Aromatherapy/Essential Oils for Dizziness

Dizziness is one of the most common of all medical complaints. It is caused by any number of conditions, some of which may be indicative of a serious health problem. A number of medical treatments are available for dizziness, depending on its cause. Aromatherapy, or the use of essential oils, can be an effective treatment for dizziness.

How is Aromatherapy Used to Treat Dizziness?

Although a number of essential oils can be used for the treatment of dizziness, those most commonly recommended are:

  • basil (Ocimum basilicum) has a light, sweet, spicy scent. It is antiseptic and tonic.
  • cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) has a fresh, woody aroma, and is antiviral.
  • lavender (Lavendula officinalis) has a sweet, floral scent, and is a sedative, vermifuge, decongestant and antidepressant.
  • ginger (Zinziber Officinale) has a warm, spicy aroma, and is a tonic.
  • peppermint (Mentha piperita) has an invigorating minty scent, and is a stimulant.
  • rose (Floracopeia spp.) has a strong floral and sweet scent, is an antidepressant, tonic, laxative, and aphrodisiac.
  • rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is fresh and sweet, is a laxative, stimulant, antiseptic, and antidepressant.
  • sage (Salvia officinalis) has an herbaceous aroma and is a stimulant.
  • tangerine (Citrus reticulata) has a fresh, sweet, citrusy scent, and is a stimulant for the liver and stomach, as well as a digestive tonic.

The oils can be applied directly to your skin or inhaled by a variety of techniques. For example, you can add a few drops of the essential oils to a warm bath. Sitting in the bath allows you to inhale the fumes of the oil. In another approach, you can place a drop or two of the essential oil onto your forehead or temple, allowing the oil to be absorbed through the skin.

What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is a practice in which essential oils are used to improve your physical and emotional well-being. Essential oils are organic compounds extracted from the flowers, leaves, stems, bark, roots and other parts of plants. The oils are usually extracted from the plant by steam distillation. The plant is heated in a flow of steam, and the essential oils evaporate, escape from the distilling apparatus, recondense and are captured for use.

Aromatherapists use dozens of different oils for a variety of medicinal purposes. These oils are believed to be effective in treating one or more specific medical conditions. Some commonly used essential oils are those obtained from anise seeds, bay leaves, chamomile flowers, cedarwood, cypress bark, ginger root, juniper berries, and peppermint leaves.

Essential oils are used therapeutically in one of three ways. They may be added in drop-wise portions to a piece of cloth and inhaled. They may also be applied topically and rubbed directly into your skin. A third way to use aromatherapy in treatment is to add or mix essential oils with a warm liquid, such as bath water; this causes the essential oils to vaporize so that you can inhale the oil’s essence.

What Cautions Should Be Observed in Using Aromatherapy for Dizziness?

If aromatherapy or other treatments are not successful in treating dizziness, a person should seek traditional medical advice. The condition may be symptomatic of a more serious medical issue that may require conventional treatments. Care should also be taken in the use of essential oils. In their concentrated form, essential oils can be harmful to the skin or respiratory system of some individuals.

In no case should you use more than the recommended amount of oil in a treatment. Young people and children should use smaller amounts of essential oils than the quantity recommended for adults. An Aromatherapist can determine a course of treatment including dosing instructions and recommendations on which essential oils should be used to treat your condition. Pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems should not use essential oils. In case of doubt about the use of essential oils, you should consult a qualified Aromatherapist.

What Is Dizziness?

Dizziness is a condition characterized by light-headedness, loss of balance, disorientation and unsteadiness. Some other symptoms that might occur with dizziness include weakness, fatigue, blurred vision, and nausea.

Dizziness occurs when sensory signals sent to the brain from the inner ear, eyes, and/or skin are disrupted. When the brain is unable to decipher these messages properly, it loses its sense of orientation; this produces the symptoms of dizziness. Disorders of the ear and eye are common causes of this disorientation.

Such disorders include:

  • inflammation of the inner ear
  • migraine headache
  • sudden decrease in blood pressure
  • inadequate supply of blood from the heart
  • reaction to medications
  • anxiety disorders
  • hyperventilation

A number of other conditions may cause dizziness, including:

  • disorders and diseases of the heart
  • brain tumors, stroke, or other conditions of the brain
  • metabolic disorders, such as low blood sugar
  • anemia
  • psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety, depression, or panic disorder
  • aging

Short-term bouts of dizziness may be caused by lifestyle changes and are not indicative of major health problems. At-home methods for treating simple dizziness involve eating an adequate and healthy diet, getting plenty to drink, lots of rest, and not making sudden changes in position. Recurrent or persistent cases of dizziness require medical attention not only because they may be symptoms of more serious health problems, but also because they may result in loss of physical control that can produce an accident.

Additional Resources

Anisman-Reiner, Victoria. “Essential Oils and the Brain: Improve Mental Clarity and Focus, Thinking, Learning and Test Scores.” Posted on March 17, 2008.

Lucas, Rebecca. “Benefits of Aromatherapy: Why and How to Use Alternative Treatments and Therapies.” Posted on June 12, 2008.

Price, Shirley, and Len Prices, eds. Aromatherapy for Health Professionals, 3rd ed. [Edinburgh]: Churchill Livingstone, 2007.

Shutes, Jade, and Christina Weaver. Aromatherapy for Bodyworkers. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008.

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