Essential Oils Uses for Parkinson’s

Last Friday I interview Jean Oswald from
Rochester, New York who is a certified
aroma therapist and a registered nurse.
Jean provided a wealth of useful information
about how essential oils can be used to
provide relief from the symptoms of Parkinson’s.

Here is her answer to two of my questions:

What if an individual has problems with
rigidity of their muscles and it is very
difficult for them to move with ease. What
is an essential oil that might help relieve
that particular symptom? 

There are a few essential oils that could
be most beneficial for muscle rigidity.
Essential oils like Cedarwood, Frankincense
and Sandalwood are high in Sesquiterpene.
They cross the blood brain barrier. They are
going to be carrying more oxygen throughout
the body and helping with firing neurons and
relieving neurological symptoms.

Muscle rigidity in connection to that is
helped by Marjoram essential oils which are
very relaxing to the muscles and Basil which
is an anti-spasmodic.

Use them in a massage or put them directly
on the skin over the spine, on the soles of
the feet and specifically on areas of the skin
where the tension itself is present in the muscles.

I would recommend a blend, a lotion that
combines the Marjoram, Basil and other essential
oils.

How about the problem of tremors? What essential
oils might be recommended to relieve that symptom?

I would say Basil or Frankincense, the
anti-spasmodic oils.

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

© 2008 Parkinsons Recovery

32 thoughts on “Essential Oils Uses for Parkinson’s

  1. My husband has had Parkinsons (known) for over 4 years not, and only recently has had a rigidity set in. He will soon be 84 and has not a lot of tremor. Only in his right hand and he seems in control of it. The stiffness and slow movements are the hardest parts. SO far his cognitive condition is still about85% and he feels basically good. He is on a Neuro patch 1 mg in the am, and 1 10mg aracept to help his memory. He has other drugs, @ blood pressure and prostate etc.
    My question came to a concern when I had put a mix of oils on him and he began having a bad head ache and dizziness, along with crazy movements while sleeping. It was a recommended mix of Frankincense,Helichrysum,and Vetiver mixed in coconut oil. I am fearful of any more oils , mixed or other wise without some advice from a professional.
    thank you for reading this.
    Mary

  2. Hi Mary:

    I am not a medical doctor so cannot diagnose what happened. From a research perspective, it sounds like your husband may be experiencing the side effects of detoxing. Of course, there are many possible causes and toxins are only one. If toxins are in fact the issue, then working with your doctor to detox might be a good next step.

    Robert Rodgers PhD
    Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease

  3. Hi Mary,
    I am just reading this today. I’m so sorry to read about your experience! I can imagine how scary (and confusing) it must have felt to see your husband with headaches and dizziness after applying the oils you used. I hear your devotion to helping him find relief from Parkinson symptoms. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a magic wand? No one can know at this point what caused the headaches and dizziness (it might not have been the oils at all) but as an aromatherapist I would have asked what you mixed for him (how much of each ingredient), along with other medications he was on. He may have gone into a fast detoxification. It could be you gave him too high a concentration of essential oils to the coconut oil. I also wonder about his baseline labs (blood work – kidney/liver). It also matters if you used perfume-grade (store bought) essential oils vs. those essential oils that are tested for purity. It really is harmful to use perfume grade oils. Obviously it was good you stopped giving him the oils. But at the same time please know that essential oils are still a viable option for many symptoms.
    If I were you, I’d speak to a health care professional (like me) who really understands how to use essential oils for Parkinson symptoms before going further. I’ll be doing another radio show with Robert very soon and I hope you’ll listen in.
    Warmly,
    Jean Oswald RN CA CPC
    “We’re all in this together.”

  4. How do I find someone who can help me with oils for my 83 year old mother with Parkinson’s? I am an RN but don’t have experience in mixing. My daughter sells Do Terra oils. My mother lives just outside of Morgantown, WV

  5. I am starting my father on some oils and wonder what ratio I should use for frankinsence, vetiver, sandlewood, cedarwood, and Helichrysum. I know there is a chance of detoxification so I will be starting mild with the mixture and coconut oil… but what would be a maximum amount to build to?

  6. Hi Janie,
    That’s wonderful that you want to help your mom using essential oils. And being a nurse, you too want to do this within safe guidelines. It’s important to work with a professional who knows Aromatherapy and uses pure essential oils that are GCMS tested for impurities. I am also a nurse and certified aromatherapist so I can help you. What you’re asking would take some time to answer so I suggest an aromatherapy consultation. My website is http://www.compassionateconsulting.com if you want to learn more. I wish you the best in helping your dear mom.
    Warmly,
    Jean Oswald RN CA

  7. Hi Wendy,
    You’re asking a great question about ratios.. So you’re planning to use coconut oil in a massage blend? Since coconut oil is not always in liquid form I’m guessing you’re choosing it for its positive effects on his mental state (cognition)? Otherwise you might have picked jojoba. The safe ratio for daily use is to make a 2% blend. That means 10 – 12 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier (coconut oil in your case). I hope that makes sense to you. As far as going to a higher concentration I’d want to ask you questions and we might need to speak at length. If you’d like to learn more or request a consultation feel free to email me at jean@compassionateconsulting.com. My website can be found at http://www.compassionateconsulting.com
    Best wishes from NY,
    Jean Oswald RN CA

  8. Hello, I was diagnosed with parkinsons disease in 2013. I’m doing well on herds & a low dose of prescription L-dopa along with Mucuna herb form of L-dopa. My problem is slow movement & tremors, what oils do you recommend & how much?

  9. Dorothy – Assuming you are only using essential oils that have been GCMS tested for impurities: many people have found a decrease in symptoms of tremors with Lavender, Clary Sage and Marjoram. You can use 5 – 9 drops of each of these essential oils (total of 15 – 27 drops) per one ounce bottle of unscented lotion or jojoba. I teach clients how to do make this and apply it in consultations – if you need more information. Reach me at jean@compassionateconsulting.com

  10. Hello – my husband has recently been diagnosed with parkinsons disease and I am interested in learning about essential oils, crystals and holistic options, instead of prescribed drugs at this time. Insurance currently has approved 6 physical therapy appointments. Wondering where I can go to speak to someone experienced in the proper use of oils. We are located approximately 35 miles west of Milwaukee.

  11. Hi Debbie,
    How wonderful that you’re exploring holistic options for your husband. Does he share this interest? I am a registered nurse and aromatherapist and have learned a great deal about holistic options, crystals and the proper use of essential oils. What would you like to know? Please check out my website and email me if interested. I live in New York. Best wishes to both of you!

    Warmly, Jean Oswald
    jean@compassionateconsulting.com

    http://www.compassionateconsulting.com
    Facebook.com/CompassionateConsulting

  12. My grandma was diagnosed with parkinson’s and pancreatic cancer last year. She still has tremors even with her meds. I have been reading about essential oils and my grandma seems interested in trying it. I have found many articles saying frankincense and cedarwood help. How would she use these and how much should she use?

  13. I am a firm believer in essential oils AND God, but find it difficult to take seriously advice from someone professing to have a PHD that tells me to apply them “on the ‘souls’ of
    the feet “.

    Seriously? 16 years of schooling and you don’t know the difference between sole and soul?

  14. Busted! I do make editing mistakes from time to time. Wish I had an editor to catch them! When someone else transcribes the interviews I need to be more mindful and take the time to edit the text more carefully. Becoming more mindful is big for all of us!

    Thanks for catching the glitch (Which I fixed) and so sorry it was such an irritant.

    Robert

  15. Sorry people are negative when you are trying to do a good thing. You are very good at communicating to people- even ones that are rude.

    My good friend who is older was diagnosed with Parkinson’s this year. I want to give her a Christmas gift that is useful and comforting. I use essential oils on my five year old son who has leukemia for regulating his moods and for tummy aches from the chemo. If I were to purchase one Young Living essential oil for her what would you recommend? I have grapeseed oil. Should I add the oil to the essential oil and place it in a roller ball bottle for her to apply to her pain areas or help with shaking? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks again.

  16. Hello Aromatherapy enthusiasts! Love your excitement!
    To Jenna.. As an Aromatherapist and Holistic Nurse I’m often asked how to use essential oils for PD and without knowing the specific articles you’ve been reading I can’t speak to the “how” those individuals had success. I make blends for clients to use as a massage oil or cream directly on the arms, legs of their loved ones. The concentration would vary depending on your grandma’s age, medical conditions, frequency of use and more. I suggest Cedarwood in a specific way I only demonstrate on Skype. Email me if you’re interested.
    To Steven.. I assure you, Robert knows the BIG difference between soles and souls. Give him a break… or volunteer to be his editor 🙂
    To Lauren.. make sure you’re only using GCMS tested essential oils for your loved ones.. and if you wanted to pick just one I would suggest Balsam Fir because it helps reduce spasms and pain. It also smells w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l! Definitely mix it with a carrier like grapeseed oil (12 drops essential oil per ounce of carrier.)
    Happy Holidays everyone!
    Jean Oswald at jean@compassionateconsulting.com

  17. Hello,

    I am making some blends for a friend of mine that has Parkinson’s. I was going to add basil and frank, possibly marjoram as well. He mostly just has tremors and he’s pretty active for his age so isn’t having issues with rigidty. Does this sound good? Also, I was going to give him some cedar wood to smell on a daily basis to help.

  18. Hi Karrie..
    So nice of you to want to help your friend.. inhaling is a lovely idea, either by way of an inhaler stick or right from the bottle but I’m only guessing you’re referring to a stick like these: https://www.aromatics.com/products/accessories/blank-inhaler

    As for your ideas with the Frankincense & Marjoram we should set up a consultation because using essential oils (and expecting results from their use) is an art and science. I don’t know your set-up or your friends’ condition or the quality of your oils..

    Warmest wishes,
    Jean Oswald RN CA CNHP CPC
    http://www.compassionateconsulting.com
    http://www.facebook.com/CompassionateConsulting

  19. Hi. My name is marilyn. I really enjoyed reading this blog. It is so informative and helpful. I would like to know about the dilution of oils and what % to use on daily basis for different health challenges, be it mild of major. Thanks for making great changes in the loves of many people.

  20. Hi could someone use the oils along with the Parkinsons meds? My father has been on meds for around 7 yrs. Now his sleep got worse. I use francinsense for asthma and I swear by it but my dad is worried about the interactions. Could anyone shed light on this. Thanks.

  21. Hi Marilyn,
    You ask a great question! There is an easy formula to follow for diluting essential oils in a carrier. For each ounce of carrier, use 5-6 drops of essential oil to make a 1% blend – recommended for children (2-4 yrs) and the elderly. Hydrosols are a good alternative to essential oils for children and the elderly. You can make a 2% blend for everyday use: 10-12 drops essential oils per ounce of carrier. And for acute situations, use a 3% blend: 15-18 drops essential oils per ounce of carrier. There are always anecdotes to these guidelines but this is the best starting point I know of.
    Warmly,
    Jean Oswald RN CA
    http://www.compassionateconsulting.com

  22. Hi Dawn,
    As a Registered Nurse and Certified Aromatherapist with 20 years experience I can say yes it’s safe to use essential oils at the same time someone is on medication, but please consult a professional who understands both meds and essential oils so you are smart AND safe in the specific oils you want to use. Noone can post an answer to your question and make it the same for each person with PD and using different essential oils for symptoms. Essential oils wonderfully assist with sleep and you can safely diffuse Frankincense in his room without interfering with his meds.

    Good luck!
    Warmly,
    Jean Oswald RN CA
    https://www.facebook.com/CompassionateConsulting

  23. Hi I have been helping a friend who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I am trying to find a blend that would take care of his tremors on one side and numbness on one side of his face. Could this be something other than Parkinson’s? He has slurred speech and drooping on one side of his face and it’s the same side that has the hand tremor. I would like to put some oils together that would help his tremors and possibly the numbness.. Thanks

  24. This is new to me so bear with me. Can you use the same EO’s for essential tremors as parkinson’s tremors?
    My elderly homeopath wrote on my chart 30 years ago “Parkinson’s”. I do not have parkinson’s per my allopathic dr’s over the years but Essential Tremors. My mother has them also. Someone I know made me up the parkinson’s EO formula:frankinsence, vetiver & Helichrysum I used it once on my temple and had a short dizzy spell later on in the day. I did not know where the dizziness came from. Next day I used a drop from the roller bottle on my neck. I got dizzy again. Next day I got up really dizzy before applying any-didn’t last long. Today I read her label that said to use on the temple and neck 2x a day and I did so. Now since I just found your site I wonder if I am detoxing(as I saw above) and if the dizziness will return later on today and how long these episodes will last. I don’t dare drive! I don’t know how much of each YL EO was put in of each, I assume she (a novice at this) read it from whatever book-chart they gave her. I don’t see a subject on essential tremors on this site. I hope you can tell me if I should discontinue this formula or not. Thank you

  25. Hi Merri – You’ve been through a lot recently! I don’t think it’s likely that those oils would cause dizziness, but if I were you, I’d still want to take a complete break from them. I can’t speak to the blend you were given or the possible cause of dizziness after (and then without) using the mix. The safest way to use essential oils is to dilute them, even though many who sell from a multi-level marketing (MLM) system will say otherwise and you didn’t say whether your blend was diluted or not. Those 3 oils may or may not be helpful with your tremors, but I would suggest a break from them. The oils do not stay in your body the way chemicals do, so if a week passes and the dizziness continues, please talk to your doctor. I do not think you are detoxing. Furthermore, if you were my sister or mom I would suggest an Ayurvedic consultation in your local area so a practitioner could feel your pulses and see your tongue, etc. to suggest some herbs to help your tremors. I hope that helps. Good luck!
    Warmly,
    Jean Oswald RN CA
    http://www.compassionateconsulting.com

  26. My dad has suffered with Parkinson’sfor years i am new to the oils and wanted to help him. He has trouble with balance. When he gets up from sitting he has to stand a minute before moving. He also has uncontrolled movement in his sleep what would be best for him?

  27. Hi Becky,
    Essential oils probably won’t do a lot for ‘balance’ per say but, if he is willing to use oils topically, they can be helpful in a calming and grounding way, like a tonic for the nerves. I’m sure it’s disconcerting to him not to have his balance.. in that way, oils are (very) emotionally supportive. As for the movement in his sleep there are essential oils that can reduce or stop that movement but I would be inclined to suggest some herbs for (what sounds like) a ‘Vata’ condition first and then add essential oils in addition. That is how I work with clients in a consultation. You can email me for further help if you like at jean@compassionateconsulting.com

  28. Hi Cheryl,
    You ask a great question, and, as someone who has been using and promoting the use of essential oils for two decades, I’ll be honest with you. Even though I was first taught to use them internally, further education has led me away from that. I say this especially as someone who understands more today about how hard our kidneys and liver work for us, in hundreds of ways! Plants may be easier for our bodies to recognize and assimilate than synthetic chemicals, but that doesn’t tell us if we are overworking our detoxifying organs (liver, kidneys) in the process. I teach it’s best to use them topically, through inhalation and in the bath. The good news is that these methods are very effective so you can enjoy them in many ways 🙂
    Sincerely,
    Jean Oswald RN CA
    http://www.compassionateconsulting.com

  29. My FIL was diagnosed with PD about 12 years ago. He struggles with tremors and his speech. His gait has become very poor with many episodes of freezing. Almost worse, he is very anxious (understandably). I’m not sure exactly which symptoms are actually from PD and which ones are from the medication he is taking. He is open to the idea of essential oils, but is apprehensive. Where can we start?

  30. Hi Lisa,
    I can imagine how difficult it is to see your father-in-law with these symptoms and his anxiety and apprehension are very understandable. As a nurse and aromatherapist I can make suggestions both from my years of working with clients who have PD and based on my education and research using essential oils for these symptoms. Please contact me for a consultation if you’re interested. http://www.compassionateconsulting.com
    Warmly,
    Jean Oswald RN CA

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