This is a Essential Oils article that should have been written long ago! Why? Because when it comes to precautions, the elderly are in a special category. They deserve to know these precautions so that they too may enjoy the myriad benefits of essential oils. Here are 7 tips for getting started as safely as possible.
- Less is better.
As the body ages, many of its processes work differently than they did at a younger age. Some of these processes may work faster and some may work more slowly, so when it comes to essential oils, it is smart to start with only 1 drop, not 6!
- Use only pure, therapeutic grade essential oils.
Essential oils that meet this standard are more potent than lesser qualities – an oil of lesser quality may contain synthetic chemicals or impurities. Therapeutic grade essential oils are used by a number of hospitals and doctors all over the world.
- Caution with grapefruit essential oil.
If any of the prescription drugs you are taking come with instructions to avoid grapefruit while taking that drug, please do not use grapefruit essential oil or any blend containing it.
- Consult the Essential Oils Desk Reference for cautions.
Many of the elderly are taking multiple prescription drugs, including blood thinners. Essential oils such as balsam fir, cinnamon bark, clary sage, clove, and more have anticoagulant (blood-thinning) properties, which is why the EDR is essential for both doctor and patient in working with the elderly.
- Consult the Essential Oils Desk Reference for benefits.
The possible benefits of using essential oils may be greater than you thought! I know people into their 80s and 90s who consult with the EDR in choosing which oils to use and how to use them.
- Talk with your doctor.
If you live in the United States, do not expect your doctor to be knowledgeable about therapeutic grade essential oils. What you can do is to offer him your EDR on loan, so that the two of you can use this information to make the best decision possible. If you decide to use essential oils, your doctor’s knowing about it can enable him to better monitor the results.
- Sometimes you’re on your own!
When you consider these facts, you’ll understand why.
- Most scientific studies, whether it is with prescription drugs or essential oils, have not targeted the elderly as a population group.
- Most of the scientific studies on essential oils have been done outside the United States, though the EDR contains references to many of them.
- It is almost certain that there have been no scientific studies made with people of your specific age who are taking the same prescription drugs you are taking and at the same dosage levels. The same is true for essential oils, so whether it is prescription medications or essential oils, you and your doctor make the best decision you can, based on the knowledge that is available to you at the time.
- The benefits of prescription drugs are published in scientific journals and some of this education is passed on to the doctors by pharmaceutical representatives. The benefits of essential oils are also published in scientific journals, but the benefits are passed along primarily by word of mouth or through emails and online chat groups.
Bonus Tip: Be Open to the Benefits!
I apologize for giving so many cautions, when what people want is benefits. But in knowing the cautions, you can now probably relax better and enjoy getting acquainted with the essential oils. For example, you may be using a certain oil or combination of oils for some physical issue, and almost not notice how peaceful or happy it makes you feel. With other oils, you may notice clearer thinking or more energy.
Bonus Tip #2: Label the Tops of Your Essential Oil Bottles
You can use a magic market or label maker and you can ask your baby boomer children to do this for you.
The elderly deserve to benefit from essential oils and they can, but perhaps more than any other population group, they must be extremely careful. This means using only therapeutic grade essential oils and using the Essential Oils Desk Reference to learn what may be the best choice for all essential oil considerations, including safety. For the elderly, more than any other population group, it is smart to make essential oil decisions in consultation with the doctor.