There are 5.3 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, with a person 65 and older diagnosed every 66 seconds. It’s predicted that by 2050, there will be over 16 million Americans with Alzheimer’s disease. Despite this impending epidemic, there is still no cure. However, evidence-based research has indicated that using essential oils can keep your brain healthy.
Sniff Oils to Help Your Brain
One clinical trial on the effect of aromatherapy showed improvement in cognition for all 28 patients involved in this study, 17 of whom had Alzheimer’s. The most effective way to use essential oils for brain health is through olfactory stimulation, or smelling. This can be accomplished by using diffusers, wearing necklaces that you can drop oils on to or by applying oils to the back of the neck or your pulse points behind the ears and neck area. When inhaling them, the oils break down into tiny particulates and reach the brain within 22 seconds. At the close of 20 minutes, every cell in the entire body will have been affected.
Beyond Brain Health
Even though you may be using an essential oil for brain health, essential oils have upwards of 70 other health benefits for you. Brain health oils that have been researched and tested include frankincense, peppermint, ylang ylang, cedarwood, cypress, ginger and basil. Also, clinical trials suggest that turmeric may slow or reverse neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s by significantly increasing production of neural stem cells, which are brain stem cells that are essential for the repair and recovery of brain function.
In-vitro research suggests that bergamot inhibits certain enzyme activity, while lavender has been found to protect brain neurons from degeneration or injury by increasing antioxidant enzyme activities and reducing lipid peroxidation in dementia patients. Furthermore, clinical trials suggest that inhaling rosemary, when paired with lemon or lavender, in the morning significantly improves personal orientation related to cognitive function.
Create a Healthy Habit
So, how do you implement oils into your lifestyle? Start with one and use it for 30 days; if you don’t care for the smell of one, you can try another. Own it and do it! Then add another oil for 30 days, while also keeping the one previous. Repeat and so on. Remember: it takes 4-6 weeks to create a habit, even a healthy one. Before you know it, you’ll be nourishing your brain and your body entirely!