Can essential oils be used to treat certain symptoms of dementia?
06/05/2019 // Zoey Sky // Views

Essential oils are commonly used in aromatherapy to relieve stress or address sleep problems. According to a fascinating study, essential oils could also be used to treat certain symptoms of dementia, some of which are associated with Alzheimer's disease.

In the U.S. alone, at least 5.3 million Americans have Alzheimer’s. Most individuals with the disease are aged 65 and older. As the population continues to age, the number of people with Alzheimer’s could skyrocket to 7.1 million by 2025.

Essential oils and cognitive function

Several studies suggest that some essential oils can be used as natural remedies for symptoms of dementia, such as anxiety, memory loss, and sleep problems. Unlike pharmaceutical drugs, essential oils aren't associated with adverse side effects, making them a viable treatment for individuals who don't wish to take prescription drugs for Alzheimer's and its symptoms.

Clinical trials have determined that some essential oils can help address brain disorders, like Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Surprisingly, not many health experts talk about the use of essential oils and aromatherapy as remedies that can help those with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Controlled trials in the field of psychiatry are limited, mostly due to a general lack of pharmaceutical options.

In one trial, researchers observed the effects of lavender and lemon essential oils on patients with dementia.

In this study, the researchers observed 28 elderly volunteers. Among the group, 17 participants had Alzheimer's disease. For 28 days, the patients were given aromatherapy treatment which was followed by a washout period of another 28 days. The participants were exposed to lemon and rosemary essential oils in the morning, and lavender and orange essential oils in the evening.


The researchers reported that all patients showed "significant improvement in personal orientation related to cognitive function." The findings also suggest that aromatherapy treatment had no side effects.

The scientists believe that aromatherapy is a natural and effective therapy for dementia and that the treatment could help improve cognitive function, especially in patients with Alzheimer's.

Studies like this imply that essential oils and aromatherapy are an unexplored method of treatment for individuals with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. With further study, experts could one day develop treatments using essential oils that can help improve the cognitive function and behavior of individuals with certain neurodegenerative diseases.

Lavender and lemon oil are the most commonly used essential oils in these studies but data suggests that other essential oils can help treat the symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s. Continued scientific research and clinical trials may help persuade the medical community of the many benefits of these natural remedies.

Beneficial essential oils for patients with impaired cognitive function

If someone you love has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or similar conditions, consider using the following essential oils to address their symptoms naturally. The oils can be used together with an essential oil diffuser for aromatherapy.

These seven essential oils have been identified as particularly useful in managing symptoms in individuals with Alzheimer’s:

  • Bergamot – Bergamot helps relieve agitation, anxiety, and stress.
  • Ginger – Ginger can address appetite loss and constipation.
  • Lavender – Lavender can help balance emotions and promote calmness. (Related: 7 Proven uses of lavender essential oil.)
  • Lemon balm – Lemon balm helps promote calm, and it can relieve anxiety and insomnia.
  • PeppermintPeppermint is refreshing, and it can help stimulate the mind and calm your nerves.
  • Rosemary – Rosemary can stimulate the body and the mind.
  • Ylang-ylang – Ylang-ylang can ease depression and promote sleep.

Essential oils have therapeutic benefits, and studies have determined that sensory stimulation itself can ease agitation, address sleep problems, and improve the overall quality of life in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Sources include:

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