It is always good to see positive news items about the use of essential oils. Conventional medicine has always been somewhat disparaging of holistic type approaches, even though we know the benefits to be many and varied. With the NHS and other international medical groups seeking to ban homoeopathy, which is deeply saddening to those who know that is really can help with many conditions, those of us in the world of essential oils have been shifting uncomfortably in our seats, praying they don’t try and undo the good we can do. So to read such a positive write up of a recent study into the use of aromatherapy with stroke patients is joyful.
To be fair this was a small study, but we know that therapeutic properties are so excellent, it doesn’t surprise us that they were able to conclude that aromatherapy helps. Just 14 patients were involved, and as with all studies of this nature, half received no treatment acting as the control group, and half were treated with aromatherapy.
The premise of the study was that the group of 7 patients were to receive 5 foot baths and five back massages over a week. These baths and massages used a mix of oils, rosemary, patchouli, lavender, orange and juniper. The massage carrier oil used was jojoba. Each treatment took 30 mins, so for an hour each day the participants received an hour exposure to essential oils and their benefits. What was significant about all 14 people involved in the study was that they were all stroke patients who had suffered one-sided paralysis.
Many factors were measured during the study. These included the ability to sleep and the restorative properties of the sleep, the core temperature of the body (lower temperature is apparently linked to longer recovery times), and mood. It is natural for patients with such injuries to chart highly for depression as naturally, it is a tough thing to deal with. It was clear that improvements could be seen in all three categories. The body temperature had definitely gone up in all seven patients who experienced treatment, which in the long run will help their body recover. Sleep satisfaction had improved for all seven patients, with participants sleeping better, waking less and sleeping deeper. In terms of mood, it was also shown that there was a lot of improvement. Patients who received back massages and foot baths were dealing better with their mood and psychological stress as opposed to those who were in the control group.
Hope for the Future
Overall this study, small though it was, has proved to be an essential piece of research and backing should the NHS start to speak of banning essential oils and their usage. It is really good to see that the benefits can be seen under proper controlled clinical conditions. If you have a relative or friend, who has been a stroke patient the oils listed above are indeed worth considering to help with recovery and support the mood.