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5 Essential Oil Remedies for the Elderly

Aromatherapy and other essential oil treatments are safe and effective solutions for many ailments and situations that plague the elderly. If you’re caring for an ageing loved one at home, it can be a struggle to find effective and simple treatments to make them feel better.

Pure essential oils are a great complementary or standard treatment for many traditional medicines. They can be used to promote healthy appetites, treat insomnia, alleviate anxiety, and boost energy levels.

Use of essential oils have been shown to improve many conditions of nursing home patients, allowing them to even reduce sleep medications in most cases, and helping them gain proper nutrition through appetite stimulation.

Without further ado, here are 5 of the best essential oil remedies for the elderly:

1. Appetite Stimulant

Most long-term care elderly patients have trouble maintaining a healthy weight, and therefore experience fatigue, malnutrition and a variety of other worrisome symptoms. But using certain essential oils has proven beneficial to a lot of them.

Here are the oils that can help:

  • Bergamot
  • Sweet orange
  • Ginger

How to use them:


Any one of these oils or a mixture can be diffused at or near the table while eating meals.

A few drops of any one or a mixture of these oils can be applied to cotton balls to inhale before mealtime, or dabbed onto clothing closest to the face.

2. Fatigue

Rest is great for the elderly, but when they have trouble staying awake for normal activities, it can be a problem.

Here are the oils that help:

  • Peppermint
  • Lemon
  • Grapefruit

For a period of alertness, diffuse any one of these or a mixture close to the patient.

For a quick pick-me-up and boost of energy, you can also apply these oils to a cotton ball and have them inhale, or they can sniff straight from the bottle.

3. Insomnia

In addition to a lack of energy, a lot of elderly patients have trouble getting the rest they do need. When that’s the case, essential oils can be fantastic natural remedies!

Here are the oils that help:

  • Lavender
  • Cedarwood
  • Sandalwood

How to use them:

Directly inhaling one of the listed essential oils, either from the bottle or a cotton ball right before bedtime can help induce sleep fairly quickly. But if the patient has trouble staying asleep, it’s best to incorporate an all-night aromatherapy protocol.

You can do this either by diffusing one of the oils or a mixture by the bedside, or by spritzing the bed linens with them.

Another helpful treatment is to add a few drops to some lotion and massage into the hands and neck.

4. Anxiety

Anxiety is a common problem among everyone, but Alzheimer’s patients lack the skill to deal with it effectively.

Aromatherapy has been proven to be an extremely effective remedy for stress.

Here are the oils that help:

  • Lavender
  • Sandalwood
  • Cedarwood
  • Frankincense
  • Myrrh
  • Bergamot

These can be diffused alone or in combinations for effective stress relief. They can also be added to lotion and massaged into the hands and feet for quick treatment.

5. Arthritis

Unfortunately, arthritis is another common struggle among the elderly, and medications often need supplements to be effective.

Essential oils can provide drastic relief from the pain and swelling caused by this ailment.

Here are the oils that help:

  • Eucalyptus
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Lavender
  • Wintergreen

Each of these essential oils contain powerful anti-inflammatory agents that reduce swelling. Peppermint is also an analgesic, so applying it directly to the source speeds pain relief.

For a pain relieving rub, you can add any or a combination of the oils to lotion or whipped coconut oil to apply to affected areas as needed.

In Conclusion

Elderly people are typically on so many over-the-counter drugs, that providing any natural substitute or complement is extremely beneficial. If you are caring for an elderly loved one, you’ve probably seen first-hand some of the side effects of prescription medications.

It’s wonderful to be able to try things such as essential oils that are not harmful to their bodies or minds and have no ill effects.

Don’t be afraid to complement their chemically-made medicinal routine with an all-natural one. You may even find that, under a doctor’s care, you will eventually be able to replace some of those harmful drugs.


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