What are essential oils?
Essential oils are oils that occur naturally in different parts of plants like seeds, stems, roots, and flowers. They give the plant its characteristic smell.
That beautiful scent of roses you enjoy is a result of the essential oils present in that rose. Essential oils are usually named after the plant they were extracted from.
Essential oils are also called volatile oils. The word "volatile" refers to the fact that they can change from the solid or liquid state to a gas at room temperature. That is the reason why you can smell their aroma even from some distance.
Causes, symptoms, and triggers of vertigo
Vertigo is a sensation of imbalance. People who experience vertigo spells usually feel like the world around them is spinning. It is a symptom of a disease and not a disease in itself.
Vertigo usually indicates a problem in the inner ear but can also occur due to a problem in the brain or the sensory nerve pathway. It is usually associated with other symptoms like dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and motion sickness.
There are different things that can trigger these dizziness spells. Some of these triggers can be consumed like Alcohol, chocolate, tobacco, and caffeine, others are related to the psychological wellbeing of the person like depression and anxiety.
How does stress affect vertigo?
Anxiety can trigger vertigo, and it can also cause relapse in chronic patients.
Anxiety can make your breathing become shallow and rapid. This will make you have a lesser amount of oxygen in your bloodstream.
When this happens, you start feeling a little bit lightheaded and worried. More Anxiety and worry will lead to even more shallow and more rapid breathing and so on until you end up with a dizziness attack or a panic attack.
How do essential oils help vertigo patients?
Essential oils can help vertigo patients in two ways:
- Essential oils are known to elevate your mood, encourage sleep, relieve stress and help the person to feel calm and relaxed. When the person feels relaxed, it helps her prevent the dizziness spells, and it also helps to avoid other triggers like alcohol and tobacco.
- Essential oils can also help relieve or decrease some of the symptoms associated with vertigo like nausea and vomiting which makes life a little easier for people with vertigo.
So basically, essential oils prevent some of the triggers and symptoms of vertigo, but they can't cure ALL of the causes, triggers and symptoms of vertigo.
Essential oils throughout history
For centuries, people have crushed or streamed plants to release their essence into aromatic oils.
Ibn al-Baitar (who was a chemist, a pharmacist, and a physician) has recorded the earliest known techniques to produce essential oils. Since then, essential oils have been a part of many different civilizations and cultures. They were used as remedies for mental, emotional, and physical health.
Old Iranian traditional medicine used essential oils extracted from the flower of M.officinalis L (Lemon balm oil) to treat a wide range of conditions including vertigo, headaches, nervousness, nausea, malaise, and insomnia.
Peppermint was used in ancient Japan and China. It is also one of the herbs that were used in Europe and was even mentioned in the Greek mythology.
Recently, the interest in essential oils has increased as aromatherapy gained more popularity over the years.
What does the research say?
There is a shortage of research papers that measure the effect of essential oils on the treatment of vertigo.
However, research on the effect of certain oils has proven their ability to reduce stress.
- A 2004 study published in the journal "Psychosomatic Medicine" found that lemon balm was successful in reducing the negative mood effects of a Laboratory-Induced Stress.
- A 2008 study that was published in the "J Korean Acad Community Health Nurs" examined the effect of aroma inhalation on the anxiety nurses feel before their first clinical practice. The study found that aroma inhalation reduced subjective feelings of stress.
- It is also worth mentioning that essential oils are proven to have an antimicrobial effect.
What are essential oils that I can use?
Here are a few essential oils that can help you:
1. Lemon balm oil
Lemon balm oil (also called Melissa officinale) belongs to the mint family. Rub its leaf and take a whiff to smell the cozy subtle lemon aroma of its leaves. Lemon balm oil helps you stay calm and relaxed because it reduces stress.
It promotes sleep, improves appetite and relieves any discomfort caused by ingestion like bloating. It can also relieve the vomiting desire that is associated with vertigo.
2. Peppermint oil
Peppermint oil is hybrid of spearmint and water mint.
It includes two important active compounds: methanol and methanone.
Peppermint oil reduces muscle spasms and improves your ability to focus.
It mainly helps people who experience vertigo by relieving nausea, but it will also give them a fresh breath and boosted energy.
3. Ginger Oil
Ginger oil has been used for many years due to it is medicinal properties.
It is useful for relieving nausea, indigestion, diarrhea and other digestion problems.
It can also re-energize you just by inhaling it.
Ginger oil is also used in massage, and it will help you with back pain and muscle pain in addition to activating your circulatory system.
4. Lavender oil
Lavender oil is very popular for its sweet smell.
In the past, it was used for bathing and freshening the air.
It also has some medical properties.
It can decrease anxiety and help you relax. It can also help you with any sleeping problems. lavender oil is also used as an antioxidant that fights-aging.
5. Cypress oil
Cypress oil is great for reducing congestion.
It can also improve the health of your lung. Some people use it to relieve the symptoms of cold and flu as it reduces coughing and the accumulation of the phlegm in the respiratory tract.
It is also very important in improving the blood circulation as it stops excess blood flow.
6. Basil oil
Basil oil is very useful in treating nausea, motion sickness, and other digesting problem.
It is also very good for relieving respiratory problems like asthma, bronchitis, and sinus infections.
It can reduce stress and helps you relax. It is very good for patients who suffer from nervous tension, mental fatigue, and depression.
7. Clary sage oil
Clary sage oil helps relieve you of dizziness and vertigo. It is also good for the people who suffer from other nerve disorders like anxiety, nervousness, and convulsions.
It is also useful if you have a sleeping disorder as it helps you relax and sleep well. It is also helpful for those who have a digestion disorder as it improves your body's ability to absorb food.
8. Rosemary oil
Rosemary oil is very good in reduce dizziness. It also very good in reducing the congestion and cough.it can work as antiseptic. it is useful in calm down your migraine or a headache and improves the circulation. It is good in improving your memory so try cram in the night before your exam. it also will help you to relax.
9. Rose oil
Rose isn't just a beautiful flower, it also has some incredible medical benefits. Rose oil can reduce vertigo, depression and anxiety. It can also protect you from infections and stomach ulcer which may lead to releasing of acid, irritation and heartburn. You can also use rose oil as antioxidant. Despite its benefits, it is important to avoid it during pregnancy.
10. Tangerine oil
Tangerine oil is good for reducing headaches, vertigo and dizziness. It also helps your body eliminate different toxins as uric acid. Tangerine oil increases the red blood cells' ability to retain oxygen this makes it useful in reducing spasm. Spasm can cause different conditions such as congestion, asthma, and problems with breathing. It helps your organs to relax and decreases congestion.
11. Frankincense oil
Frankincense oil is another good choice for decreasing the symptoms of vertigo which are caused by middle ear infections because of its ability to reduce inflammation. It is also useful if you have a sleeping disorder as it helps you relax and sleep well. Frankincense oil can help women balance the levels of hormones in their bodies.
12. Geranium essential oil
Geranium essential oil has a great ability to reduce stress, depression and make you more relaxed. It can in also improve your circulation as it can reduces hemorrhage, improves coagulation of the blood and improves wound healing and prevents bacteria from entering the wound.
13. Bergamot essential oil
Bergamot essential oil is very good for people suffering from depression as it contains some components that work as anti-depressants. Some of these components are alpha pinene and limonene. They can increase the efficiency of the blood circulation and of hormonal secretion Bergamot essential oil can help you with digestion problems due to its ability to improve the secretion of digestive juices.
14. Neroli essential oil
Neroli essential oil is good for decreasing stress and anxiety. It will generally help you stay more relaxed. It is especially useful for menopausal women. Some of its other great benefits include reducing blood pressure this makes a good choice for people who have hypertension as it can reduce both the systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Real life experience
Before using essential oils: things you need to know
There are a few things you need to keep in mind before using essential oils to help you with vertigo:
- You should try to keep undiluted oils away from your skin. Sometimes direct contact of undiluted oils can cause pain, inflammation, and irritation to the skin.
- Some essential oils cause abdominal pain and discomfort when ingested. So, make sure you are applying them correctly.
- Some people who have respiratory conditions may find it difficult to tolerate strongly scented oils.
- If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have low immunity, you should contact your doctor or aromatherapy provider to know if using essential oils is okay for you or not.
How to use essential oils?
There are two main methods you can use to get the benefits of essential oils. You can either apply them on your skin or inhale them. We will discuss each one of these methods in more detail:
As we have mentioned before, you should try to keep undiluted oils away from your skin. Because direct contact of undiluted oils can cause pain, inflammation, and irritation to the skin.
So, to avoid this, you should start by diluting the essential oil using a carrier oil. You can usually mix large volumes of carrier oil with a few drops of the essential oil.
There are many different types of oils that can be used as carrier oils. Some of the most common ones are almond oil, apricot kernel oil, avocado oil, avocado oil and coconut oil. These oils are added to the concentrated essential oil to reduce its irritating effect on the skin.
After diluting the essential oil, it is now safer to use on your skin.
However, note that skin irritation can still happen even after diluting the essential oil. That is why you should start with testing the mixture on a small area of your skin then you can move on to Massaging a few drops of the mixture onto the skin of your forehead, temples, and back of the neck.
Start by heating some water then adding a few drops of the essential oil to it.
Put a towel over your head then hover over the water. You can then inhale the vapor for a couple of minutes.
Alternatively, you can use one of the inhaling devices for essential oils (as you see on the image).
Important to remember
Always remember that essential oils aren't a cure to the causes of vertigo. They can improve some of the symptoms, but you still need to seek professional medical help. Using essential oils isn’t a substitute for visiting your doctor and explaining your symptoms to them because vertigo can be a symptom of another medical condition that needs to be treated.
Other treatments for vertigo
As we have mentioned, vertigo is just a symptom. It could be a sign of an underlying medical condition that needs to be dealt with. So, the first step is to seek professional medical help and see your doctor.
Now, you can look for different ways to improve your symptoms and make your life a little easier. If you experience mild vertigo, it can resolve on its own.
Sometimes, it helps to lie down in a quiet, dark room. If your symptoms are more severe or frequent, your doctor can recommend certain medication or surgical procedures. Your treatment will depend on the cause of your symptoms and as well as their severity.
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