Essential oils have gained quite a following lately.
They are made from various parts of plants. Manufacturers distill them from the plants using either steam or water. Once the chemicals have been extracted from the plants, they are mixed with oil, so they can be used for all kinds of things. Although many people swear by them and they may have some benefits, they should be used with caution. Family caregivers whose aging relatives are currently using or are thinking about using essential oils can ensure they are used safely by knowing more about them.
How Are Essential Oils Used?
Essential oils can be used in a variety of ways. Some people simply smell them, but they can also be applied to the skin or put into bath water. In addition, some combine them with lotions or creams before rubbing them on the skin.
People use essential oils for a variety of reasons, including:
- Increasing energy.
- Relieving stress.
- Aiding digestion.
- Improving mood.
- Reducing anxiety.
- Treating headaches.
- Boosting immunity.
Caregivers should be aware that many of the benefits associated with essential oils are anecdotal. There is little scientific research available concerning them, so they have not been proven effective.
What Side Effects Can Essential Oils Have?
Many people who use essential oils believe they are completely safe because they are made of natural substances. However, being natural doesn’t mean that they cannot cause some side effects. Some of the side effects that may occur when using essential oils are:
- Allergic reactions.
- Asthma symptoms.
- Chemical burns.
These side effects can happen even when essential oils are used correctly, so caregivers should watch for them. If side effects occur, older adults should discontinue use of the essential oil that caused them. Severe reactions may require medical attention.
How Can Essential Oils Be Used Safely?
-Caregivers can help seniors to use essential oils safely by following this advice from WebMD:
-In general, essential oils should not be ingested.
-Some essential oils, like peppermint, can cause breathing problems, so it may not be wise for seniors with respiratory diseases to use them.
-Avoid getting essential oils in the eyes or nose.
-Only use oils from trusted manufacturers.
-Essential oils are only good for about three years, so throw older oils away.
-Oils should be diluted before using them.
One other way caregivers can make certain their aging relatives are safely using essential oils is to encourage them to talk to their doctors. Seniors should tell doctors about any essential oils they are using or plan to use to see if they will interact with any medications.
If you or an aging loved one is considering Home Care Services in Villa Hills, KY, please contact the caring staff at Queen City Elder Care today. Serving Cincinnati and Surrounding Communities. Call Us Today (513) 510-4410.
Michele Vollmer is a visionary leader who is perpetually searching for ways to improve, so to remain at the leading edge of the home care industry.She has served in the healthcare industry since 1989, including pharmaceutical and home health sales, as well as hospice sales and sales management.