Introduction: Aromatherapy is the practice of using volatile plant oils, including essential oils, for psychological and physical well-being. Essential oils, the pure essence of a plant, have been found to provide both psychological and physical benefits when used correctly and safely. The Essential Oil Profiles area details over 90 essential oils. Absolutes, CO2s and Hydrosols are also commonly utilized in aromatherapy.
Although essential oils, CO2 extracts and absolutes are distilled by different methods, the term essential oil is sometimes used as a blanket term to include all natural, aromatic, volatile, plant oils including CO2s and absolutes. In addition to essential oils, aromatherapy encourages the use of other complementary natural ingredients including cold pressed vegetable oils, jojoba (a liquid wax), hydrosols, herbs, milk powders, sea salts, sugars (an exfoliant), clays and muds. Products that include synthetic ingredients are frowned upon in holistic aromatherapy.
It is important to note that perfume oils also known as fragrance oils (and usually listed as “fragrance” on an ingredient label) are not the same as essential oils. Fragrance oils and perfume oils contain synthetic chemicals and do not provide the therapeutic benefits of essential oils. DEFINITION OF AROMATHERAPY: Aromatherapy is… the skilled and controlled use of essential oils for physical and emotional health and well being. ” Valerie Cooksley “Aromatherapy conveys the concept of healing with aromatic substances. ” Robert Tisserand Aromatherapy is a caring, hands-on therapy which seeks to induce relaxation, to increase energy, to reduce the effects of stress and to restore lost balance to mind, body and soul. ” Robert Tisserand “Aromatherapy can be defined as the controlled use of essential oils to maintain and promote physical, psychological, and spiritual wellbeing. ” Gabriel Mojay Aromatherapy can be defined as the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit.
It is an art and science which seeks to explore the physiological, psychological and spiritual realm of the individual’s response to aromatic extracts as well as to observe and enhance the individual’s innate healing process. As a holistic practice, Aromatherapy is both a preventative approach as well as an active method to employ during acute and chronic stages of illness or ‘dis’-ease. It is a natural, non-invasive modality designed to affect the whole person not just the symptom or disease and to assist the body’s natural ability to balance, regulate, heal and maintain itself by the correct use of essential oils. Aromatherapy is essentially an interaction between the therapist, client and essential oils, working together to bring forth the healing energy which will help the client regain their sense of well being and vitality. ” Jade Shutes History of Aromatherapy: The term “aromatherapie” was coined by Rene Maurice Gattefosse in 1928. He utilized the word to imply the therapeutic use of aromatic substances (essential oils). Since the beginning of Aromatherapy, the practice has encompassed human pathology and the treatment of different conditions (emotional and physical) with essential oils.
As Aromatherapy developed into a practice it adopted an holistic approach which encompasses the body, the mind and the spirit (energy). As an holistic therapy Aromatherapy is able to work on several levels of the individuals well being. In brief, aromatherapy is the use of volatile plant oils, including essential oils, for psychological and physical well-being. Although the term aromatherapy was not used until the 20th Century, the foundations of aromatherapy date back thousands of years. The use of essential oils in particular date back nearly one thousand years.
The Chinese may have been one of the first cultures to use aromatic plants for well-being. Their practices involved burning incense to help create harmony and balance. Later, the Egyptians invented a rudimentary distillation machine that allowed for the crude extraction of cedar wood oil. It is also thought by some that Persia and India may have also invented crude distillation machines, but very little is known. Aromatherapy had been around for 6000 years or more. The Greeks, Romans, and ancient Egyptians all used aromatherapy oils.
The Egyptian physician Imhotep recommended fragrant oils for bathing, massage, and for embalming their dead nearly 6000 years ago. Imhotep is the Egyptian god of medicine and healing. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, used aromatherapy baths and scented massage. He used aromatic fumigations to rid Athens of the plague. The modern era of aromatherapy is dawned in 1930 when the French chemist Rene Maurice Gattefosse coined the term aromatherapy for the therapeutic use of essential oils. He was fascinated by the benefits of lavender oil in healing his burned hand without leaving any scars.
He started investigating the effect of other essential oils for healing and for their psychotherapeutic benefits. During world war II, the French army surgeon Dr. Jean Valnet used essential oils as antiseptics. Later, Madame Marguerite Maury elevated aromatherapy as a holistic therapy. She started prescribing essential oils as remedy for her patients. She is also credited with the modern use of essential oils in massage. Robert B. Tisserand is an English aromatherapist who is responsible for being one of the first individuals to bring knowledge and education of aromatherapy to English speaking nations.
He has written books and articles including the highly respected 1977 publication The Art of Aromatherapy. The Art of Aromatherapy was the first aromatherapy book published in English. From the late 20th century and on into the 21st century, there is a growing resurgence to utilize more natural products including essential oils for therapeutic, cosmetic and aromatic benefit. The use of essential oils never ceased, but the scientific revolution minimized the popularity and use of essential oils in one’s everyday life.
Today’s heightened awareness regarding the use of synthetics coupled with the increased availability of aromatherapy information within books and the Internet has refueled the use of essential oils for therapeutic, cosmetic, fragrant and spiritual use. Essential Oils: Essential oils are concentrated extracts taken from the roots, leaves, seeds, or blossoms of plants. Each contains its own mix of active ingredients, and this mix determines what the oil is used for. Some oils are used to promote physical healing — for example, to treat swelling or fungal infections.
Others are used for their emotional value — they may enhance relaxation or make a room smell pleasant. Orange blossom oil, for example, contains a large amount of an active ingredient that is thought to be calming. Ten Basic Essential Oils Lavenderoverall first aid oil; antiviral and antibacterial, boosts immunity, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic Chamomileanti-inflammatory, antiallergenic, digestive, relaxant, antidepressant Marjoramantispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic Rosemarystimulating to circulation, relieves pain, decongestant, improves circulation Tea treeantifungal, antiyeast, antibacterial
Cypressastringent, stimulating to circulation, antiseptic, astringent Peppermintdigestive, clears sinuses, antiseptic, decongestant, stimulant Eucalyptusdecongestant, antiviral, antibacterial, stimulant Bergamotantidepressant, antiparasitic, anti-inflammatory Geraniumbalancing to mind and body, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory MECHANISM OF ACTION: It is generally understood that essential oils may improve skin and scalp by external application and they may improve mood simply by offering a pleasant aroma as with a perfume or room spray.
Internal therapies may be elicited from direct ingestion of essential oils (practiced in European aromatherapy, but rarely in North America). Inhaled aromatic molecules are another pathway to reach internal tissues. The inhaled molecules react with nerves in the olfactory bulb and relay nerve messages to the limbic system or are absorbed into the blood stream by thin membranes of the nose, bronchioles and lungs. It is also now well accepted that essential oil components can be absorbed through the skin to reach internal organs.
In fact, the use of skin patches has become a common mechanism for dispensing pharmaceuticals. These various mechanisms have lead one author to remark that she prefers the phrase “essential oil therapy” to “aromatherapy” because the oils are not always inhaled and don’t necessarily smell good (Halcon 2002). More recent literature has supported and expanded our knowledge of the details of these mechanisms. Richard Axel and Linda Buck won the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their research (Axel & Buck 1991) clarifying in molecular detail the gene coding of odorant receptors.
An unexpected result was that of all the genes that code for olfactory receptor molecules, each individual olfactory receptor cells expresses only one gene. Different odors are detected by different combinations of receptors. It is the combinatorial power of multiple receptors, each distinguishing a limited piece of the odorant code, that results in our ability to distinguish and form memories of more than 10,000 different odors (Nobelprize. org 2004). Absorption through the skin was observed by Jager ( 1992).
When a 2% solution of lavender was applied to the abdomen, 10% of the lavender was absorbed into the general blood circulation with plasma levels peaking after 20 minutes. Levels of linalool and linalyl acetate, active constituents of lavender oil, dropped to zero after 90 minutes. During this period after application, the lavender oil constituents were circulated to tissue via capillaries. Potentially higher levels of absorption are likely across the highly vascular cribiform plate in the nose with a direct pathway to the brain (Jager 1992).
Many anesthetics, who’s uptake and distribution mechanism is known (Eger 1998), are aliphatic hydrocarbon chains, as are many essential oils. Geiger speculates that the action of anesthetics may conceivably be applied to explain some of the actions of essential oils at the cellular level. Intranuclear protein synthesis from DNA may be involved in the action of constituents of scent at the cellular level (Frondoza et al. 2004). A growing number of in vitro and in vivo studies document the specific actions of essential oils, particularly anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties.
Baylac and Racine ( 2003) suspected that the mechanism for anti-inflammatory properties of some essential oils is inhibition of enzymatic reactions in the epidermis and other tissues. They evaluated 32 essential oils, 10 absolutes and 26 chemical constituents in vitro for their ability to inhibit 5-lipooxygenase, an important enzyme in a complex case of inflammatory events. Many of the oils used in aromatherapy for inflammation (e. g. , myrrh, Copaiba balsam, Himalayan cedar, sandalwood, juniper berry and German Chamomile) had strong to good activity.
The authors were surprised to find other essential oils, primarily Citrus species, also had strong activity in vitro, but were not reportedly used in aromatherapy for inflammation. Roman chamomile, which is used for inflammation in aromatherapy had poor activity, which suggest that other modes of action are responsible for its anti-inflammatory activity. The authors were also able to compare the activity of individual constituents of the essential oils (Baylac & Racine 2003).
Anti-inflammatory effects in vivo due to both lipoxgenase and cyclooxygenase inhibition have been reported earlier for clove essential oils (Saeed & Gilani 1994). INDICATIONS OF AROMATHERAPY: Aromatherapy can help to promote relaxation. 2 It is currently widely used in the management of:4 Chronic pain Depression Anxiety Some cognitive disorders Insomnia Stress-related disorders It has also been used in the treatment of: Headaches Asthma Eczema Digestive problems Menstrual or menopausal problems Pain relief during labour
People may be treated by an aromatherapist, or they can buy certain aromatherapy oils over the counter at pharmacies, health shops and other outlets and treat themselves. An aromatherapist will probably massage oils into the skin. For self-treatment they may be added to a bath or inhaled using steaming water, a diffuser or an incense burner. There is also a wide range of toiletries containing essential oils. Essential oils are volatile and flammable. They should never be used near an open flame. The essential oils sold in shops are often mislabelled and dosage may be unreliable.
CONTRAINDICATIONS OF AROMATHERAPY: Contra-indications and Cautions for Aromatherapy Massage It should be remembered that clients with medical conditions might present with factors that may increase the effects of the essential oils used. However, it should also be stressed that there are a multitude of essential oils whose effects may also bene? t a client’s condition, for instance Lavender essential oil combined with the relaxing effects of an aromatherapy massage may help to lower a client’s blood pressure and improve their general circulation.
Medical advice should always be sought for a client with a medical condition to reduce the risk of adverse effects, and guidelines for choice of essential oil should be based on common sense and reliable clinical data, if available. It should also be considered that, whilst massage may be contra-indicated for certain conditions, other forms of treatment might be suitable (such as inhalation, compresses, skin creams and lotions etc ). Conditions that are contra-indicated to aromatherapy massage include: Fever in the case of a fever there is a risk of spreading infection due to the increased circulation created by amassage.
During fever, body temperature rises as a result of infection. Infectious diseases (colds, ? u, measles, tuberculosis, scarlet fever) these are contra-indicated due to the factthey are contagious. Skin diseases care should be taken to avoid the risk of cross infection and of spreading the infection. Recent haemorrhage haemorrhaging is excessive bleeding, which may be either internal or external. Massage should be avoided due to the risk of increasing blood spillage from blood vessels. If in any doubt, medical advice should be sought. Severecirculatorydisordersandheartconditions edicalclearanceshouldbesoughtasthereisariskthattheincreased circulationfromthearomatherapymassagemayoverburdentheheartan dincreasetheriskofathrombusorembolus. Ifmedicalclearanceisgiven,thearomatherapymassageshouldbeappliedlightlyandgently. Essential oils such as Lavender and Marjoram may help a client with a heart condition as they are considered to be heartsedatives . Thrombosis medical clearance should be sought as there is a risk that the increased circulation from thearomatherapy massage may move a clot to the heart. If medical clearance is given, the massage should beapplied lightly and gently. High blood pressure lients with high blood pressure should have a medical referral prior to aromatherapymassage even if they are on prescribed medication, due to their susceptibility to form clots. Clients taking anti-hypertensive medication may be prone to postural hypotension and may feel light-headedand dizzy after treatment. Care should therefore be taken to assist a client off the couch and ensure that theyget up slowly. Once medical clearance is obtained, aromatherapy massage should be generally soothing and relaxing. Several essential oils are said to help lower blood pressure and these include Clary Sage, Lavender, Lemon, Marjoramand Sweet Orange.
Low blood pressure care should be taken with a client suffering from low blood pressure when sitting orstanding after massage due to the fact they may experience dizziness and could fall. Care should be taken to avoid essential oils that are more sedative and help to lower blood pressure, in particularLavender and Marjoram . Epilepsy medical advice should always be sought prior to massaging a client with a history of epilepsy. If clearance is given, care should be taken to avoid the use of oils that are too stimulating on the nervous system or toodeeply relaxing to reduce the risk of convulsions.
An important consideration is the choice of aroma as some types of epilepsy may be triggered by smell. Diabetes clients with diabetes require medical referral as they may also be prone to arteriosclerosis, high bloodpressure and oedema. Pressure should be carefully monitored due to any loss in sensory nerve function resultingin the client being unable to give accurate feedback regarding pressure. If the client is receiving injections, care should be taken to avoid aromatherapy massage on recent injectionsites.
Clients should also have their necessary medications with them when they attend for treatment, in theevent of an emergency. Cancer medical advice and guidance should always be sought before carrying out an aromatherapy treatmenton a client who has a cancerous condition. There is a theoretical risk that certain types of cancer may spreadthrough the lymphatic system and that aromatherapy massage may aid in the metasis of the cancer. Common sense tells us that lymph ? ow will not be stimulated any more by gentle massage than it will by themuscular contraction caused by normal body movement.
There is therefore no reason to believe that gentlemassage will cause cancer cells to spread, which would not otherwise have done so. Medication the use of certain essential oils may exacerbate the excretion of drugs by speeding up thedetoxi? cation of the liver. However, a signi? cant interaction between an essential oil and drugs is unlikelyunless essential oils have been given in oral doses. The interaction between essential oils and drugs is an area that remains unexplored and is largelyundocumented, due to there being no yellow card system for recording reactions, as in traditional medicine.
Homeopathic preparations there is no conclusive answer as to whether aromatherapy interferes withhomeopathic treatment. Some believe the actions and strong odours of certain essential oils (such asPeppermint) may antidote homeopathic treatment, others feel that aromatherapy may enhance its actions. If a client is undergoing homeopathic treatment at the time of an aromatherapy massage then it is sensible forthe client to consult their homeopath to ensure that the proposed treatment you intend to offer is in synergywith the homeopathic preparations.
Abdominal treatment for women during menstruation the abdominal area may be omitted from thearomatherapy massage during menstruation to avoid discomfort. However, some clients may ? nd massaging thelower back helpful in offering pain relief and comfort. Pregnancy as essential oils will cross the placental barrier they have the potential to affect the foetus. Safeguidelines for treating pregnant women include: ? avoid treating any women with a poor obstetric history (bleeding, miscarriages) without advice from theclient’s GP/obstetrician ? void any form of treatment during the ? rst trimester of the pregnancy ? use lower dilutions of essential oils (usually 1 per cent or less) ? avoid all oils considered to be emmenagogues and research known safety data to avoid potentially toxicessential oils that may be harmful to mother and foetus. Migraine some strong or heavy odours may precipitate or exacerbate the effects of a migraine. Careful choiceof oils is needed in consultation with the client. Children and babies require special care and handling. A lower dilution of oils (1 per cent or ess) should beused and care should be taken to avoid all toxic oils (recommended oils for children include RomanChamomile, Lavender, Rose and gentle citrus oils such as Mandarin). The majority of essential oils when used correctly in aromatherapy treatments represent a negligiblerisk. However, it should be remembered that essential oils are very powerful and concentrated substances,and should therefore be employed with a great deal of care as inappropriate use may cause undesiredeffects. There are three main types of hazard associated with essential oils: ? toxicity ? irritation sensitisation. Toxicity Toxicity is a broad term, which is used in aromatherapy to describe the hazardous effects associated with themisuse of essential oils. Toxic reactions depend on the amount of essential oils being used, the method of administration and the physiological status of the client being treated. There are two main categories of toxicity: ? acute ? chronic. Acute toxicity This refers to the result of a short-term administration of a substance, and usually involves a single high lethaldose. Acute toxicity may be sub-categorised into the following classi? ations: ? Acute oral toxicity – this literally means ‘poisoning’ when an essential oil is taken orally in a high lethaldose; this may result in death. So far, all serious reported cases of poisoning have arisen after oralingestion of essential oils. Aromatherapy massage is therefore unlikely to give rise to such a serious risk aspoisoning. ? Acute dermal toxicity – high levels of essential oils are applied and readily absorbed through the skin to causesystemic toxicity, which could cause damage to the liver and kidneys (these are the two major organs of thebody to ? ter out unwanted toxic substances from the bloodstream). Chronic toxicity This is the repeated use of a substance over a period of weeks, months or years, and is used to describe theadverse effects produced in the skin or elsewhere in the body, either by external or internal use. Adverse effects of chronic toxicity may include headaches, nausea, minor skin eruptions, and lethargy. Phototoxicity This term refers to a photochemical reaction that takes place in the skin by the combination of a phototoxic oiland ultra-violet rays.
It may result in a mild colour change, to rapid tanning and hyperpigmentation. Dependingon the severity of the photochemical reaction, it may cause blistering or deep weeping burns. The most common phototoxic agents in essential oils are furocoumarins (such as bergaptene in bergamot oil),which, upon exposure to sunlight (natural or arti? cial), can cause adverse skin reactions. Common examples of essential oils that may present a risk of phototoxicity include: ? Bergamot (expressed – a method of production for citrus oils in which oil is expressed from the rind of thefruit) ?
Lemon (expressed) ? Bitter Orange (expressed) ? Lime (expressed) ? Grapefruit (expressed). The risk of phototoxicity can be eliminated or at least reduced to safe levels by adhering to the following safepractice: ? Usefurocoumarinfreebergamot(FCF)(seeKeyNotebelow)ordistilledcitrusoilsthatarenon-phototoxic. ? Use sunscreen to reduce the potential effect of phototoxicity. ? Ensure that the area treated is covered and is not exposed to strong sunlight (natural or arti? cial) for atleast eight hours following treatment with phototoxic oils. Irritation
This is the most common type of reaction of the skin to essential oils, and is caused when a substance such asan essential oil reacts with the mast cells of the skin and releases histamine. The term irritation refers to localised in? ammation that may affect the skin and mucous membranes, and resultsin itchiness as well as varying degrees of in? ammation. Irritation is dose-dependent, and so reaction is directly proportional to the amount used in treatment. Common examples of essential oils representing a risk of irritation include: Cinnamon Leaf Clove Bud Clove Stem Clove Leaf Red Thyme Wild Thyme.
Note: Some more common essential oils may occasionally cause irritation if used undiluted on the skin. Carcinogenic substances Little is known about the risk of dermally applied potentially carcinogenic substances found in essential oils,such as safrole and estragole. Some essential oils that contain small components of estragole and safrole are considered safe for use inaromatherapy at the maximum external concentration (use 1–2 per cent) but which should not be taken inoral dosages include: Fennel, Basil (low estragole), Ho Leaf (camphor/safrole CT), Nutmeg (i. e. Indian),Cinnamon Leaf and Star Anise.
Essential oils that Tisserand and Balacs advise should be avoided altogether in aromatherapy due to thecarcinogenic potential include Ravensara anisata, Sassafras, Basil (high estragole), Tarragon (French), Camphor(brown), Calamus (Indian), Tarragon (Russian) and Camphor (yellow). Sensitisation This is an allergic reaction to an essential oil, and usually takes the form of a rash, similar to the reaction of theskin to urticaria. For sensitisation to occur, the allergen (i. e. an essential oil) must penetrate the skin and will involve an immune response by the release of histamine. It will cause an in? mmatory reaction, brought about by the cells of the immune system (T-lymphocytes) becoming sensitised. Upon ? rst exposure to the substance, the effects on the skin will be slight if at all; but on repeated application of the same substance, the immune system will produce a reaction similar to dermal in? ammation and the skin may appear blotchy and irritated. Sensitisation is not dose-dependent, and so it is not dependent on concentration. Intolerance may build up on repeated contact with a sensitising oil, or after one application. Common examples of essential oils that may cause sensitisation include: Cinnamon (bark, leaf and stem) Ginger
Lemon Lemongrass Lime Melissa Bitter Orange Peppermint Teatree Thyme. Degradation of essential oils can lead to increased hazards. For instance, the oxidation of the chemical compound terpenses makes the essential oils more likely to caused skin sensitisation. How Does Aromatherapy Work / How Can Aromatherapy Help Me? There are two main ways in which aromatherapy oils are absorbed into the body: 1. Absorption through the skin, hair follicles and sweat glands into bodies fluids. When absorbed in this way, the oils effect the body in a variety of ways, they • Help to kill bacteria and to stimulate the Immune System • Boost the circulation Promote new cell growth • Stimulate organs of detoxification • Support the body’s ability to heal itself 2. Inhalation; absorbed through lungs into the bloodstream. In this way the oils stimulate Limbic System in brain. The limbic system controls emotions and influences the nervous system and hormones. When you inhale essential oil molecules, messages are transmitted to the limbic system which affects heart rate, stress level, blood pressure, breathing, memory, digestion, and the immune system.
In this way the oils are able to effect moods and emotional state of well being. USES OF AROMATHERAPY IN PSYCHIATRY: A review concluded that aromatherapy may provide a potentially effective treatment for a range of psychiatric disorders. It also noted the safety of aromatherapy when compared to conventional psychotropic drugs. It called for more research in this area. It can be very difficult to extract the differences that may be due to the pleasant aromas, relaxation and physical touch of aromatherapy from any other health benefit.
Another recent paper highlighted that there have been some promising results which suggest that further research is warranted to investigate the potential of essential oils in treating anxiety, depression and symptoms of stress. A further review highlighted that there is currently minimal empirical evidence for the use of aromatherapy in the treatment of anxiety and depression. However the review concluded that this lack of evidence does not reduce the popularity of complementary and alternative medicines within the general western population. Aromatherapy for depression Depression and Aromatherapy: aroma aromatherapy depression therapy
Aromatherapy is particularly effective in dealing with stress, depression and stress related disorders. ‘Depression’ is a term which encompasses a wide spectrum of psychic problems ans symtoms which, in turn, can lead to more serious illnesses. Aromatherapy, in helping to relax the patient and by reducing stress, may actually help to prevent such conditions. Depression related disorders, such as digestive problems, stress and other mental problems, can be treated by Aromatherapy. As depression is reduced, there is a corresponding improvement in sleep patterns and energy levels.
Aromatherapy is an alternative theatment that uses the highly concentrated essential oils that are extracted from plants to treat symptoms and assist in the healing process. Aromatherapy can help in mild forms of depression. It may ease mental fatigue and help with sleep. Essential oils can help to lighten and uplift ones mood. Just the right blend applied in massages, baths, diffusers and personal perfumes can all be helpful at such times. However, if you, or someone you know, are severely depressed, additional support and therapy are necessary.
Aromatherapy is more effective when used as a Complementary therapy, assisting other therapies. There is very little evidence for all the claims made by aromatherapists regarding the various healing properties of oils. The use of aromatherapy can be seen as part of a lifestyle choice — a lifestyle that allows for pleasure because a moment of pleasure is healing. How to cure depression with aromatherapy? Studies with brain wave frequency has shown that smelling lavender increases alpha waves in the back of the head, which are associated with relaxation.
Fragrance of Jasmine increases beta waves in the front of the head, which are associated with a more alert state. These aromatherapy oils are helpful in curing depression: Aromatherapy is aimed at revitalizing the body and mind while lifting your spirits. Aromatherapy will aid in promoting a sense of well being. Aromatherapy is also known for easing mental fatigue and insomnia. When you use these wonderful essential oils in the correct blend for massages, baths, diffusers and even personal perfumes you will begin to benefit from the use of aromatherapy.
Using aromatherapy for depression will give you the peace of mind and the well being that you need. You will enjoy the uplifting feeling that will rid your life of depression. Essential Oils Curative Properties Clary Sage essential oil It is used in treating insomnia, anxiety and depression. Basil Basil essential oil is used to lift fatigue, anxiety and depression. Rose essential oil Rose is great on the entire nervous system and disorders Ylang-ylang A great relaxer anxiety, depression and Insomnia. Sandalwood Sandalwood’s sedative properties are good for treating depression and tension.
Lavender Lavender essential oil is used for nervous system disorders such as depression, headache, hypertension, insomnia, migraine, nervous tension, stress related conditions. Jasmine essential oil Jasmine increase the beta waves in the front of the head which can give you a more alert and responsive state of mind. Other oils that have been used in different blends to relax and relieve depression Rosemary essential oil – Rosmarinus Officinalis Patchouli essential oil – Pogostemon patchouli Chamomile essential oil – Anthemis Nobilib Bergamot essential oil – Citrus Bergamia
Geranium essential oil – Pelargonium Adorantissimum Safety and Warnings: As Aromatherapy is an alternative treatment, inform your Doctor before starting it because it may cause some side effects also. This is a general guide only, for the treatment of persistent problems, seek advice of a qualified aromatherapist. Chronic Depression conditions should be referred to a medical practioner. How to treat insomnia with aromatherapy? Aromatherapy for insomnia Aromatherapy is concerned with aroma, or odour, which induces an effect on the human body.
This is because our senses of smell works on a subconscious level, and smell can effect emotional behaviour. Olfactory nerves affect memory and thought. Different odours can stimulate the brain and evoke images or feelings associated with that particular smell; Aromatherapy uses this in dealing with mental and emotional aspects of healing. Different smells are used to stimulate or relax the patient as the need may be. These oils can help you: Camomile Patchouli Sandalwood Neroli Ylang-ylang Marjoram You can use ten drops in your bath and soak well. Or for massage use 12 drops in 4 fl oz (100 ml) of a carrier oil.
Or inhale neat and sprinkle a few drops on your pillow. Camomile is one of the most sedative oils and you could also try using it in a burner, and drinking camomile tea before you go to bed. AROMATHERAPY IN DEMENTIA: The effect of aromatherapy and olfactory stimulation on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia has not been studied to the extent that the effects of stimulating other senses have. There are several studies, on the other hand, that conclude that certain aromatherapy oils, when used with people who have Alzheimer’s, do have a positive effect on mood, behavior, and even on cognitive functioning. Aromatherapy” is a somewhat misleading term, since it isn’t necessarily the aroma of the oils used that causes the desired effect, rather a direct effect that the oils have on the body, whether through contact with the lungs (breathing), or the skin (massage or body oils and lotions). Aging and dementias can both diminish the olfactory sense, but since a direct pharmacological effect of the oils is responsible for the healing effects, a diminished sense of smell should not be a concern when considering aromatherapy. Aroma therapy for dementia.
Thorgrimsen L, Spector A, Wiles A, Orrell M. Source No. 2 Cottage, Cotbank of Barras, Stonehaven, UK, AB39 2UH. Abstract BACKGROUND: Complementary therapies have become more commonly used over the last decade and have been applied to a range of health problems, including dementia. Of these, aroma therapy is reported to be the most widely used in the British National Health Service (Lundie 1994) and might be of use for people with dementia for whom verbal interaction may be difficult and conventional medicine of only marginal benefit.
Aroma therapy has been used for people with dementia to reduce disturbed behaviour (e. g. Brooker 1997), promote sleep (e. g. Wolfe 1996), and stimulate motivational behaviour (e. g. MacMahon 1998). OBJECTIVES: To assess the efficacy of aroma therapy as an intervention for people with dementia. SEARCH STRATEGY: The Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group’s Specialized Register was searched on 29 October 2002 to find all relevant trials using the terms: aroma therap*, “aroma therap*”, “complementary therap*”, “alternative therap*” and “essential oil”.
The CDCIG Register contains records from all major health care databases and is updated regularly. Additionally, relevant journals were hand searched, and ‘experts’ in the field of complementary therapies and dementia contacted. SELECTION CRITERIA: All relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were considered. A minimum length of trial and requirements for a follow-up were not included, and participants in included studies had a diagnosis of dementia of any type and severity. The review considered all trials using fragrance from plants defined as aroma therapy as an intervention with people with dementia.
Several outcomes were considered in this review, including cognitive function, quality of life, and relaxation. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: The titles and abstracts extracted by the searches were screened for their eligibility for potential inclusion in the review, which revealed 2 RCTs of aroma therapy for dementia. Neither of these had published results in a form that we could use. However, individual patient data from one trial were obtained (Ballard 2002) and additional analyses performed. Analysis of co-variance was used for all outcomes, using a random effects model.
MAIN RESULTS: The additional analyses conducted revealed a statistically significant treatment effect in favour of the aroma therapy intervention on measures of agitation and neuropsychiatric symptoms. REVIEWER’S CONCLUSIONS: Aroma therapy showed benefit for people with dementia in the only trial that contributed data to this review, but there were several methodological difficulties with this study. More well designed large-scale RCTs are needed before conclusions can be drawn on the effectiveness of aroma therapy.
Additionally, several issues need to be addressed, such as whether different aroma therapy interventions are comparable and the possibility that outcomes may vary for different types of dementia. AROMATHERAPY WITH MOOD: Aromatherapy is perhaps most well known for its potential to alter mood. Some studies have gathered evidence demonstrating essential oils possess pharmacological effects on brain function. Gurgel do Vale et al. ( 2002) found that the constituents citral, myrcene and limonene decreased activity in mice and presented sedative as well as motor relaxant effects.
Vale et al was studying a Brazilian herb, cidrcira, however, many essential oils contain one or more of these constituents including clary sage, lavender, geranium, fennel, lemongrass, and palmarosa. Muscle relaxation was observed at the higher doses of citral and myrcene and even at the lowest doses of limonene. Citral and myrcene increased barbiturate sleeping time compared to the control. Citral did not increase onset of sleep, however, it increased duration of sleep. Limonene has similar effect at higher doses.
An advantage to studies using mice is that they are free of placebo effects that might affect a trial on a human subject (Mantle 2002). Relaxation of smooth muscle tissue was also observed in laboratory mice by Aqel ( 1992) with rosemary essential oils and Lis-Balchin et al. ( 1998) testing multiple species of geranium essential oils. A recent study of postpartum depression treated 36 healthy, first-time mothers to a 30-minute aromatherapy-massage (neroli and lavender at 0. 5% concentration) on the second postpartum day. A control group had 20 mothers which stayed with their babies in their hospital room receiving standard care.
Psychological questionnaires where completed before and after the massage. Scores significant decreased in the aromatherapy massage group for depression, anxiety and the “Conflict Index of Avoidance/Approach Feeling toward Baby”. The results suggest aromatherapy massage is effective in improving physical and mental status of new mothers and facilitating mother-infant interaction (Imura et al. 2006). This trial did not attempt to differentiate the effects of massage alone versus massage with essential oils. AROMATHERAPY IN ALERTNESS AND MEMORY:
Peppermint oil is believed to be effective for treating mental fatigue and the constituents of peppermint oil (1,8-cineol, menthone, isomenthone, menthol, (R)-(+)-pulegone, menthyl acetate and caryophyllene) have been found to significantly increased ambulatory activity in mice (Umezu et al. 2001). Spanish sage has been found by several authors to significantly aid memory (Perry et al. 2002,Tildesley et al. 2003,Savelev et al. 2003,Perry et al. 2003,Tildesley et al. 2005). Drugs for treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease inhibit acctylcholinesterase (AChE) resulting in increased levels of the neurotransmitter acctylcholine.
Spanish sage has been shown to inhibit AChE in vitro and in vivo (Perry et al. 2002). Savelev et al. ( 2003) monitored synergist and antagonist interactions between components in Spanish sage and found evidence that synergy with individual terpenes measured as the same concentrations as existed in the oil was not as great as the whole oil. They found that high 1,8-cineole and low camphor contents in the oil may increase its anti-AChE activity. With oral administration of Spanish sage, Tildesley observed significant improved immediate word recall in two placebo-controlled, double blind, crossover trials (Tildesley et al. 003) and consistent improvements in speed of memory and secondary memory in healthy young adults (Tildesley et al. 2005). He also found increases in self-rated alertness, calmness, and contentedness. Perry et al. ( 2003) found significant reductions in neuropsychiatric symptoms and an improvement in attention in Alzheimer’s patients after 6 weeks of treatment with Spanish sage. The common spice, kitchen sage, has also been shown to provide some protection against declines in cognitive performance in Alzheimer’s patients (Akhondadch et al. 2003). PRECAUTIONS: Most topical and inhaled essential oils are generally considered safe.
You should never take essential oils by mouth unless you are under the supervision of a trained professional. Some oils are toxic, and taking them by mouth could be fatal. Rarely, aromatherapy can induce side effects, such as rash, headache, liver and nerve damage, as well as harm to a fetus. Oils that are high in phenols, such as cinnamon, can irritate the skin. Add water or a base massage oil (such as almond or sesame oil) to the essential oil before applying to your skin. Avoid using near your eyes. Essential oils are highly volatile and flammable so they should never be used near an open flame.
Animal studies suggest that active ingredients in certain essential oils may interact with some medications. Researchers don’ t know if they have the same effect in humans. Eucalyptus, for example, may cause certain medications, including pentobarbital (used for seizures) and amphetamine (used for narcolepsy and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) to be less effective. CONCLUSIONS: The psychological benefits of aromatherapy that were the focus of this paper are only one aspect of clinical trials testing therapeutic applications of essential oils.
As suggested by the introductory example of scalp treatments, compelling, evidence-based science exist to suggest essential oil therapy efficacies and cautions for many diseases and discomforts. A few, very non-inclusive, examples include studies on pain (e. g. , Buckle 1999), skin ulcers (e. g. , Warnke et al. 2005), eczema (e. g. , Anderson et al. 2000), epilepsy (e. g. , Sayyah et al. 2002), herpes virus (e. g. , Schuhmacher et al. 2003), weight loss and blood pressure (e. g. , Shen et al. 2005), and numerous recent studies of immunological and antiseptic properties (e. g. Standen ; Myers 2004,Caldefie-Chezet et al. 2006). Most of the clinical trials on humans, however, still suffer from lack of adequate control, small numbers of participants, and lack of repetition by independent researchers. Some standard and important elements of good study design include objective measures of outcome variables, partitioned effects of confounding variables and follow-up studies (Martin 1996). Investigators also need to be able to follow patients for longer periods of time if effects such as delayed positive or negative responses, sensitization, or acclimation are to be documented.
Temporal responses may be critically important knowledge for aromatherapists if observed over a large cohort. Well crafted scientific study and restudy provides care givers with the evidence necessary to ensure that they are giving patients safe and effective treatments. When all the available evidence is gathered, however, aromatherapy remains a holistic practice, treating not just the ailment, but the whole person. Cawthorn and Carter (2000) set the standard in their institutions. They demand safety in aromatherapy by using evidence-based practice and working within a protocol that defines acceptable practice.
But essential oil treatments are just one aspect of their program of HEARTS: holding, empathy, aromatherapy, relaxation, therapeutic relationship, and stroking (modified massage) in cancer and palliative care. BIBLIOGRAPHY: 1. http://www. aromaweb. com/articles/aromatherapyanddepression. asp 2. http://www. wlnaturalhealth. com/aromatherapy-articles/aromatherapy-stress-insomnia. htm 3. http://www. depression-guide. com/aromatherapy-depression. htm 4. http://www. ncbi. nlm. nih. gov/pubmed/12917949 5. http://www. scribd. com/doc/52205073/7/Contra-indications-and-Cautions-for-Aromatherapy-Massage#outer_page_16