Aromatherapy and Parkinson’s Disease
Aromatherapy and Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease that occurs when neurons in the brain fail to produce enough dopamine. This results in many troubling symptoms for those that suffer from Parkinson’s disease including tremors, rigidity of the muscles, loss of balance and coordination, trouble sleeping, and depression. There is no known cure for Parkinson’s, but aromatherapy can help to manage the symptoms. Essential oils such as frankincense, vetiver, lavender, and helichrysum are just a few of the oils that can be beneficial to treat symptoms.
Lack of dopamine production is what causes symptoms of Parkinson’s disease to occur, so it is beneficial to help increase dopamine production in the brain. The essential oils of lemon, clary sage, eucalyptus, and cedar wood may help increase dopamine levels while being diffused into the air. Add a few drops of undiluted oil to an aromatherapy diffuser and allow the scent to fill the room. The uplifting scent of lemon is especially good for lifting the mood and helping the brain produce more dopamine.
Patients with Parkinson’s disease often suffer from tremors and involuntary shaking. These symptoms may respond well to aromatherapy treatment using essential oils known for their antispasmodic properties. Helichrysum is known for being a powerful antispasmodic and would be the top choice for treating tremors. Other antispasmodic oils include marjoram, sandalwood, peppermint, and vetiver. These essential oils can be diffused or diluted in carrier oil and applied topically to the feet, temples, or spine to aid in treating tremors.
Painful muscle rigidity is another symptom reported by many people who suffer from Parkinson’s disease. Aromatherapy using oils with anti-inflammatory or analgesic properties may help to ease the tension of sore and tired muscles. Frankincense, helichrysum, marjoram, lavender, peppermint, sandalwood, and chamomile are all excellent choices for treating muscle rigidity. These oils can be diluted into a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil and then applied directly to the affected muscles, or used during a relaxing massage treatment. Clary sage is also noted for being a powerful pain reliever, but must be used with caution if it is used topically. Aromatherapy can be a very effective way to manage pain from rigidity.
Essential oils can also be used to help relieve sleep problems. Chamomile, frankincense, marjoram, sandalwood, vetiver, and lavender are all appropriate oils to use to help bring on a state of relaxation. Diffuse these oils to promote sleep, or rub a little lavender oil on the temples before going to bed.
Symptoms of depression often plague patients with Parkinson’s disease. Feelings of depression may be reduced using the essential oils of sandalwood, lavender, clary sage, helichrysum, cedar wood, chamomile, and marjoram. When using aromatherapy for depression, diffuse one or a few of the oils listed above and enjoy their mood enhancing qualities.
Using essential oils such as marjoram, helichrysum, frankincense, and vetiver can target specific symptoms and may help bring some necessary relief to patients. Though there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, aromatherapy is a natural way to aid in managing symptoms of this debilitating disease and may help promote the production of dopamine in the brain.
This article has been reviewed by HopeWind.
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