A senior’s golden years can be some of the most exciting times with many memories made. While on the other hand, a senior’s golden years can be the exact opposite, as they begin to age and start developing health issues. According to the National Institute on Aging, 85 percent of older adults have at least one chronic condition, and 60 percent have at least two chronic illnesses.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’, a senior 65 or older spends, on average, $6,833 a year on healthcare. That is an enormous amount considering the average Social Security check is $1,390 a month in 2020. Luckily, there are homeopathic alternatives for seniors to help ease the effects of such health problems, such as essential oils.
This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read my full disclosure policy here.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are oils that are extracted from roots, flowers, seeds, or leaves of plants. These concentrated plant extracts consist of natural smell, flavor, and chemicals that provide various effects on the body. Essential oils are often applied to the skin, smelt, or diffused into the air by an oil diffuser.
The practice of aromatherapy can help improve your psychological and physical well-being. There are more than 90 types of essential oils, each providing their own set of benefits. For example, the scent peppermint may help boost your energy, while the lavender scent can relieve stress. There are many other benefits that these oils can provide you.
Helps with inflammation
Arthritis is common health condition found among senior citizens. A few essential oils can be an alternative for treating inflammation, easing pain, and releasing fluid built up in your joints. Ginger and turmeric are the top two essential oils that target and heal inflammation.
According to ZYTO, a 2013 study showed that ginger contains significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds that reduce both acute and chronic inflammation. If you rub warm ginger essential oil directly on to the inflamed area, it will stimulate circulation and help reduce pain in the muscle or joint pain.
Turmeric is a ginger cousin, and it contains many minerals and vitamins that are an effective anti-inflammatory treatment. A study conducted in 2012 concluded the main component of the turmeric essential oil, turmerone, has anti-neuroinflammatory effects, which concludes that the essential oil is a hopeful treatment for neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Unfortunately, many seniors experience digestive problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome, Chron’s disease, or celiac disease. There are no cures for these illnesses, but studies have shown that specific essential oils can help alleviate the effects of digestive diseases.
For example, peppermint and ginger paired together make a powerful team. When these two oils are combined together, it can make an effective treatment for nausea when you inhale the aroma. As nausea is a common side effect of digestive illnesses, this combo of essential oils might be the key to attacking those side effects.
Peppermint has shown that it has positively impacted irritable bowel syndrome, while ginger is protective against stomach ulcers. You can diffuse these two oils in your diffuser, or you can rub the mixture onto your stomach in a circular motion to help relieve any digestive pain.
Improves mental health
Seniors who enter retirement sometimes experience anxiety, depression, insomnia, or, unfortunately, Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Research conducted has shown that essential oils may improve memory function and mental alertness, which can help reduce your chance of developing the conditions listed above.
The rosemary essential oil helps your psychological well-being. A study conducted by Mark Ross and Lorraine Oliver determined that rosemary oil exposure improves cognitive performance in both speed and accuracy. The high concentrations of rosemary oil results in increased performance levels, as well as enhancement in your mood.
If you suffer from anxiety or depression, the aroma of citrus oils such as orange, lemon, and grapefruit stimulate your body and mind, which can uplift your mood. Lemon oil is an oil that has been studied extensively. This essential oil has been proven to help calm nerves, anxiety, and improve insomnia, as it enables you to relax. If you experience panic attacks, try these citrus essential oils, as they are a natural anti-depressant.
The use of essential oils has been used since the B.C. era, and these are just a few of the reasons why seniors should use essential oils. With the many internal health benefits these oils can provide, it can also benefit you physically. With just a whiff of essential oils, you can watch your mood enhance while also managing your health conditions.
About the Author
Danielle Roberts is a Medicare expert and the co-founder of Boomer Benefits, a licensed insurance agency that helps baby boomers navigate their entry into Medicare in 48 states. She and her team have helped more than 50,000 Medicare beneficiaries make their transition to Medicare at retirement. She is also the author of the best-selling book 10 Costly Medicare Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make, which helps beneficiaries avoid critical but all too common Medicare pitfalls. Danielle is a member of the Forbes Finance Council and a past president of the Fort Worth chapter of the National Association of Health Underwriters. She now serves on the state board as its Medicare chairperson.