Essential oils to help manage dementia

selection of essential oils

Throughout the years, essential oils have been used to help alleviate symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, and depression. Caregivers in compassionate memory care services are helping ease the symptoms of dementia by incorporating essential oils, finding that these natural oils are surprisingly helpful in improving the mood and boosting the memory of those living with dementia.

The Truth Behind Essential Oils

People living with dementia and Alzheimer’s may have many side effects. As research suggests, essential oils and aromatherapy may be helpful in treating certain symptoms and side effects associated with the disease. 

Although research is limited on the effectiveness of using essential oils as a treatment, studies suggest that aromatherapy may help with feelings of anxiety, depression, and contribute to a better quality of life for those suffering from chronic symptoms and ailments.

Essential oils have been used safely for many years. However, they are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Always consult with a physician before using essential oils as a treatment for any medical condition. Your physician can ensure there are no negative effects or interactions with medications.

Studies have shown that essential oils and aromatherapy can stimulate the senses in patients living with Alzheimer’s. Along with the therapeutic benefits, sensory stimulation can help to decrease agitation, help with a better quality of relation and sleep, and contribute to the improvement of overall health and life quality.

If you’re interested in trying essential oils to help with you or a loved one’s symptoms associated with dementia, then there are several with positive benefits. The following are the top oils to try along with how to apply them. 


Lavender is known for its ability to calm the mind and bring balance to the emotions. It’s known to help with symptoms such as irritability, insomnia, and depression. Recommended applications for lavender are adding to a carrier oil and using for massage, spraying on pillows and bedsheets for better sleep, or inhaling directly when feeling stressed.


Peppermint oil is known for its energizing and stimulating properties, which can also be very calming to the mind. Peppermint oil works well for massage, when mixed with a carrier oil. It can also be dabbed on the temples for a tension easing pick-me-up. It also works well in a room diffuser, sprayed into the air, or added to a bath or shower.


Rosemary is similar to peppermint with its uplifting and stimulating properties. In addition, rosemary may help with appetite and easing constipation. It may be inhaled directly, or used in a diffuser or room spray.


Bergamot has been known to ease anxiety, calm the nerves, and ease stress. It lifts the mood and helps with restlessness. Bergamot can be added to a bath, used in massage oil, diffused throughout a room, or sprayed on linens.

Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm, although more expensive than other oils, has been found to be among the most effective at helping those dealing with anxiety. It also may improve memory and help ease digestion. Place it in a bath, massage oil, diffuser, or room spray. You can also inhale it directly for effects.

Ylang Ylang

Ylang Ylang oil may help with feelings of depression, as well as promoting relaxation. When combined with lemon oil, it works well not only for the person living with Alzheimer’s but the caregiver that struggles with feelings of restlessness and problems sleeping. Add it to a bath, diffuser, or room spray.


Ginger oil is known to help with loss of appetite, better digestion, and relieving constipation. When combined with a carrier oil, use it to massage the abdomen or place on a compress. It can also be diffused, sprayed, or inhaled for aromatherapy benefits. You can also add natural ginger to a cup of tea.