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When you're in a bad mood, what do people typically advise you to do? Take a deep breath in and out. But some take that one step further and light up some aromatic scents. Turns out aromatherapy isn't just good for reducing anxiety, but its also effective at easing certain symptoms of Alzheimer's and related dementia conditions.
There's no denying that certain smells stir up unique feelings and emotions for everyone. But aromatherapy is using those smells to benefit those with Alzheimer's or dementia conditions. The nursing blog Very Well noted that aromatherapy is the fastest growing complementary treatment, as they have found that scents help those diagnosed with Alzheimer's.
What is aromatherapy?
According to the National Association for Holistic 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. Though it had been used for centuries for medicinal purposes, it was formalized by the French perfumer and chemist Rene Maurice Gattefosse in 1937 when he published his book on how to effectively use essential oils for physiological ailments, therefore making it a scientifically backed medical use for aromatic substances.
How does it work for Alzheimer's care?
Very Well explained that studies have found 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. Less unrest means better control over daily processes for the senior, as well as better memory care when they can get a good night sleep. Professionals draw out the oil extracts of plants and can serve them to patients a variety of ways. They are either inhaled, ingested or soaked in through the skin.
What are the most beneficial essential oils for Alzheimer's care?
According to Alzhimers.net, there are several different essential oil scents that have been found to effectively treat the different symptoms of dementia. Check out the more common scents that you might be able to find right in your very own home: