Ylang (Cananga Odorata), Sweet Marjoram (Origanum Marjorana), Mandarin (Citrus Reticulata), Geranium (Pelargonium Graveolens), Jasmine (Jasminium Officinale), along with Clary Sage, Lavender, Sandalwood, and Frankincense can assist with stress.
Meanwhile, Lavender, Neroli (Citrus Aurantium), Sweet Marjoram, and Roman Chamomile (Anthemis Nobilis) may benefit those who suffer from insomnia. Marjoram, Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis), Ginger (Zingiber Officinale), Peppermint (Mentha Piperita), Geranium, Black Pepper (Piper Nigrum), Lemongrass (Cymbopogon Citratus), and Basil can help with muscle tension and circulatory issues.
The majority of these oils can all be found on Amazon and purchased under the supervision and guidance of a medical practitioner. Below, you can find some specific oils and the best Amazon retailers for each.
Below are some of the best essential oils on Amazon and in what ways you can use them to treat Parkinson’s symptoms.
Each year, studies on the effects of Frankincense are being done with increasing frequency. You may have noticed above that Frankincense oil has a lot of different uses and can work for several symptoms. For example, it may be able to reduce inflammation, something that patients with Parkinson’s often struggle with.
There are three major brands that we suggest you look at if you’d like to purchase Frankincense essential oil:
- Tisserand Aromatherapy – Their Frankincense essential oil is extracted from the resin of the trees in Somalia, blends well with bergamot, black pepper, and sandalwood, and has great online reviews. This product retails at $17.50.
- Mystic Moments – Their Frankincense oil is great for helping anxiety and stress, often used with meditation. It is suitable for use with soaps, candles, and skin and hair-care products. This oil retails at $21.95.
- Gya Labs – Gya Labs also suggests their oil for de-stressing, relieving skin irritations, and other skin issues. You can purchase this product for $9.99.
Clary Sage, Marjoram and Lavender Oil
A blend of these three oils has been used on patients with Parkinson’s, both through aromatherapy at home and professional massages. Symptoms – including tremors, rigidity, insomnia, muscle pain, joint problems, speech issues, headaches, anxiety, depression, and nausea – may be reduced.
Here are the best options for these specific oils on Amazon:
- Plant Therapy – This oil has an earthy, fruity, and floral aroma that can help users with sleep issues. They also have certified aromatherapists on board who customers can direct all their questions to. This oil retails at $10.95.
- Gya Labs – This product costs $9.99 and can help patients with sleep and mood balance, along with stress management.
- Artizen – This product has thousands of great reviews and is advertised as an essential oil for relaxation, skin therapy, and more. It retails at $13.99.
Vetiver oil is mostly used for reducing tremors and can be great for seniors struggling with Parkinson’s disease. If you’d like to try it out yourself, here are some of your options on Amazon:
- Gya Labs – once again, Gya Labs offers you 100% natural essential oil that can be used to calm the mind, promote better sleep and also relieve pain. It retails for $12.85.
- Plant Therapy – Plant Therapy’s Vetiver essential oil is 100% pure as well, has cooling and relaxing properties, and costs $14.95 on Amazon.
There are a whole lot of other options for purchasing essential oils online. You can also take a look at Healing Solutions and their Bergamot and Lavender essential oils, Nature’s Oil’s Lemongrass, and Alphrodith’s Sandalwood. Though the success of aromatherapy is not certain for all patients, we hope that this article will be helpful for those of you who are trying to find new treatments for your elderly loved one with Parkinson’s.
- Aromatherapy and Parkinson’s, International Federation of Aromatherapists, https://ifaroma.org/application/files/1215/2387/7315/Aromatherapy_and_Parkinsons.pdf