Several scientific research give hope that aromatherapy may be effective treatment for memory, behavior, sleep

Essential oils extracted from plants are used for millennia. They are mentioned in the Bible in their uses for mental and physical healing. Even more than the flavors, they are used for over 5,000 years by different people, for their purifying, conservative and challenging. They play an important role in balancing the body and mind.

Alzheimer’s disease, its evolution, its symptoms and disorders

This is the German neurologist and psychiatrist Alois Alzheimer in 1906 described this neurodegenerative disease. Since it bears his name.

# In France, 860,000 people suffer from Alzheimer-type dementia (April 2012, Inserm). The institute provides that the disease could reach two million people in France since 2020.
# In Canada, in 2010, more than 500,000 people were affected by the disease (or related). Within a generation, the number of cases could reach 1.1 million people. Also in 2010, there were a new case every five minutes, if there is no evolution in the treatment of disease, more than 4 million people will be affected within 25 years.
# In Quebec alone, in 2009, there were 120,000 people with the disease. Forecasts and 25 say the figure will exceed 260,000 cases in that province alone.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease and neurogenerative brain tissue, leading to loss of mental functions, including memory. This is the most common form of dementia. The disorder is a syndrome that has several symptoms related to cognitive abilities, such as loss of memory, judgment and reasoning, it is accompanied by changes in mood and behavior problems (aggression).

oil-plants

Power plants discovered by ancient civilizations

The Chinese have certainly discovered the medicinal properties of plants around 4500 BC. JC, as in the religious rituals that massage to preserve health. A book dating from about 2500 BC demonstrates knowledge of the Chinese plants. In 1579, a book resulting from 26 years of studies recensait 2000 plants, 26 essential oils and their uses. It is the same for the Egyptians who used essential oils to preserve bodies. They made also of aromatic preparations for offerings to the gods. 2000 years ago it was the turn of traditional Ayurvedic medicine (India) to report text listing 700 herbs and their benefits on the body and mind. Like the Chinese, Ayurvedic physicians cared for through oil massages. Then came the Greek medicine, which from the first century enriched the knowledge of plants of five volumes that were to represent the medical reference book for 1000 years to come.

The use of essential oils in psychiatry, in cases of Alzheimer’s disease and related conditions
A limited number of clinical trials have observed that aromatherapy could be a potentially effective treatment in cases of psychiatric disorders, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia related. Although research has demonstrated olfactory dysfunction in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, this loss of smell does not impair the effectiveness of essential oils that work at the physiological level. The contribution appears to be related to the application by massaging the skin. Take for example the results of a Korean study highlighting a reduction in the aggressiveness of patients following the application of lavender essential oil, by hand massage. According to the oils used, the massages are performed on the face (Melissa), arms, hands or body. For other methods, it is mainly using a hydrosol spray, a diffuser, oils in the bath (with dispersant) or a few drops on a pillow. However, despite encouraging results, it appears that the medical profession does not in itself a sufficient consideration for aromatherapy to expand this field of research.

The use of lavender and lemon balm to aid sleep, soothe emotions and manage aggressive behavior

Clinical trials were conducted following the earlier promising results. An initial observation showed that lavender sachets under the pillows had beneficial effects on sleep of patients with dementia. Another trial involving 122 patients (not dementia) placed in intensive care, consisting of care massage lavender oil have led to improvements in mood and anxiety reduction. Other tests seem to show that the combination of lavender lemon balm increased functional capacity, communication and reduced behavioral problems, delusions. Overall, these tests are encouraging aromatherapy treatments including to combat restlessness, insomnia, delirium, and antisocial behavior.